The Role of Learning Support

The role of the Learning Support Department is to support the school to meet the individual educational needs of our pupils

To work with staff in the task of meeting individual educational needs

To give targeted support for any specific difficulties

To give pupils personal attention; to help them become well integrated into school and to acquire the self esteem and the study skills to reach their potential

To create a partnership between parents, mainstream and learning support staff, outside professionals and the pupil in order that success can be achieved

Accommodation and Resources

The Learning Support Department consists of a large classroom and office space located on the first floor of the main school building. It is equipped with computers connected to the school network and an interactive whiteboard.

There are eleven staff in the department including the Learning Support and Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), an Assistant SENCo, two Higher Level Teaching Assistant, six full and part-time teaching assistants and one curriculum support assistant.

Please use the links on the left for more information on the department.

SEN Supported

What special educational needs do we support?

Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:

  • a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or
  • (b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority
  • (c) are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

Our Range of Support

We provide support for pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) including Dyslexia and Dyspraxia as well as those pupils who experience general learning difficulties including difficulties with reading, spelling, writing, handwriting, Maths, English and other aspects of the curriculum. We can help pupils with concentration and organisational difficulties and offer practical support in improving study skills.

We support pupils with Asperger's Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Speech, Language and Communication Needs and Physical Difficulties as well as pupils with sensory difficulties such as Visual and Hearing Impairment.

Some difficulties may be long term, others are temporary. Most difficulties can be addressed by mainstream teaching staff.

We also offer support to pupils who find it difficult to access mainstream lessons for a short time for a variety of reasons.

Pupils with English as an Additional Language (EAL):

Specialist EAL support may be provided for pupils for whom English is not their first language.

Learning Support Staff

We have a dedicated team of specialist teachers and teaching assistants to support pupils' learning. Here is a list of our learning support staff:

  • Mrs Sally Fletcher – SENCO
  • Mr Simon Hughes – Assistant SENCO
  • Mrs Shirley Taylor – HLTA
  • Mrs Linda Charlton – HLTA
  • Mrs Sarah Etherington – Curricular Support for SEN & school pastoral issues

Teaching Assistants

  • Mrs Rachel Frankland (Level 2) P/T
  • Mrs Catherine Hilton (Level 3 ) F/T
  • Ms Gill Humphreys (Level 3) F/T
  • Mrs Samantha Marshall (Level 2) F/T
  • Mrs Natalie Nicholls (Level 2) P/T
  • Mr Simon Whipp (Level 2) F/T

How are Pupils’ Needs Identified?

Primary Transition

Primary Liaison takes place during the Summer Term when Learning Support staff visit feeder primary schools to collect information on the pupils transferring to Ribblesdale. Learning Support staff will attend Year 6 Annual Reviews for pupils with EHCP and other reviews as appropriate. Year 6 pupils at SEN support or who have EHCP invited to visit Ribblesdale high School during the summer term. The pupils will be issued with a transition booklet to complete. Parents are encouraged to visit the Learning Support department independently to liaise with learning support staff about their children's individual needs.

Screening Tests

In the first few weeks of the Autumn Term identified Year 7 pupils undergo screening for reading, spelling, writing and numeracy. This enables the department together with the information from Primary Liaison to identify which pupils may be in need of extra support. Pupils are observed in class and discussed with core subject teachers.

Further assessment can be administered through a variety of tests and screening programmes which identify specific learning difficulties. The complete picture is supported through consultation with the pupil's parents.

Screening Tests are also administered during Year 9 for identified pupils and at the end of Year 9 for those pupils who may need access arrangements for external examinations.

The SEN Links team liaise with the department through termly meetings and concerns about individual pupils can be raised. Subject staff are encouraged to refer any pupils for whom there may be concerns to the Learning Support Department throughout the academic year through concern checklist.

If despite specialist intervention, a pupil fails to make progress they may be referred to an external specialist agency or the educational psychologist for further assessment.

Partnerships

We always consult and preferably meet with parents/carers before beginning any additional support intervention. Student Passports plans will be discussed and reviewed as appropriate and will include ways that pupils can be supported at home.

Parents are welcome to make contact with Learning Support staff at any time and depending on the pupil's needs may be in quite regular contact.

The SENCo, Mrs Sally Fletcher attends Parents' Evenings for all Year Groups.

SENDIASS working throughout Lancashire:

Tel:  0300 1236706  Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm

Email: information.lineteam@lancashire.gov.uk

SENDIASS can help you by:

  • Giving accurate and neutral information about SEN assessment policies and procedures.
  • Visiting parents at home to explain the SEN documentation.
  • Assisting you to complete the Parental Advice Forms.
  • Explaining the contents of Statements of Special Educational Needs.
  • Accompanying you on visits to schools so that you can make informed decisions about placement.
  • Liaising between you, school and the SEN Team to provide up to date information on recent developments.
  • Providing advice and assistance with admission/exclusion issues concerning your child.

Useful Links

Here are some useful links to external organisations: