Learning Support at Sidcot School
Sidcot is a mainstream school offering a supportive environment that allows all pupils to achieve to the best of their abilities. We aim to inspire and challenge all our students and help them achieve the very best they can to become confident, successful learners and responsible citizens. The school is not selective beyond an expectation that each student is able to access the school’s curriculum as a whole, subject to reasonable adjustments being made.
Quality First Teaching means that all teachers are aware of the needs of their pupils and will differentiate accordingly. The Learning Support Department works in close liaison with subject teachers to help pupils develop suitable strategies to support their learning and become independent learners. Learning Support staff also provide CPD on learning difficulties for classroom colleagues throughout the year.
Senior School students with additional needs will have a Pupil Profile, available to all teaching staff, setting out their strengths and challenges and detailing support strategies. This will be used by the student’s subject teachers to support differentiation in the classroom. For some students, this will be sufficient to meet their needs.
The Senior School does not provide ‘in class’ teaching assistants, or ‘in class’ one to one support. Teaching assistants provide whole class or small group support in the Junior School, but cannot be allocated to an individual student due to SEN needs.
How will we know if students need extra help?
There are many ways in which a pupil’s additional learning needs may be identified. These include:
Admissions procedures; information from the pupil’s previous school; comments made by the pupil; parental concerns; class teacher concerns through ongoing teacher assessments and observations; formal teacher assessments; referral to the Learning Support Department for formal assessment or screening; concerns raised at year group, or faculty meetings; screening, such as that completed on entry, CAT testing, or whole year group assessment indicating a gap in knowledge and/or skills.
Our Learning Support Provision
If a student has a greater difficulty in learning than the majority of students of the same age, then they may need ‘special educational provision’ through targeted intervention sessions. The Learning Support Department provides personalised one to one, or small group lessons designed to support students’ ability to access and participate in the high quality teaching and learning available throughout the school. There is an additional charge for these sessions.
The School is registered with CReSTeD (The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Students) and is highly experienced in providing support to students with mild learning support needs. Learning Support staff have qualifications in supporting pupils with specific learning difficulties alongside their teaching qualifications. We have experience in supporting mild SEN needs, such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and Asperger’s Syndrome.’
All pupils who attend Sidcot are capable and able to access the curriculum of the school.
How we know if a student is making progress
If a student has been identified as having a special educational need, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will identify learning goals and outcomes to be achieved, along with appropriate learning support strategies. The IEP is shared with pupils and parents and is reviewed bi-annually.
Learning Support progress is included in school reports and parents are able to discuss their child’s progress at parents’ evening. How are parents/carers involved in planning for their child's needs?
Parents are welcome to arrange an appointment to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher, tutor, Learning Support teacher or SENCO at any time when they feel concerned, or have information they would like to share that could impact on their child’s success.
Parents are encouraged to comment on their child’s IEP and the school recognises the importance of family involvement and a consistent approach between home and school.
Transitions between Educational settings
The Learning Support department works across the Junior and Senior schools, ensuring as smooth a transition as possible between the two stages. Meetings are held in the Summer Term to discuss transition and whether the support needs of individual students can continue to be met in the Senior School. Where students join the Senior School from another educational setting, information is sought through discussion with parents and pupils, and (with parental permission) from the child’s previous school, in order to build up as clear a picture as possible of individual needs.
Where a student transfers to another school, Sixth Form setting, or college, the SENCO will liaise with the new setting, provided permission to do so has been granted by the student/parents.