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Parents in Partnership - Learning Support

Our most recent Parent in Partnership seminar was hosted by our Learning Support team and provided an excellent platform for us to inform parents of the different kinds of support we offer to our students. 

Primary Students in a group outdoor

Our team is led by Jean Kingham, Assistant Head Teacher, Inclusion; who is supported by both Christopher Kinlan as our Secondary SENCO and Head of Year 7 and Dorota Pietrzyk as our Primary SENCO and Speech Pathologist.

Agnieszka Pietras and Agnieszka Dymerska are our two Learning Support Teachers and Iza Banasikowska is our School Psychologist - all of whom were in attendance to speak and answer questions about our department. 

Learning Support Procedures

Parents were taken through the process in which students are referred to Learning Support and what happens once this referral is made. Referrals can be made by parents via their child’s teacher or the teacher may make the referral themselves if they notice that a student is having difficulties with academic progress, behaviour or social/emotional issues.

Once this referral is made, Learning Support will observe the student and administer an appropriate assessment from our range of assessment tools. 

This information will feed into a Pen Portrait which details the students difficulties and support strategies that can be implemented in the class room by the student’s teachers. An IEP meeting would follow with the students parents and teachers to discuss targets that will be worked on during the current term. An IEP is then written and updated termly if the targets need to be changed. 

 

Forms of Support

Forms of support offered range from small group withdrawal sessions, allowing students to interact with other students, with similar needs, whilst working on their specific area of difficulty; individual withdrawal sessions when necessary; in class support from an Intervention Assistant or Learning Support Teachers or a 1:1 Assistant when the students needs require one. 

 

We can provide support for our students who are taking exams, both internal and external, once they have been assessed by our Learning Support team and Psychologist.

The special requirements we can potentially apply for include extra time during examinations, a separate room, the use of a laptop, modified language papers and supervised rest breaks. Access Arrangements for external exams  like the IGCSE and IB exams can only be granted after the student has been assessed by our school psychologist. 

As the exam boards will only accept assessments done within  the school and backed up by documentation from the school, we suggest that you do not get your child assess externally for access arrangement purposes.

Types of Difficulties

We currently support students with a range of difficulties, some of which are listed below: 

  • Dyslexia – reading, writing and spelling difficulties
  • Dyscalculia – difficulty with arithmetical calculations
  • Dyspraxia – difficulties with co-ordination and movement
  • Autism/ Asperger’s Syndrome – social interactions and communication difficulties
  • ADHD/ADD – difficulties with maintaining attention, excessive activity or difficulties
  • controlling behaviour.
  • Speech and language impairment – difficulties understanding, reading, writing or talking

The role of our School Psychologist

Our School Psychologist plays an extremely important role in helping our students academically, socially and emotionally by collaborating with teachers, parents and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments for all students. 

Mindfulness, play, role-play, workbooks and iOS or Android applications are some of the techniques used in small group support sessions during lunch time called ‘The Lunch Bunch’, individual support or after-school sessions and in class support. ASSESSMENTS are carried to recognise cognitive (intellectual) strengths and weaknesses of our students and plan how to best help them achieve their academic goals, to recognise emotional or social difficulties and plan individual or group support for our students

Referrals to our psychologist can be made via parental contact with a member of the Learning Support team or the referral can be made by a class teacher or the Learning Support team. Parents  are then contacted  to get the process started. 

I would like to say a big thank you for all our parents who attended the seminar and please do contact the Learning Support team if you have any questions or would like more information. 

Christopher Kinlan

Secondary SENCO, Head of Year 7