The Learning Support Department is made up of 15 Teaching Assistants, an Assistant Special Educational Needs Coordinator and a Head of Learning Support (SENCo). The role of the Learning Support Department is to aid the learning and progress of students with special educational needs, and to help remove any barriers to learning that they might experience. At Tring School we currently have 17 students with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
What do we do?
Where a student has an identified need support is put into place. The support comes in the form of one or more of the following ways:
- Key Worker
- Access to support from a Teaching Assistant in lessons
- Quiet areas for vulnerable students (Inclusion Room)
- Tailored KS3 and KS4 Programmes
- Access to Read and Write
- Wii work for dyspraxia
- Coloured overlays
- Small group support on literacy and numeracy
- Reading Programmes
- Training for staff on a specified need
- Group work
- Social stories and social skills
- Peer mentoring
- Breakfast club
- Lunch lounge
- Study skills
- Reading room
- Strategies to teaching staff that access support from the department
- Referrals to outside agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and language, DESC, Occupational Therapy, ESTMA
For the majority of students, intervention will be short term and will ensure students get back on track and make good progress, but for a small number of students intervention may be ongoing.
What is an Individual Education Plan ?
Some identified SEN students will have an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The purpose of the IEP is to identify specific targets for these students in order to help them achieve their full potential. The IEP’s will be reviewed after the Progress Tracker has been issued for their year group.
The IEP will show:
- current and target grades/levels
- the support in place for the term
- targets based upon progress or outcomes from their Education, Health and Care Plan
We are a dyslexia friendly school
As with any student who has special needs, we support dyslexic students to overcome their barrier to learning and give them strategies to cope.
We are a dyslexia friendly school which means we use whiteboards and methods of teaching that include kinaesthetic, visual and aural strategies to engage students and help them access the curriculum. For more information about how to support a child with dyslexia, please click on the following link: A Parents’ Guide to Dyslexia
Exam Access Arrangements (EAA)
Some students may need extra support during exams. This may be one or more of the following special exam access arrangements:
- Use of ICT
- Rest Breaks
- Extra Time
Students who the school feel may benefit from additional support during exams are tested in school to ascertain the type of support which would be most appropriate. Even though students may have had access to support during their SAT’s at KS2, it does not mean that it will automatically be the case at KS3 or GCSE. The school has to retest at each Key Stage as required by the exam boards.
The school will test a student if:
- They have previously accessed exam support at KS2
- Their teacher(s) makes a referral to Learning Support with concerns about the student
- There is evidence from classroom-based assessments that a student needs support during tests
Once a student has been assessed, the school will contact parents with any recommendations. Please note that although we will take into consideration a private educational psychologists report about exam access arrangements, we may not apply to the exam boards with their recommendations. Instead, we have a qualified tester in school, and we will use their recommendations about how best to support a student in exams.
At Tring School we recognise that students make progress at varying rates. At times they may need extra support to help them overcome a hurdle or a problem that within the normal classroom setting, is difficult to do.
We identify students through the use of data produced by their class teachers and try to put in support as quickly as possible. We have a number of strategies at school to support students in achieving good academic outcomes.
Literacy & Numeracy Booster Sessions
Where students may fall behind their expected rate of progress in English and Maths, we have small group booster sessions for six weeks.
Students look at how best they study independently. They try different methods and feedback on what did and what did not work. They can also practice revision techniques using their current work.
Homework Support Club
Homework Support Club is run every lunchtime and on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm in the Learning Resource Centre. Students can self-refer, parents can refer and teachers can direct students to attend if they are not completing homework.
Students who are on the C/D borderline at the beginning of KS4 and performance at KS3 indicates they are at risk of underachieving are given a mentor. A weekly meeting is held to discuss progress, careers and study skills.
Students who are entitled to support during exams from a reader or scribe are given support sessions explaining how to use them efficiently and effectively. Students are also given the opportunity to practise these skills with an invigilator during these sessions.
Having a good vocabulary and spelling is important in making good progress. Our Literacy Coordinator has a different focus for our teaching staff each term, for example spelling or the use of capital letters. This is so that our teachers can be consistent across all subjects in supporting students to improve their spelling, punctuation or grammar. To support students most of our departments produce key vocabulary sheets, and have subject specific vocabulary on their classroom walls.
Key vocabulary lists
Some students find “pre-teaching” of key vocabulary useful before coming across subject specific words in lessons, and so in order to support students and involve parents, we have included vocabulary lists, here on the school website.
Parents can use a word web to teach vocabulary, or simply try spelling tests or quizzes at home. Click on the subject then the year group and topic.
Word webs are designed to teach the correct spelling of key vocabulary, their meanings and related words, to pre-teach students. They are very similar to mind maps and spider diagrams, can be colour-coded and labelled with pictures and symbols.
Special Educational Needs
The main objective of the Special Needs Policy is to assist any child who has a special educational need which is affecting his or her progress at school. The support for students with SEN is coordinated by the school’s SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and it is their job to ensure that students with barriers to learning are identified, appropriate interventions implemented and their progress reviewed on a regular basis. Students with significant difficulties are supported by means of Individual Education Plans, which are reviewed and revised as appropriate on a regular basis and parents are informed.
Currently there are 15 students in school who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). However, the needs of all students are constantly assessed by class teachers and the Learning Support Department and where need is identified, specialist staff will assist either by supporting the students in the classroom or by offering short or long term interventions geared to the needs of groups of students if appropriate. Teaching staff in the Learning Support Centre have specialist qualifications in supporting students with learning difficulties. A team of trained Teaching Assistants support students across the age range and across the curriculum. Where other appropriate needs are identified, referrals are made to specialist advisors and outside agencies and parents are informed.
Our Special Educational Needs Policy is available here or you can request a copy from the school.