Throughout St Margaret’s, we are proud of our system to identify, assess and provide an effective and ongoing programme for those pupils with Learning Difficulties.
We encourage parents to provide as much information as they can on entry to the school so that we may be able to organise a suitable programme of study. Students are screened for learning difficulties and Mrs Tanner, the Learning Support Coordinator (LSC), will contact parents to discuss appropriate support or monitoring if a result indicates that the student appears to be ‘at risk’ of a learning difficulty. Our small classes enable all students to be closely monitored in lessons. Staff regularly discuss individuals in year group review meetings and are encouraged to contact the LSC for advice if any student is struggling with any aspect of the curriculum.
A student experiencing difficulties may be recommended by the school to have an assessment carried out by an Educational Psychologist or a Specialist Teacher. This is at the parents’ own cost. This assessment will highlight particular areas of difficulty and will outline strategies for support. This information is discussed with parents and the student and collated into a Student Support Profile which is shared with relevant subject staff to inform their teaching.
Nursery and Pre-Prep
Within the Nursery and Pre-Prep, staff respond to a child’s emerging needs. Working in partnership with the parents, staff will provide support for the child where necessary and assist with accessing relevant services such as speech therapy. If necessary an Individual Education Plan will be drawn up, in consultation with the parents, detailing the planned support. Our high adult to pupil ratios mean that learning differences and specific educational needs can usually be accommodated within the normal classroom environment.
Learning Support Lessons
Within our department we have specialists in Dyslexia teaching, English, Mathematics and Study Skills. We all adopt a multi-sensory, cumulative and personalised approach to teaching that enables each pupil to learn at the rate they feel comfortable.
Parents may opt for their child to receive individual lessons in literacy or numeracy from our specialist support staff.
In the Prep school our support teachers liaise with form staff to establish the timing and content of lessons.
From Year 7, pupils have lessons during a study period, at lunchtimes or before school. Small group sessions are available to support senior students in literacy and study skills. For extra support in Mathematics, the LSC arranges for a Sixth form Buddy to meet regularly with any child using the ‘Power of 2’ scheme.
Support is also given to teaching staff with regular Inset training on learning issues and differences. We promote a Dyslexia-friendly teaching style within the school, which we believe benefits all students.
The Learning Success Coordinator checks the progress of each pupil and reviews the individual Student Support Profiles regularly against the recommendations found in the assessment report. Consultation between the pupil, parents and the Learning Support staff is actively encouraged. Access arrangements for examinations as recommended in the specialist reports are recorded and agreed with the school’s Examination officer.
A charge is made per term for individual provision.
A switch to an increased independent learning style and self-reliance in the organisation of study which is essential at Sixth Form level can present extreme difficulties. Strategies practised for GCSE level may not be sufficient for the demands of A level courses and it is therefore quite common for students to be referred to an Educational Psychologist at this point in their education. Girls may simply require some Study Skills lessons to assist with planning or revision techniques. Mrs Tanner would be happy to discuss any queries and put help into practice if need be.