Learning Support

What sort of things do we offer at Dean Close School?

Literacy Support: a structured spelling programme

Numeracy Support: help with Maths

Curriculum Support: help with written work and learning tasks in any subject

Study Skills: organisation, time management, effective learning, essay planning, note taking, revision skills, examination technique

Software Solutions: speech feedback and mind mapping programs

Trouble Shooting: investigate the problem and provide a solution


LITERACY SUPPORT

This is available for pupils whose literacy levels on entry are insufficient for the demands of the GCSE curriculum. Literacy levels are very important on entry to secondary education. Pupils need to be able to read and write accurately (and at speed) in order to access the full curriculum. Even GCSE subjects you might think of as practical, such as PE or DT, have a significant written content that forms part of the examination. So, if a pupil joins with a literacy deficit, we aim to address that in the first year of entry when they have their best window of opportunity to improve as far and as fast as they can. The literacy programme incorporates spelling, speed reading, all aspects of basic sentence structure, grammar and punctuation. It is delivered entirely through ICT. Pupils are tested before they start the course and again at the end of the first year. Their progress is reviewed at this stage and a decision is made regarding the level of support they require in the following year. There are no quick fixes in literacy and the programme is highly structured and sequential. Everyone starts on two sessions a week and most do sufficiently well to be cut back to one session after the first year. Completion of the course nearly always ensures a good enough level of literacy for GCSE purposes.

Pupils can expect the following outcomes from the programme

  • improved spelling
  • improved reading through building up reading rate without loss of accuracy
  • greater accuracy in all written work
  • automatic use of basic punctuation
  • faster word processing
  • good IT skills
  • knowledge of keyboard shortcuts
  • better confidence and self-esteem

NUMERACY SUPPORT

Numeracy Support is a one-to-one service where weak mathematicians have the benefit of individual help from a Maths specialist. Although the administration of Numeracy Support is undertaken by the Learning Support department, the Head of Maths advises on mathematical aspects of the role. Pupils are referred for Numeracy Support if they achieve a grade ‘D’ or below in the Common Entrance exam.

  • The essence of effective Numeracy Support is based on
  • An empathetic relationship with the pupil
  • Constructive support that encourages the pupil to move forward
  • Provision of ‘working alongside you’ models, as opposed to ‘doing it for you’
  • Improvement in confidence and self esteem

CURRICULUM SUPPORT

Curriculum Support is a one-to-one service where ‘weak all round’ pupils have the benefit of individual help in any curriculum area. There is a set schedule for support, but considerable flexibility too. Pupils attending Curriculum Support are able to bring along any task where they want help. Many pupils adopt this pattern quickly, but less well-organised pupils require the tutor to always have ready appropriate tasks to work on.

The essence of effective Curriculum Support is based on

  • An empathetic relationship with the pupil
  • Constructive support that encourages the pupil to move forward
  • Provision of ‘working alongside you’ models, as opposed to ‘doing it for you’
  • Work on effective study skills through real school tasks
  • Improvement in confidence and self esteem