Whether or not a pupil has a formally identified special educational need, the Department can offer support when it’s needed, for example after an absence caused by illness or for some study skills guidance in the run up to summer exams.
Many pupils simply use the weekly drop in Study Skills Clinic, run by the Learning Support Department, where they can arrive for advice without a prior appointment.
For those pupils with formally identified Specific Learning Difficulties [SpLD] e.g. dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder [DCD/dyspraxia], ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Condition [ASC], where time management and organisational skills might need to be developed over a longer period of time, the Learning Support Department can offer the guidance that pupils need in regularly scheduled one-to-one support lessons. In addition, the Department can offer support to pupils whose first language is not English, should they need it.
Our one-to-one sessions allow pupils to gain a clearer understanding of their particular needs and help them to identify solutions. We want pupils to be able to overcome future potential challenges with confidence. The strategy is that they learn how to use their strengths to compensate for any weaknesses; this self-knowledge means that they can achieve to the best of their underlying abilities and talents. We equip them and encourage them to become independent learners.
The Department comprises two specialist teachers and a part-time administrator. The specialist teachers have post-graduate qualifications in specialist teaching of pupils with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. They keep in regular contact with both tutors and subject teachers, as appropriate. The specialist teachers also offer advice to colleagues on how best to support a pupil within academic subject lessons. They also ensure that one-to-one support sessions complement the mainstream lessons. One to one support provides the more specialist teaching that is required to help the pupil to move forwards.
We welcome input from parents, as they are able to shed valuable light on the way that their son behaves at home and the difficulties that their son faces in his academic studies. This joined up approach between the pupils themselves, the Learning Support Department, teachers, tutors and parents allows the pupils to flourish.