“…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.
All members of the Department are experienced in dealing with students from Year 7 to Year 13 who present with Specific Learning Difficulties such as Dyslexia, communication interaction difficulties, high levels of anxiety and other mental health issues. The Department is an area frequently accessed by students needing a quiet and calm place away from the noisy school environment.
The Department is also supported by Michele Smith (SEND Student and Family Specialist) and Gemma Adania (Specialist Assessor for Specific Learning Difficulties). Michele Smith works with both parents and students and often produces a Student Passport, a document providing teachers with lots of information about the student and strategies to support them. The passport is reviewed termly and updated accordingly. Gemma Adania confirms Specific Learning Difficulties and is qualified to make recommendations for Exam Access Arrangements such as Extra Time. Gemma provides the school, student and parents with a Specialist Assessor Report detailing the outcomes of her assessment(s) and recommendations for support.
In addition to the main area of the Department, there is a ‘chill zone’ where students meet at break and lunch to eat and socialise. Some of these students are on reduced timetables to help manage the fatigue of a 5-period school day. Some also have Time Out Cards which allow them to leave the classroom. These are especially beneficial to students with high levels of anxiety and/or sensory processing difficulties.
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.