Learning Support at HCJS
At HCJS, we work hard to help every child reach their potential in all that they do. Our Learning Support Department is a vital part of our provision, providing short or longer term support for our pupils and a source of expertise from which teachers, children and parents benefit.
In what follows, Mrs Tracey Denny, our Head of Learning Support since September 2016, paints a picture of our provision and of how we adapt our support to suit each individual child.
Head of the Junior School
Learning Support at HCJS
I am sure that the Learning Support Department at HCJS is a mystery to those who have no dealings with us.
The headline is that the department’s ethos is to ensure that every pupil with whom we work, reaches their potential, makes progress at their own rate, and has the confidence to ‘have a go’, therefore raising their self-esteem and confidence.
We are a busy department, comprising of one full time specialist teacher, who is very ably supported by four part time support staff. Our timetable consists of 1 to 1 teaching sessions, as well as supporting in the classroom during some English and Maths lessons; this enables us to support pupils in context. We use a range of resources when supporting and teaching the pupils, and teachers will also ask us to look over specific work with pupils too.
Pupils are supported from Reception to Year 6, with advice being given to Nursery when required. Many of the pupils whom we work with have been identified as having a processing, working memory or specific difficulty, for example dyslexia. However, we are also experienced in working with pupils who have speech, language and communication needs, autism, as well as social and emotional difficulties.
The pupils may have entered the school with these difficulties already identified and the parents have chosen the school due to the support and resources that we can possibly offer. However, there are pupils who are identified as having a difficulty during their time at HCJS.
This identification process begins with observations being made by the class teacher, who then communicates any concerns with myself as Head of Department, and I will initially offer support and advice on class based strategies. The next step would then be to involve the parents, who may have already shared their concerns, and to gain consent to carry out in-house assessments, which can provide more in-depth information and possibly identify a learning issue. Further actions can then be taken, either through more specific strategies in class or the need for 1 to 1 intervention work to take place.
We try to communicate with parents about progress as regularly as possible, either through termly report comments, parents’ evenings or individual meetings.
The aim is to identify potential learning issues as soon as possible, so that early intervention can take place. However, every child is different – not every child will be identified early; not every child will need long term intervention; but every child is supported with a unique approach, depending on their needs.
As mentioned earlier, the ethos of the Learning Support Department is to ensure that every pupil with whom we work, reaches their potential, makes progress at their own rate and has the confidence to ‘have a go’, therefore raising their self-esteem and confidence.
A group of pupils were asked for their thoughts and feelings about being involved with the Learning Support Department, and these were captured on a short film, which you can view below.
Head of Learning Support