The Learning Support Department is led by the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Mr J Lewis M.Ed (Learning Difficulties, Dip.Ed(Special Ed), Cert. Ed, AMBDA. He heads a team of Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTAs) and Teaching Assistants (TAs). The department consists of 6 teaching rooms, an open plan area and 2 administration offices.
We have considerable experience and expertise in meeting the needs of students with:
• Dyslexia – registered with CRESTED
• Autism (ASD)
• Visual Impairment
• Hearing Impairment
• Other difficulties with literacy
A full programme is put into place to make the transition from primary to secondary school as smooth and stress free as possible both for the child and parents.
This involves special needs staff working with primary colleagues in year 6: organising, planning meetings, talking to parents and additional pupil visits to Ercall Wood prior to the taster days.
Each student with a statement of special educational needs or a particular level of need has a Key worker.
Key workers meet regularly with the pupil, liaise with home and subject teachers and generally look after the day to day welfare of the child.
Some pupils require a high level of supervision and care throughout the day. They are able to spend unstructured times (break, Lunch, before and after school) being supervised in the Learning Support Department if necessary.
Teaching and learning
• We teach children in small groups for English, Mathematics, Life Skills and Personal, Social & Health Education.
• If students find GCSE examinations too difficult they follow Entry Level courses in subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Life Skills and PSHE.
• We adapt the timetable for some children to best meet their needs. We may withdraw them from certain subjects for extra literacy or numeracy tuition all with the agreement of the parents and child.
Other Support Available
• We keep in regular contact with parents by phone, e-mail, or any other agreed means if this is thought necessary.
• There is provision for children taught in the department to have help after school on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday with homework until 4.15pm under the supervision of HLTAs.
• Some students with particular issues in school can be seen by our Learning Mentor if needed.
All our students enjoy attending the Learning Support Department. We have found that it is important for children with special educational needs to have a ‘base’ within a large secondary school to build their confidence and to help to make their secondary school experience a happy and successful time.