The key aim of the Learning Support Department at Wilmar Lodge is to support pupils who are struggling with any aspect of their school career, in order that they may reach their true potential. Pupils may be referred to the department by their teachers or parents but there is also an ‘open door' policy so that any student may come for support should they feel they need it. Pupils can receive assistance in developing their organisational skills, study skills, reading skills, comprehension skills, spelling skills, revision skills, working memory and many other areas.
The Learning Support department has a flexible approach to teaching provision which allows for one to one lessons, small group teaching or even whole form groups or year groups. This means, potentially, additional support is available to all.
In Learning Support lessons a multi-sensory approach to learning is adopted and pupils are encouraged to develop strategies to address their weaknesses and utilise their strengths, thus giving them the confidence and ability to succeed and achieve their true potential.
The Learning Support Department provides a welcoming, relaxed and well resourced working environment. The Learning Support teacher has extensive experience of working with pupils with a variety of special educational needs, learning difficulties and disabilities. These include dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, autism, including Aspergers, and cerebral palsy, to name but a few. Our aim is to provide support which is relevant to each individual student identified as having a specific learning difficulty or disability.
The Learning Support teacher also has additional professional qualifications to assess and identify pupils with specific learning difficulties, thus enabling the school to apply for appropriate access arrangements for public examinations.
At Westholme we believe good communication between pupils, parents and staff to be vital to the success of the learning support provision. There is regular home / school liaison and parents are encouraged to raise any concerns they have at any point in their child's school career.
Each pupil identified as requiring long term learning support works with the Learning Support teacher to produce a Personal Profile / Individual Education Plan (IEP) which outlines their strengths and areas of difficulty, strategies to aid their learning and targets for progress. All teaching staff are kept informed of the needs of identified pupils and effective strategies for teaching and learning through these Personal Profiles, as well as through INSET and discussion.
The ethos of the department is to promote a sense of self-worth combined with high but realistic expectations, thus encouraging pupils to be proactive in their learning, to give of their best and achieve their potential.