“…Student Support became a safe haven where he could be himself and take time out. He could speak with you and laugh or rant. He felt you understood him and he holds you in such high regard. This care was exceptional … and the school needs people like you who will fight the corner of those who appear to outwardly have no difficulties in school, but struggle every day even to turn up.”
The Student Support Department is located opposite the 6th Form Study Centre and is staffed daily between 08.00-17.00. The Department supports all students presenting with SEND and this includes those on an EHC Plan, those formally diagnosed with no plan as well as those who present with traits of ASD, ADHD, etc but do not have a formal diagnosis.
The Department is led by Mrs Richards (SENDCo), supported by Dr Catherine Garot (Student Support Officer), Mrs Helen Keeping (Student Support Assistant) Michele Smith (SEND Student and Family Support Specialist), Rebecca Hogan (Full-time School Counsellor) and Gemma Adania (Specialist Assessor for Specific Learning Difficulties).
Michele Smith specialises in Autism and ADHD. She works with parents and students and is responsible for producing our Student Passports, a document providing teachers with lots of information about the student and strategies to support them. The passport is reviewed termly and updated accordingly. Michele works closely with all Heads of Year and is the teacher’s go to for how to support individual students presenting with SEND. Michele’s work also includes supporting students with social communication skills (Years 7-13) and SEND support for university (parents and students).
Rebecca Dines is an experienced full-time counsellor who works 1-1 with students across all year groups. These are students who require a higher level of support than that offered by the Form Tutor, Head of Year or Student Support.
Gemma Adania provides the school, student and parents with a Specialist Assessor Report detailing the outcomes of her assessment(s) and recommendations for support. Gemma Adania confirms Specific Learning Difficulties and is qualified to make recommendations for Exam Access Arrangements such as Extra Time.
Student Support is an area frequently accessed by students needing a quiet and calm place away from the noisy school environment. This is often a crucial decompression time for some students. In addition to the main area of the Department, there is a ‘chill room’ where students meet at break and lunch to eat and socialise. Some of these students are on reduced timetables to help manage the fatigue they experience from the sensory overload of school and a five-period school day. Some have Time Out Cards which allow them to leave the classroom when they are experiencing high levels of anxiety and/or sensory overload.
We want to achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes for our students with SEND. We want them to become confident individuals making a successful transition into adulthood living.