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Learning Support and Individual Needs
The Senior School Individual Needs department is led by the Head of Individual Needs, Mrs Gierhart, who is supported by a small team of dedicated and qualified specialist teachers and learning support assistants. The department works with pupils from Year 7 to Upper Sixth who need additional help with literacy, numeracy and study skills. We are able to support pupils with mild and occasionally moderate specific learning difficulties and disabilities although the pupils should be able to access the academic curriculum on offer independently.
The Individual Needs department aims to provide appropriate support for pupils so that they can access the curriculum fully. Pupils are encouraged to have a go at areas they find difficult in a caring, nurturing and supportive environment. Pupils are taught skills and strategies to enable them to cope independently in the classroom environment and to build self-confidence in their own abilities.
Individual support is available during the school day and requires pupils to study one subject fewer in order to receive this support. The subject dropped is usually one of the following: a modern foreign language, art, drama, music or technology. Every effort is made to accommodate parental requests, bearing in mind the restrictions of the timetable and teacher availability. There is an additional charge for this support.
Small study group support is provided in Year 10 and 11 for pupils who are likely to benefit from a slightly reduced timetable. The study group lessons are taken in place of one of the GCSE options. Similar drop-in groups are available for students in the Sixth Form who require support or a quiet, structured environment in which to work.
Pupils can be assessed for learning difficulties at School. Where necessary parents will be contacted regarding their child commencing individual support lessons and/or undertaking further external assessments.
Assessment for access arrangements, such as extra time or use of a word processor in GCSE exams, takes place during Year 9 and 10. Some assessments are carried out in School but where appropriate parents may be requested to undertake an external assessment by an educational psychologist. Any arrangements put in place must be a pupil’s normal way of working and there should be a history of provision of using these arrangements in class and exams.