Abbotsholme School aims to provide a ‘whole person’ approach to education. The school believes we should give pupils a good start. Consequently there is a whole school approach to specific learning differences. Pupils are fully integrated into everyday life and lessons. Staff are aware of their needs and difficulties and make appropriate allowances. The specialist department provides help on a small group basis to any pupil who has special educational needs. The aim is to assist the pupil, whether dyslexic, dyscalculic, dyspraxic or with other specific learning differences to realise his/her full potential.
Within the department there is a strong focus on literacy as this underpins learning in all subjects. Teaching strategies encompass a highly structured, sequential, multi-sensory programme by trained specialists utilising a well-resourced area.
The specialised lessons are held in the normal school day with possible withdrawal from French and/or Spanish in KS3. Where possible the younger pupils are taught early in the day when they are most receptive. Specialised teaching in small groups allows for peer interaction, group dynamics and a small amount of competition. It also gives a group feeling and a sense of protection. Individual help is given in areas of especial difficulty, where the pupil needs to be more secure in themselves or where the help is more subject oriented.
On occasions, lessons that have been planned will be set aside in order to help with or to solve a crisis that is stopping a pupil from learning. We believe the department and its staff are a refuge in times of stress. A very important role of the department is increasing the self-confidence of the child.
The aim of the department is to develop the pupils’ skills in all areas of life, to teach the integration of skills and foster the ability to learn independently so each pupil achieves to their potential.
The aim of the structured programmes is to teach:
- The skills of literacy: language, memory and handwriting.
- The basic skills of mathematics
- The skills of organisation: personal and work, and so create strategies for independent learning and in doing so, raise self-image and belief in themselves.
By doing this we aim to encourage the pupil to think carefully and employ the above skills in all areas of life.
The ultimate objective of the department is to assist the pupils to reach their full potential. In order to succeed, each pupil needs a highly structured, multi-sensory programme specifically geared to their individual needs.
The small group teaching builds confidence by allowing the pupil to experience success as they move through the programme. It is pupil directed work and the aim is for them to learn that success comes from their own efforts and practice. Learning should be an active process. As pupils progress through the school, greater emphasis is placed on organisational skills and examination techniques.