Learning Support is integral to our teaching. Our Head of Learning Support, Mrs Claire Pearson, is an experienced teacher and practitioner in this area, and leads a dedicated team who provide support for pupils in core subjects, enabling them to work with confidence, succeed and maximise their potential.
Our Head of Learning Support works across all classes to ensure that any pupils with potential learning difficulties are identified. Individual Education Plans are used for pupils whose progress either causes concern, or does not correlate with their identified potential. Meetings are held termly with parents and pupils, where targets are reviewed and set.
Additional Learning Support staff provide class-based provision in English and Maths, in addition to the regular teaching assistants. Further up the school, support in English and Mathematics continues in class on a regular timetabled basis by two part-time specialists who plan and deliver the curriculum in Form V and Form VI.
We are able to provide support to girls with dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia, attention deficit, and those needing assistance with processing and working memory. Individual lessons for specific learning needs are also available, at an extra charge
Our approach is always pupil centred. The specialist teachers in core subjects and other areas of the curriculum will find the right strategy and teaching method for each pupil, understanding how they learn best as individuals. Lessons can be one-to-one or in small groups and have a focus on creativity, collaboration and fun. Using a variety of interactive techniques and state of the art technology, girls learn through practical, multi-sensory activities that convey concepts in an innovative way.
We work with outside agencies such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, educational psychologists and paediatricians for guidance and advice to make sure we fully understand the unique aspects of each pupil’s development and can provide the relevant support for them. From Year 1, pupils can receive an external assessment where those needing support are identified and a personalised programme is drawn up. Before this, pupils can still receive support and are either put forward by parents or identified by teachers.
In addition to the support we provide for pupils specific educational needs, we also offer booster support in small groups for those who need a little more time to grasp tricky concepts. These pre-learning groups usually take place before school, and have proved invaluable in breaking down the fear that can hold some pupils back in core subjects. Taking part in pre-learning groups allow pupils to return to their form groups and tackle core subject lessons with a renewed sense of confidence and enjoyment.
St Hilda’s also has a significant proportion of pupils who are very able. To meet these girls’ individual needs, lesson planning includes specific differentiation and opportunity for further study.
Our learning support is so strong that all pupils with specific and Individual Education Plans gained places in their preferred senior school for 2019 entry.