As a proudly non selective school, the Learning Support Department is an integral part of S. Anselm’s. Every child has different skills and abilities and what works for one child may not work for another. Our teaching is based around caring for and developing each individual child.
For all pupils, this means excellent teaching in small classes with dedicated, expert teachers. For some pupils, it means extra support from their teachers and teaching assistants in the classroom whilst others benefit from one to one and/or small group lessons within our specialist learning support department.
School-wide, our teaching staff adopt multi-sensory teaching methods wherever possible, and the project-based curriculum learning in the Junior Forms lends itself ideally to this.
In the main, children attend learning support sessions during non-academic lessons or during break times in a dedicated space.
The main objectives of specialist learning support are:
- To improve each pupil’s confidence and feeling of self-worth
- To improve literacy and/or numeracy skills
- To encourage pupils (particularly the older pupils) to take an active role in their learning and to encourage them to discover their personal learning style
- To improve revision and study skills, particularly as pupils approach examinations.
Excellent liaison between our specialist support team and teaching staff ensures we can respond quickly if a child would benefit from intervention and that every child has the opportunity to thrive. S. Anselm’s full weekly staff meetings ensure that all staff are aware of the needs of every child in the school – each child with an identified need is discussed each week – so that our staff can respond appropriately and provide proactive support at all times.
Individual Educational Plans (IEP’s) are created for each child who receives learning support and these are renewed at least twice a year. The plans are shared with the Headmaster and all teaching staff as well as the pupil themselves and their parents.
We believe strongly in a three-way process of child, parent and teacher collaboration. Parents are encouraged to contact the Learning Support Department if they feel their support might be needed.
S. Anselm’s is fortunate to have three dedicated specialist qualified teachers within our Learning Support Department, supported by a wider team of qualified specialists within our main school teaching staff and our Headmaster and Director of Studies who both have specialist qualifications in learning support and take a keen interest in our work.
The Department is led by Mrs Sara Hotston (BA Hons, PGCE, MA SpLD AMBDA, National SENCO Award), who has many years’ experience as a specialist learning support teacher. As well as providing individual small group teaching, her role is to co-ordinate and develop the learning support provision across the school.
Miss Katie Blood (BSc Hons, PGCE, PG Cert NASENCO Learning Support) is a specialist teacher of specific learning difficulties and works very closely with the head of department.
Mrs Mary Hampton (BSc Hons, PG Dip Learning Support), is a specialist speech, language and communication therapist.