“Not everyone has equal abilities, but everyone should have equal opportunity for education.”J.F. Kennedy
The Learning Support department plays a vital role at QCPS and we pride ourselves in the knowledge that we get to know the girls that we teach as individuals. We provide caring and expert support so that any pupil, irrespective of their individual needs, can reach their full potential, be challenged and extended where needed and improve their self-esteem, preparing them for life beyond QCPS. We recognise that all our girls put in great effort to overcome their difficulties or weaknesses; they need encouragement and support both at school and at home to do this. We are proud of the progress made by our girls and we take great pleasure in celebrating their strengths and achievements.
“Just because some people can do something with little or no training, it doesn’t mean that others can’t do it (and sometimes do it even better) with training.” Carol Dweck
In line with the current SEND Code of Practice, the Learning Support department works in partnership with subject staff, parents, and pupils to provide individualised learning plans that are closely related to the syllabus being followed by their class teacher in all subjects. We look for ways at creating fun and inspiring activities which provide them with the skills they can then transfer into their everyday class work. The girls are engaged in a variety of multi-sensory activities (including the use of ICT) that are a fun way to improve their literacy, maths and fine motor skills, dependent on the area of need.
Every child is different and will have different needs- some may need an intensive burst of support with no further intervention, others may need long-term, on-going support, perhaps involving other outside experts. However, at the heart of the Learning Support department is creating a motivational and inspirational environment that meets the educational needs of each child. Pupils can then achieve their learning potential and engage in activities suited to raising aspirations and expectations.
On entry to QCPS, pupils are screened and any concerns are highlighted at an early stage. Following this, annual assessments are undertaken and progress is closely monitored, so that any girl who is falling behind can be quickly identified and given appropriate additional support from the class teachers, Head of Learning Support and the Learning Support Assistant. This support may be given via 1:1 sessions, shared teaching or in small groups.
Initial assessments can take place in-house, but on other occasions we may refer parents to seek external advice from trusted professionals, such as Educational Psychologists, Paediatricians, Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. External reports are then summarised. Staff are supported by the Head of Learning Support to ensure individualised differentiation can be put into place within the classroom.
When planning a pupils’ individualised support plan, close and regular communication with parents is essential and this happens regularly through termly progress reviews and parent meetings. We also have informal meetings with the girls. Engaging the girls at this level of progress analysis allows them to understand how their needs change and, more importantly, how their hard work and commitment makes a positive impact on their education and progress.
Head of Learning Support