School Alerts
Home / Parents / Learning Support

Learning Support

Welcome to the Learning Support Department. We support students who experience difficulties with their learning , including those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

The department consists of the SENDCo, Mrs P Martin, Assistant SENDCo, Mrs D Bacchus and a large team of Teaching Assistants (TAs) who provide in-class support across the curriculum. The Learning Support TA team consists of Mrs M Potts (Level 3 Lead Maths TA), Mrs E Villarta (Level 3 Lead Science TA), Mrs P Hopewell (Level 3 Lead Tech TA and 6th Form), Miss L Harding ( Level 3 Speech, Language and Communication Needs Lead TA), Mrs M Bunyan (Level 3 Medical Needs Lead TA), Mrs C Grieve (Level 2 EAL Lead and Maths TA), Mrs J Young (Level 2 Maths TA), Mrs A Palmer (Level 2 TA), Mr A Moore (Level 2 TA and First Aider), Mrs E French (Level 1 TA), Mr K Parker (Level 1 TA), Mrs K Ralph (Level 1 TA), Mrs L Rochford (Level 1 TA), Mrs P Sugars ( Level 1 TA), Ms S Boyes (Level 1 TA), Miss G Whitbread (Level 1 TA), Ms K Chisholm (Level 1 TA) and Mrs L Smith (Level 1 TA). There is also a part-time Specialist Teacher, Mrs A Brodie.

We liaise closely with external professionals including organising provision for students with significant medical needs, overseen by Mrs Bunyan.

We keep teaching and pastoral staff informed of students’ special educational needs and disabilities in order to maximise their progress and ensure understanding of their difficulties. We offer a wide range of interventions to improve aspects of literacy and numeracy as well as social skills and curriculum support. The main teaching room is E2 which also provides recreational and homework support during break and lunchtime.

We welcome communication from parents and the SENDCo is regularly available to see parents at pre-arranged times.

What does learning support offer?

Support Offered at Key Stage 3

  • In-class support by Teaching Assistants
    Teaching Assistants support students learning and behaviour across the curriculum. Within classrooms, TAs focus on improving confidence and self esteem and making the curriculum accessible to students with individual needs. A wide range of strategies are used to facilitate this: reading, spelling or scribing support, rephrasing instructions or restructuring tasks, repetition and reinforcement, diagrammatic representations or simplifying information. The aim is to encourage students to develop as independent learners. Many TAs are linked to curriculum areas and work closely with departments
  • Corrective Reading – an intensive reading programme, usually teacher led ( 3 periods a week) for students experiencing severe difficulties with reading. This programme operates at 3 different levels.
  • Literacy Groups – aiming to develop general reading, writing, spelling punctuation and organisational skills.
  • Spelling tutorials – Teacher led sessions which concentrate on overlearning of letter patterns and high frequency words, in order to boost confidence and increase accuracy.
  • SuccessMaker – an individualised computer programme for Reading, Spelling, Numeracy or EAL.
  • Lexia – an individualised computer programme for Reading, Spelling and reading Comprehension.
  • Maths Intervention – practical maths activities and overlearning to improve basic skills.
  • Handwriting and Touch-typing tuition.
  • Some students with handwriting difficulties use Alphasmarts, Surface Pros or laptops.
  • Some students find coloured overlays helpful.
  • Exam access arrangements.

In addition, there is a Reading Partner Scheme, Catch-Up Reading, Social Skills Groups and Induction Programmes for EAL pupils.

Support Offered at Key Stage 4

  • In-class support by Teaching Assistants -as above. Many of our TAs specialise in specific areas of the curriculum and have additional qualifications in these areas.
  • Literacy/Numeracy Tutorials for those who continue to need literacy/numeracy support
  • Exam Access Arrangements (reflecting normal classroom practice)
  • Some students with handwriting difficulties use Surface Pros or laptops.

Support Offered at KS5

– Exam Access Arrangements reflecting normal classroom practice.

– Study support and mentoring sessions

– In-class support by Teaching Assistants as above

Use of laptops or Surface Pros.

E2 is open at break and lunchtime for vulnerable students and those requiring recreational support. Computers are available for students to complete homework.

If you have any concerns about your child’s learning, please do not hesitate to contact one of the key members of the department.