Sunday Times Prep School of the Year 2013-14



All our pupils are monitored from the day they start with us - this is done both formally and informally; an initial concern raised by the class or specialist teacher, or by tracking our assessment results. The class teacher will then liaise with the Learning Support co-ordinator, the senior leadership team in school and parents, if it has become apparent that a child is not making the expected progress. Parents are also encouraged to approach the class teacher, in the first instance, or Ms Salomé Humanes, Learning Support co-ordinator if they wish to discuss matters relating to their child’s learning or progress.

As early identification is key, parents are requested to disclose the nature of any specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) at the time of an admissions application to the school; this would include any known family history of, for example, dyslexia. Please let us know about any disruptions, trauma, bereavement or illness within the family, or extended family, as these can have an impact on your daughter’s learning, albeit temporarily.

Pupils with identified learning needs are documented on the SEND register. All staff refer to the SEND register, ensuring collaborative working relationships and consistency in care and approach. Our Heads of Pre-Prep and Juniors provide extended pastoral care assisted by Sister Ursula, the class teacher and the Learning Support co-ordinator so that the needs of the individual child are met. The emotional needs of all our girls are also supported by our Emotional Well Being Coach, Ms Freya Witzke.

We can support pupils with a mild to moderate range of SpLDs such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, mild speech and language and semantic pragmatic language disorders, low level attention deficit (hyperactive) disorder, as well as those in need of social skills development.

A pupil with 'ongoing' support will receive a variety of intervention including differentiated work, or by receiving practical help such as use of checklists, sand timers and pencil grips. She may be placed on a specialised reading programme, asked to attend an early bird, weekly spelling session, or may be taught individually or in small groups. We encourage parents and carers to be actively involved in supporting their child’s learning needs at home to mirror practice in school.

In addition, our Learning Support co-ordinator will supply individual lessons tailored to specific needs, once or twice a week. These sessions will be generally timetabled during the school day and can be arranged through the Learning Support co-ordinator. The cost of this additional peripatetic tuition is agreed and borne by the parents.

If necessary, some children will have an agreed set of targets, known as an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which are reviewed twice a year with parents, class teacher and the Learning Support co-ordinator. This IEP is made available to all relevant teaching staff.

Some pupils on the SEND register may not need regular support, but may be included in discrete interventions when required. Their progress, like that of all girls, is regularly monitored. Learning Profiles (LPs) may be created for those pupils with additional needs. These are written in conjunction with the child, parents and teachers. These enable all staff to have a clear understanding of the needs of the child and what adjustments have to be in place for that child; for example, sitting near the board, or using an increased font size in written resources for learning.

The Learning Support co-ordinator has strong collaborative links with external SEND professionals, such as educational psychologists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists; recommendations for external help may be sought, or made at any time.

At Holy Cross we aim to provide every child with a holistic education in a happy, nurturing and caring environment; we want your daughter to grow in confidence by realising her own unique strengths in learning and understanding. We will help her identify useful strategies which she can transfer to her own learning in the classroom and beyond, and so can flourish as an individual.

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