Learning Support


Welcome to the Learning Support page. Here you will find out everything you need to know about our department, including what support we offer and how we assess our pupils.

Curriculum Intent (Aims & Objectives)

We believe that all children have an entitlement to a broad and balanced curriculum. Our aim is to support all children who experience difficulties in accessing this curriculum so that they develop and realise their learning potential and are prepared, ultimately, for the world of work.  We do this through a range of targeted interventions and, where necessary, personalised learning programmes of study.  The wellbeing of pupils is a clear focus, and is supported across the department.

Key Stage 3 -  Curriculum Implementation

What will our pupils study?

The faculty supports all pupils with identified learning/physical difficulties to access KS3 programmes of study.  A wide range of interventions are provided at registration and lunchtime to support and develop basic literacy and numeracy skills, with pupils being withdrawn from lessons for more targeted support as necessary. 

Pupils with physical or social difficulties are supported through Socially Speaking, PE Skills, Cycle Repair, Craft club and Social Games. Small groups work on the Prince’s Trust Achieve Programme to develop skills useful for employers.  Social, emotional and mental health issues are supported by small group work with Youthoria, or individual work with the school’s counsellor.

How will our pupils be assessed?

Reading accuracy, comprehension and spelling are assessed using diagnostic tests.  Additional diagnostic tests are used as necessary.  The tests are delivered every 6 months to evaluate the interventions being delivered.  For pupils who are withdrawn from curriculum lessons to access support, the results of the diagnostic tests are shown on the Individual Education Profiles posted home. 

Key Stage 4 - Curriculum Implementation 

What will our pupils study?

All pupils who have identified barriers to fulfilling their potential have full access to GCSE examinations as well as opportunities for individualised learning pathways. Their GCSE results are included in those for each faculty. The majority of these pupils achieve, or better, their predicted examination results.

How will our pupils be assessed?

A wide range of tests, endorsed by the examination boards, are used in Key Stage 4 to identify pupils who may qualify for additional support or access arrangements.

Accommodation & Resources

The department is situated in a bespoke learning support unit.  Pupils can be withdrawn to access literacy/numeracy programmes of study. These programmes are delivered by the learning support staff and other agencies. 

There are also well-equipped disability rooms with shower, toilets and storage facilities. Currently there are 12 Teaching Assistants, some full-time and some part-time, who provide in-class support as well as individual support. 

There are two part-time Learning Mentors and a Deputy SENDCO who offer support for a pupil's personal learning targets as well as providing opportunities to develop self-esteem and confidence. The Special Educational Needs and Disability Co-ordinator (SENDCo) works closely with parents and staff to support the pupils.

Schedule of Important Dates

Please note that the SENDCO and Learning Mentors can be contacted at any time.

Year 6
June - visits by SENDCO and Learning Mentor to Primary feeder schools to acquire information about new intake and to identify vulnerable pupils coming to the school in September.
July – additional transition day held in school for identified vulnerable pupils.
Year 7
September - initial screening tests using Vernon Spelling, Salford Sentence and Comprehension tests, review of CATs completed during transition days, review of information from Primary. Placement of pupils on SEN Register or Monitoring list notified to parents. First Individual Education Profiles (IEPs) sent out to parents with children on the SEN Register. Strategies for teachers to use for pupils on Monitoring list supplied on a Provision Map available to all staff.
February onwards - structured conversation meetings scheduled for parents of children on the SEN Register to review support.
March - Standardised assessments completed by pupils. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
Year 8
October - standardised assessments completed by pupils. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
April – standardised assessments completed by pupils. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
Year 9
November – Standardised assessments. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
May - standardised assessments completed by pupils. Exam access arrangements considered. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
Year 10
December - standardised assessments completed by pupils. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
June - standardised assessments completed by pupils. Review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.
Year 11
January - standardised assessments completed by pupils. Final review and re-issue of IEPs, update of Provision Map information for pupils on Monitoring list.

Learning Support Clubs

Learning Support  – Clubs At Registration/Lunchtime

P.A.T. (Phonological Awareness Training)

Is designed to help pupils read, spell and write phonically regular words. At each lesson twenty words are read together as a group; ten words are then highlighted for the pupils to learn at home, for a spelling test the following week. A worksheet is also completed. The worksheet comprises of 4 sounds e.g. "at", "in", "et", "op" to which the pupil tracks along the alphabet to make words. The following week pupils have a spelling test of the ten highlighted words. They are timed reading the previous week's word list and any mistakes noted. A sentence, including some of the lesson's words, is dictated to the pupils. This is repeated before it is written and checked for accuracy by the pupils themselves.

Socially Speaking (KS3) and Social Skills (KS4)

We teach an awareness of skills pupils need in order to thrive in social situations. We aim to improve interaction with others, expressive language, reasoning skills, listening skills, turn taking and above all improve confidence. These skills are vital for developing and maintaining relationships. We use a variety of methods including discussion, role play and games.


Lexia Reading Core5 and Strategies are web-based, individualised reading programmes for students of all abilities. Students practise and learn foundational reading skills by interacting with the online program, receiving teacher-led Lexia Lessons, and continuing with independent, paper-based reinforcement activities using Lexia Skill Builders. Real-time student data is captured and reported to teachers for planning instruction and helping students reach expected level of literacy. Data can also be used to evidence progress at individual or group level.

PE Skills in PATCH Club

Is a group to help bring together those pupils struggling with problems like hand-eye coordination, social interactions, team work, and low self-esteem. Through sporting activities such as Boccia, Dodgeball, Indoor Cricket and others, the pupils can feel to be part of a team. This not only helps them to physically get a bit better at some actions they may struggle with, like catching a ball, but also raises their social interaction and self-esteem by working together in teams.

Paired/Shared Reading

Paired Shared Reading is a program which encourages students to read together for short periods of time each week. Reading little and often can improve a child's reading age considerably. This club also develops the pupils' confidence in reading out loud in front of others.


Pupils attend this club when teachers have identified problems with speed or legibility of handwriting. Under the guidance of a TA pupils work through exercises to help relax the pen grip and learn how to form and join letters smoothly. The handwriting practice also incorporates spelling practice and dictation exercises to improve accuracy and memory skills.

Homework Club

For pupils on the SEN Register Homework club takes place after school from 3:15 until 4 o'clock. These crucial 45 minutes give the homework club attenders an extra boost with their homework. Learning mentors supervise the club and can help the students, if needed, with advising the children how to prioritise their workloads, as well as helping out with any difficulties with homework.

Maths Club

We work with the Maths department to cover areas identified by regular tests and assessments that students need to consolidate. 

Cycle Repair Club

Pupils get hands-on experience with practical skills for maintaining bicycles and, at the same time, learn to work together and take turns. 

Craft Club

Staff from Learning Support bring their skills to one of the teaching rooms for pupils to drop in over lunch and learn to knit, braid or crochet, for example.  The session is designed to encourage social skills as well as co-ordination skills.


Pupils who have barriers to learning are supported in mainstream education. This support may be a teacher assigned to help an individual pupil or small groups. It may be a teaching assistant working with students in and out of the classroom, special materials and equipment for students, or a combination of these. In a very small number of cases a student may have such complex difficulties that he/she needs to be withdrawn from some lessons and given specifically targeted support. However the aim is to give pupils the skills and confidence needed to cope with main stream education as required by 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice relating to the Children and Families Act 2014.

 The name of the designated Governor for special educational needs provision is Mrs J Walker, the name of the senior member of staff having responsibility for the schools arrangements for identifying and meeting the needs of pupils is Mrs M Dewland (Principal). The Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENDCO) is Mrs S Pearson.