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Special Needs

Our SENCo. is Mrs M Clancy and she can be contacted at the school on 020 8907 8828

 READING

Reading is a pupil’s passport to learning and therefore one of the most important roles of the SEN department is to ensure that all students can read to the best of their ability. At the beginning of year 7, every pupil’s reading age is assessed. If their reading age is below 10, but above 9, they join the Reading Recovery programme. Three times a week during form time, students in a small group read with a member of staff and their reading is then assessed again in March. Generally 85% of students improve their reading age and those who do not undergo a full assessment.

If a pupil’s reading age is below 9, they follow a phonic programme called Units of Sound. Twice a week students take part in this programme. Generally, 60% of students improve their reading age and those who do not undergo a full assessment

At the beginning of year 7, every pupil is assessed for dyslexia using an online diagnostic tool called Lucid Lass. If a pupil’s profile raises concern, they undergo a full assessment with the school’s dyslexic trained teacher.

If any or all of the above do not resolve a pupil’s difficulties, they are referred to the Brent Consultant who carries out a full assessment and then reports back to parents/carers.

 MATHEMATICS

Any pupil who scores in the bottom 10% in the quantitative area of CAT’s 4 tests or has not achieved a level 4 in maths at Key Stage 2 is tested for dyscalculia, again using Dynamo Maths. The mathematics LSA works closely with the Head of Mathematics to monitor the pupil’s progress and to clarify in which particular area of maths the student is struggling.

The above pupils are invited to attend Maths Club, which is held three mornings a week during form time. The aim of Maths Club is for the maths LSA to better understand the nature of individual pupil’s difficulties, which enables the LSA to support the pupil more effectively in the classroom. The LSA works closely with the mathematics teacher who teaches these pupils.

If any or all of the above do not resolve a pupil’s difficulties, they are referred to the Brent Consultant  who  carries out a full assessment and then reports back to parents/carers.

 HOMEWORK CLUB

The transition from primary school to secondary school is a major event for all pupils and one area that some pupils find difficult is homework. The amount of homework given to pupils is carefully planned and overseen by Mrs Moran, Assistant Headteacher. Nevertheless, for students who find it difficult to work independently, it can be a cause of worry.

Homework Club is held for one hour after school every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Pupils are invited by letter to attend and if a pupil does not attend homework club by 4.00 p.m., parents/carers are informed.

The purpose of homework club is to support pupils who would find it difficult to complete homework independently. The English, mathematics, science, RE, history, geography and specialist LSA’s oversee homework club. The LSA’s are aware of the homework that needs to be completed as they support these pupils in the classroom. This removes anxiety as the pupil leaves school confident that at least some homework has been completed and they have received individual support to help them complete the remainder.

LEARNING SUPPORT ASSISTANTS  

The work of the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) is very important as they support pupils in the classroom.

The LSA is responsible for differentiating work for SEN pupils. In order to do this the LSA meets with the subject teacher and discusses the best way to break down barriers to learning.  The LSA is responsible for the following:

  • Producing differentiated work sheets.
  • Enabling the pupil to record their work using a laptop.
  • The LSA then produces differentiated work sheets for designated students. These work sheets are given to the pupil in a discreet way.
  • The LSA sets individual targets for each SEN pupil. At the end of each lesson, the LSA records whether or not the targets have been met.
  • Another important role is to reinforce the teacher’s instructions and content of the lesson.

The relationship between the LSA and pupil is very different to relationship between teacher and pupil. One of the most important roles of an LSA is to help SEN pupils become successful learners. They are able to do this because they help SEN pupils in all areas of school life.

‘When I have an LSA in lessons and I am stuck, they are always there to help me.’ Year 8 student.

‘Sometimes when the teacher is telling us what to do, I do not understand, that is why I like having an LSA in the classroom because they break it down for me, so it easier to understand.’ Year 8 student.

 Social Thinking

The social thinking course is designed to allow students to explore their behaviour in different situations and allow them to understand what is expected of them. This gives them a chance to interact with other students they may not usually spend time with.

Students who participate in this course will learn and improve the following skills;

  • Attention
  • Behaviour
  • Social
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Independent work
  • Expression
  • Emotional
  • Vocabulary

Social Thinking is designed for students who have;

  • Low empathy skills
  • Mild behaviour management and understanding
  • Autism / ADHD
  • Poor social skills
  • Poor understanding of social cues and signals
  • Difficulty working in groups
  • Low attention
  • Teacher's referral

 units of sound

During the last academic year, St Gregory’s was fortunate to be part of a research programme funded by the Hackney Learning Trust called the Literacy Programme. This consisted of two strands; teaching English through reciprocal learning and improving reading through a programme called Units of Sound.

Units of Sound is a phonics programme aimed at pupils with a reading age below 8 years. It focuses on reading, spelling, memory and dictation in order to improve the skills of the pupil. The pupil is assessed prior to starting the programme and this process ensures that the pupil follows an individual programme which matches their need. In the last academic year 80% of pupils improved their reading skills using this programme.

Alternative curriculum 

In years 7, 8 and 9, SEN pupils who are finding it difficult to cope in lessons or who have been identified as having a National Curriculum level below average are disapplied from French. Generally this is a small group of between four to six pupils. The focus of these sessions is learning through talking and learning to learn from each other. The pupils focus on improving their reading, grammar, spelling and extending their written work.