A wide range of needs are addressed in the Learning Support Department, of which the two principal areas are support for pupils with Statements of Special Educational Need and the Reading Support Programme.
The Academy has a significant number of pupils with Statements, covering a broad variety of difficulties, including cognitive, developmental, sensory and physical/medical. We endeavour to ensure that all requirements set out in each Statement are met and the appropriate levels of support provided. The great majority of support is delivered by Learning Support Assistants employed specifically for that purpose and funded by the Statement system. Most support takes place in class so that contact with the curriculum is maintained, but in some cases withdrawal to the Learning Support base is utilised. Where stipulated in the Statement, or if agreed with carers as better use of resources, further support may be provided by an Individual Support Teacher, one of the Learning Support staff.
The Reading Support Programme is timetabled to address the literacy needs of pupils with identified reading difficulties. All pupils are assessed on entry, and those with a standardised score below 86 are included in the programme. They are taught in small groups by specialist teachers in the Learning Support Department. The standard provision is one lesson a week, but a number of pupils each year are identified for ‘booster’ lessons up to four times a week.
Pupils are re-assessed at the end of Year 7 and again at the end of Year 8 and Year 9; this aims to pick up any pupils who may have ‘slipped through the net’.
Pupils identified with moderate to severe dyslexia are incorporated into a ‘Toe by Toe’ timetable, using a proprietary programme that provides a weekly progression task.