Support for Learning
How does the Learning Support Department facilitate learning?
The Learning Support Department aims to support students within the classroom wherever possible. The aim of the support is to increase targeted students’ access to the curriculum.
We work collaboratively with classroom teachers. This may involve joint planning of lessons, shared preparation of differentiated materials and/or partnership teaching.
Learning Support Assistants are given an overview of the next half term’s objectives in each subject to best assist students' learning and help them understand what they need to do to progress to the next level.
The Learning Support team ensure that staff are briefed on the learning needs of each SEN student. We achieve this in a variety of ways including, SEN Support Plans and the SEN register together with specific practical strategies for how best students can access the curriculum. Curriculum Leaders also have an overview of where support is timetabled and by whom, so that helping each student has a shared initiative across the curriculum and staff.
Individual Education Plans, otherwise known as SEN Support Plans, are for students at SEN Status (K) or who have an EHCP. This will highlight the difficulties and strengths of the student; it will give targets for the student to work towards and strategies that will be adopted by the teachers.
The students with the greatest difficulties in Year 7 join a Transition Nurture Group where they explore social interaction, organisation and have general support to help them cope with the High School setting. More specifically, the group focuses on areas such as developing friendships, self-awareness, confidence and self-esteem, understanding others, feeling valued and accepted as part of a group as well as focusing on problem solving and reflection skills.
Students will practise desired behaviour, contribute to thought-provoking discussion and they will be encouraged to give appropriate feedback. They will also work together as a group, sharing ideas and building good relationships with one another. This will support their achievements within the mainstream classroom and maximise the potential for a positive experience of school life
If necessary, mentoring may be delivered by one of our trained ELSA staff.
Speech and Language Groups
Where Educational Psychologist or Speech and Language reports highlight a need for specific speech and language programmes, girls are withdrawn for a specific period of time to develop skills through games and activities. These sessions are delivered by Higher Learning Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) trained in speech and language support. The nature of the sessions are formed through a conversation between the HLTA and the Speech and Language Therapy team. These are organised on the basis of the needs of the students and so may only run for a short period of time.
Some of our students may require more specific help with basic skills. In the past we have run withdrawal groups to improve basic literacy and numeracy, to address poor handwriting skills or to help with an aspect of a student's ability to read, whether that be reading speed, comprehension or age.
Much of our work takes place within the mainstream classroom, where we aim to give the girls access to the curriculum, by working closely with subject teachers.
Support staff may:-
- Interpret work-simplify language or present tasks in smaller steps
- Keep student on task and provide encouragement
- Alter the activity to keep the student motivated
- Provide differentiated materials and or writing frames/vocabulary/key words
- Provide structured teaching for particular areas of difficulty
- Help with personal organisation
- Record and explain homework tasks
- Check readability of texts
- Read/scribe for tests
- Help pupils with ‘catching up’ missed work
- Assist with target setting
- Provide support for GCSE coursework, in-class, individually or in small groups
Help outside lessons for all students
The girls are always welcome to spend time, during morning break and lunch time, in our base. There is always a member of staff available to discuss problems, help with homework, or, just offer a listening ear.