Learning Support Department

Learning Support Department

The Learning Support Department has four major areas:

1. The Special Educational Needs and/or Disability (SEND) element. This involves the use of Teaching Assistants and specialist SEND teachers, both within mainstream lessons and in small group and 1:1 extraction lessons. The employment of external agencies to both assess and deliver bespoke programmes is also co-ordinated by the SENDCo and Deputy SENDCo. The full details of how SEND students are supported can be found in the SEND Information Report on this web page or on the Sutton Local Authority SEND website.

2. The English as an Additional Language (EAL) element. The school has students with over sixty different home languages and employs a specialist teacher who assesses students and then plans and executes programmes to assist them in acquiring English as a language.

3. Access Arrangements, also referred to as Exam Concessions, are coordinated through the Learning Support Department.

4. The Hearing Support element is explained in greater detail below.

Hearing Support – part of the Learning Support Department

The school has a dedicated Hearing Support Opportunity Base which forms part of the wider Learning Support Department. It was created in 1997 and still retains the same purpose which is to ensure that deaf and hearing impaired students have a successful mainstream education where they achieve their full potential.

To help students with a hearing impairment the school employs a specialist Teacher of the Deaf and Teaching Assistants. The primary roles of the Hearing Support staff are to help these students make the maximum use of their hearing aids / radio aids and, where required, use British Sign Language to assist the students in accessing mainstream lessons. There are some extractions from lessons, usually from Music, to allow the Teacher of the Deaf to consolidate learning and to explore the wider culture of the deaf community, these extractions are kept to an absolute minimum.

Where there is a requirement or a desire the school uses external agencies to teach students British Sign Language and appropriate examinations are also bought in. This can take place at any stage of the school but with a preference for Key Stage Three (Years 7 – 9) to allow the students to concentrate on their mainstream examinations in Years 10 and 11.

Teachers are all deaf aware and we are extraordinarily proud of some of our deaf students who, in the 2018/19 academic year, created and delivered both a deaf awareness session for all students in Year 7 and ran their own Sign Language club. It is intended to repeat this so that the entire student body becomes deaf aware.