Academic Support

The Academic Support Department works with pupils, staff and parents to enable all pupils to access the curriculum and to achieve their full academic potential. We understand that having a particular need is not a bar to high academic achievement.  As part of our commitment to help every child realise their full potential, we recognise that children have different needs at different times and our Academic Support Department works with pupils and staff to provide timely support, whether this be throughout their time in Senior School or occasional support for shorter periods of time.

On entry to the Senior School additional needs are identified as early as possible and our SENCO uses information provided by our feeder schools, to ensure that those with particular learning difficulties or disabilities are helped accordingly with the transition, and staff alerted to their particular needs. In the Senior School, we have several students who are on the dyslexic-dyspraxic continuum, are hearing-impaired, are on the autistic spectrum or who have other challenges to learning.

We support our SEND pupils within the classroom, with differentiated resources and with one-to-one support from subject teachers at break and lunchtime. Our SENCO ensures that all members of staff are fully aware of the learning difficulties of the pupils they teach and that they are supported in meeting additional needs. The SENCO liaises with Heads of Year, tutors and subject teachers, and works closely with the English department to identify any pupils who need extra support. Students usually attend weekly 1:1 or small group support sessions with our SENCO which concentrate on an individual's specific learning difficulties. These sessions may include comprehension and reading skills, writing skills, or study skills including note-taking, revision and examination techniques, and proofreading. Advice is also given about how best to use access arrangements such as extra time and the use of laptops. The views of the pupil are always sought and taken into account. For pupils in the Sixth Form, 1:1 support is provided and is tailored to individual needs and subject choices. Our peer mentoring system is helpful in supporting pupils, particularly those with organisational issues. We also introduce study skills to all pupils in Year 7 and the SENCO is in the team of staff delivering this course.

Pupils' progress and support is reviewed on a termly basis with staff, and formal and informal consultations take place regularly with parents. We recognise that parents play a key role in supporting their child's education and as always we seek to maintain regular contact with parents. We run a monthly SEND Clinic at which all parents are welcome to make a regular or one-off appointment. The SENCO also attends all Parents' Evenings and Consultation days throughout the year. Similarly, if parents are aware that their daughter has a particular need, or are concerned that she might have, the SENCO should be their first port of call, and an appointment can be arranged.

The SENCO reports termly on our SEND provision to the Governor with responsibility for Special Educational Needs who in turn reports to Governing Council to keep them informed.

If parents have any questions about our Academic Support provision they are warmly invited to contact our Head of Academic Support, Miss Hannah Welsh, via the school office by telephone 0121 454 5831 or by email