At The Hall our objective is to ensure that all boys who have disabilities or require learning support have equal opportunities in order to access all areas of the curriculum. The aim of the Learning Support Department is to support boys through the school from when a learning need is identified until the boys leave the school. These needs include pupils considered to be dyslexic or dyspraxic, those failing to thrive academically but have non-specific difficulties and those with behavioural, emotional, physical or medical problems. We hope to identify these needs as early as possible and develop an individual programme of support and teaching appropriate to the abilities of the pupil. We also aim to ensure that all staff are aware and understand the specific needs of every pupil so as to provide an inclusive learning environment. Learning Support at The Hall is a whole school issue and every member of staff employs a suitable teaching style to differentiate according to the needs of each pupil.
Most pupils who are referred to the Learning Support Department are seen once a week on a rolling timetable and work with one of the specialist support teachers for a limited number of individual lessons. If a child has greater learning difficulties they may be seen more often and over a longer period of time. Some boys are seen in groups and others may be supported within the classroom setting. We provide specialist support for language development, dyslexia, dyspraxia, visual perception, mathematics, English as an additional language, handwriting and study skills. We also have a paediatric physiotherapist, speech therapist and school counsellor.
We adopt a multi-sensory approach to our teaching. Boys have every opportunity to explore various learning techniques. It is then possible to select the most appropriate tool to assist each pupil with their particularly learning difficulty. The Department endeavours to introduce methods to capture the pupil’s imagination and create an enthusiasm for learning. This is achieved by utilising various teaching methods such as visual and auditory activities, ICT and memory games as well as giving each pupil positive feedback and reassurance to boost self-confidence. Our aim is to ensure that all pupils feel nurtured and well supported through their relationships with the Learning Support team.
We provide a graduated approach to support boys with educational needs. Pupils are assessed and monitored within the Department. We also liaise closely with subject teacher to ensure that all the boys’ needs are being met. Parents are informed of the support teacher’s findings and are invited to attend a meeting with the Head of Learning Support and form teacher to discuss how to proceed. A Pupil Action Plan, reviewed every six months, is then drawn up by the support teacher, class or subject teacher and parents are invited to discuss their son’s plan. The targets will always be within the pupil’s capabilities. All staff receive copies of these plans. There are a number of opportunities for parents to meet with members of the Department to discuss their son’s progress. Should more regular contact be required, our staff will make suitable arrangements to ensure this is put in place.
If it is felt appropriate that help from an external agency should be sought, the relevant referrals will be made to parents. The Head of Learning Support will contact the outside agency, once an appointment has been made by parents. A more detailed Pupil Action Plan may then be implemented. If an educational or clinical psychologist identifies a pupil having a right to extra time and/or use of a laptop during exams and in class, the school will make the necessary arrangements. Reports must be held by the school within two years of the date of the exam.