Learning Resource Centre
In September 2012 we opened a Learning Resource Centre for use by pupils, staff and other colleagues. Working from the LRC are a group of support staff who run a variety of interventions aimed at providing additional and targeted support for pupils.
Learning Mentor/Specialist Support Staff
Learning mentors were introduced in September 2012 to enhance the quality of support offered to disaffected, underachieving, vulnerable pupils or those not achieving their potential. They provide care and guidance in overcoming social, emotional and behavioural problems which act as barriers to learning. Learning mentors work with pupils and students who need help to overcome difficulties that are getting in the way of their learning. They work in our classrooms or in specially designated areas in our Learning Resource Centre with small groups or 1:1 with individual pupils of all abilities supporting them with issues such as:
- Maths and Literacy support
- lack of self-confidence, self-esteem or motivation
- failure to achieve their full potential
- behavioural or emotional difficulties
- troubles with relationships, bullying, social skills
- personal crises such as bereavement or problems at home
- difficulty settling into school
- any additional support as identified
- Poor attendance
- Social Communication Skills Programme
Specialist Communication Support staff have been introduced supporting pupils to access:
- Our Social Communication Skills Programme aimed to provide a structured approach to support our pupils to:
- use language skills in a social context.
- interact socially with peers.
- be more aware of themselves and others.
- develop their use of language skills in everyday life situations.
- Individualised sessions on TAC PAC ( a programme that combines the sense of touch and music through social interaction) and AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication – various methods of communication that support those pupils experiencing difficulties with speech and language)
- Inidividualised SALT programmes prepared and overseen by our in house Speech and Language Therapist
- Brick by Brick Programme
We should consider whether children with Motor Co-Ordination difficulties are seeing, hearing and experiencing the same things we are. How do they perceive their classroom? Do they see it as busy with interesting and fun things to do or are they overwhelmed by choice? Are they able to use all the opportunities we provide for practical learning through a multi-sensory approach?
Children who struggle with seemingly simple tasks and find the acquisition of basic skills very hard may be unable to process the information they receive through their senses correctly. This specific, but often hidden, perceptual skills difficulty makes accessing the curriculum extremely challenging for them.
Our SEN Manager is trained in occupational therapy approaches in the classroom and under the guidance of occupational therapists delivers a programme of activities to provide an opportunity for pupils to practice skills they find difficult in a non-threatening and “fun” environment including programmes on improving fine motor, gross motor and visual perceptual skills
Drawing and Talking Therapy
Drawing and talking is a safe, easy to learn method of working with children to help with underlying emotional difficulties that may be affecting their learning and behaviour. The core of the method is encouraging the children to draw with a person they feel comfortable with regularly at the same time each week, and this person asking some non-intrusive questions about the child’s drawings. Over time, a symbolic resolution is found to old conflicts, old trauma is healed and the child becomes more able to control their behaviour and better able to access the curriculum.
Emotional Literacy Support Assistants
Emotional Literacy Support Assistants (ELSA) are part of a long term partnership with schools and services supporting and promoting the emotional well-being of children and young people in Dorset. ELSA’s are teaching assistants who are trained and supervised by educational psychologists.They are able to:
Plan and deliver individualised programmes of support for children to develop their emotional literacy, including:
- Awareness of own and other people’s emotions.
- Development of an increased range of emotional vocabulary
- Management of stress, grief, anger and conflict.
- Development of social interaction skills.
- Development of the ability to initiate and maintain friendships.
- Promotion of a realistic self-concept and good self esteem
- Plan and deliver a programme of support to small groups of children to develop social and friendship skills.
Rebound Therapists who via the use of a trampoline provide a specialised programme to improve pupils’ image body image, body awarenesss and positional sense.
If you would like to find out more about any of these interventions, please contact Dawn Green, SEN Manager, at the school.