Within the department, we have one full time teacher, three part-time teachers and the SENCO who has a split timetable: one day teaching and four days of SENCO work. We also have seven Teaching Assistants.
Our department consists of 3 classrooms and an office, all off a central carpeted shared area, which is used as an extra teaching space. In 1 of the classrooms, we have 4 computers with internet access for the pupils’ use; in another, 11 computers.
During break and lunchtimes, all our classrooms are used for a variety of clubs aimed at those pupils who find these parts of the school day quite difficult and stressful.
It is the aim of the Learning Support Department to ensure that all pupils get the support they need to enable them to have a happy and successful secondary school career. One of our school’s mantras is: ‘Get your improvements in early’ and we adopt this whole heartedly. We administer detailed base line assessments in spelling and reading to all pupils within their first few weeks at school. This way, we can support pupils from the outset. The support may come in a variety of forms, from the allocation of TAs in classes to withdrawal sessions for work on improving literacy skills.
Along with teaching English and Literacy to years 7 -9, we also offer alternative qualifications for those pupils where the traditional route of GCSEs is not the most appropriate.
Entry Level Pathways: Humanities
The Entry Level Certificate in Humanities covers the subjects of History and Geography – taught in consecutive years. Our pupils get a lot out of the course due to the wider scope offered by its curriculum. For example, whilst studying Plains Indians, we had the opportunity to cook and eat Wagmiza Wasna (Sioux corn cookies) as well as Beef Jerky – better than simply writing about them! This practical element, which is easily introduced to the course, appeals to students looking to gain an alternative qualification to GCSE.
COPE (Certificate of Personal Effectiveness)
This is a practically-based course intended to develop social and practical skills. To achieve the CoPE award students must complete a range of challenges and collate evidence in a portfolio, which will be submitted to ASDAN for moderation. Students must prove they can:
- Work with others effectively
- Improve own learning and performance
- Solve their problems
- Complete research
- Take part in discussion
- Complete an oral presentation
Work Skills BTEC Level 1 First Award
The BTEC Work Skills course has been designed to offer learners a flexible, relevant course to improve their understanding and application of work-based skills.
A total of 26 units are available across 4 skills pathways: Personal Life Skills, Sustainable Employability, Work Placement Skills and Skills for Business. Examples of these units are: Managing your own money; Applying for a job and Planning and running an enterprise activity.
All units within these qualifications are internally assessed. The qualifications are criterion referenced, based on the achievement of all the specified learning outcomes. To achieve a ‘pass’ a learner must have successfully passed all the assessment criteria.