Our team of seven dedicated Teaching Assistants, led by the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo) aim to support the inclusion and needs of our Special Educational Needs (SEN) pupils. A child or young person has SEN if they have a learning difficulty or disability which requires special educational provision to be made for him or her. SEN pupils require additional provision – that is additional to or different from that made generally for other children or young people of the same age.

We support pupils with a broad range of needs including:

    • communication and interaction
    • cognition and learning
    • social, emotional and mental health
    • sensory and/or physical needs

As a department we have a wide range of specialist knowledge covering Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, Hearing and Visual impairments in addition to supporting pupils with Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties.

Our support can be classroom based, in small nurture groups or in 1:1 settings, depending on the needs of the pupil.  We also co-ordinate external specialist support from Educational Psychologists, Learning Mentors, Speech and Language therapists, Autism support teams and teachers of the blind and deaf. All of our SEN pupils have a Learning Passport which outlines their individual areas of difficulty and suggest practical teaching strategies that will help ensure their inclusion and progress.

Learning support can help screen for difficulties following discussions with parents/carers and teaching staff.  We also formally assess reading, writing and spelling to grant formal examination support for pupils in exams, for example, by providing them with a reader, scribe or word processor.  This is usually undertaken at the end of year 9. We will help ease transitions (such as entry to TQEA in year 7 and post 16 provision) for SEN pupils by undertaking visits and enhanced communication from professionals.  Learning Support is open to all pupils from 8.15am until 3.45pm.


Recent data shows that pupils with SEN are continuing to make good progress. For example, a year 11 pupil with an EHCP for learning needs has made an average of 4.5 levels of progress during her time with us, and most of our year 11 students have made better than expected progress overall.  Most of our current Year 10 students are already working at their target number of GCSE grades and some of our Year 7 students are now at the top of the progress tables for the school overall. We carefully monitor the progress of all our pupils with SEN so that we can see where extra support is needed.

Members of the department

Learning Support is led by Mrs Ressel. She is ably supported by a team of seven qualified Teaching Assistants with a diverse range of qualifications and experience.  Pupils who require support for social, emotional or mental health difficulties are also supported by a qualified counsellor within the department.