This week, I would like to highlight one of the interesting learning opportunities that our children had the opportunity to experience at the end of last term. Students from Year 5 had the chance to work as graphic designers to help create a new label for Tea Bird Tea. Using both Art and Design Technology skills, the children worked hard to create eye-catching images centered around the theme of birds. The children produced designs that were focused on both character and colour and, at the same time, ensuring each bird depicted a specific tea.
The finished designs were then entered into a competition to see if their image would feature on some forthcoming packaging. The children’s designs were of an extremely high quality and Alice Smith students were chosen amongst the winners. These are some of the winning designs that you may spot whilst out shopping. Well done to all involved.
In this week’s Primary Campus KLASS Times, we feature an article from our Learning Support Department (LSU) providing you with an insight to this department in school.
The Learning Support Department at the Primary Campus
The Learning Support Department at the Primary Campus boasts a small, but specialised and dedicated team who work with teachers, parents and students to help create a learning environment, where students can strive to be successful in their achievements and feel motivated and confident in their abilities.
We seek to provide a learning environment that is caring, challenging and stimulating, enabling students to feel confident and valued and understanding that their contributions are recognised regardless of ability, gender or culture. We aim to support each individual student’s learning to enable them to reach their maximum potential academically, physically, emotionally and socially.
Specific learning difficulties are recognised, assessed and catered for in a variety of ways. Such recognition and assessment often starts with the classroom teacher, as they are best placed to know and interact with the students in their class.
Each child with a recognised Special Educational Need (SEN) has an individualised education plan (IEP) that allows him or her to access all areas of our school curriculum. We seek to adopt a graduated response to student’s needs that encompass an array of strategies. This approach recognises that there is a continuum of special educational needs and, where necessary, provides increasing specialist expert support for them. We use a variety of teaching approaches, classroom support or small-group teaching and individual one-to-one sessions. New strategies and technology are a key part of our best practice in creating an inclusive and dynamic learning experience for each and every student.
The learning support team also works closely with a range of external specialist support professionals. In school we have a speech and language therapist who works with our students two days a week and a dyslexia specialist who supports and works with our students three days a week. A visiting Educational Psychologist regularly visits the school to assess specific students and give quality feedback to teachers and parents regarding the strengths and weaknesses identified through this standardised assessment procedure. The learning support team also work closely with outside agencies including occupational therapy, behavioural optometry, and clinical psychology.
We believe that our teachers are facilitators of learning for all children; be they students with special educational needs, more able qualities, English language novices or any other learning difference. As such, differentiation - meeting the students’ needs by modifying either the content of the lesson, the process of how it is taught or the expectation of the end product (or a combination of all three) - is present throughout the curriculum at all times. The level of differentiation, plus additional provision that we put in place to support each student, matches the nature of his/her needs at that point in time. In addition, whether a student is being supported by the Learning Support Department or external professionals, it is important that the classroom teacher is aware of the strategies that are in place so they can help integrate them into their planning and teaching to ensure that they can help all students access the curriculum and make progress.
We are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum ensuring the best possible outcomes for all of our students, whatever their needs or abilities. Our educational aims for students with special educational needs and/or disabilities are the same as those for all students in the school. Full inclusion is a high priority and we encourage all students to take an active role in their learning and all aspects of school life.
If you would like to find out more about the work of the Learning Support Department at the Primary Campus, contact Elaine Steinhart, Head of the Learning Support Department: email@example.com
Click here for this week's full issue - 5th May 2017