ll pupils at St Edward’s will develop their learning throughout their time at the School. We firmly believe that we should be aspirational for all pupils. It is true that a small number of pupils who are given a place here may have a history of specific learning challenges that have meant they have received input from professionals in addition to that of their classroom teachers. This may or may not mean that they have been given a diagnosis of a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) and this in turn may or may not mean they have a Special Educational Need (SEND). At St Edward’s our policy and practice is very much in line with the 2014 SEND Code of Practice: our aim is to enable both teachers and pupils to succeed within their classrooms.
An important feature of our practice is that we encourage inclusive classrooms where it is the role and responsibility of the classroom teacher to promote accessibility for all. In addition, all pupils are encouraged and expected to develop their own learning skills and to embrace our culture of building resilience and facing challenges. Our aim is to avoid ‘learned helplessness’ that can be quite deeply embedded by the time a pupil is 13. Our experience is very much that the successful pupils are those who are good self-regulators and know the right questions to ask. To this end we do not have reduced timetables; nor do we segregate pupils by withdrawing them for one-to-one lessons.
The role of the Learning Development staff is very much as an advisory body in order to enable both teachers and pupils to be confident in their teaching and learning and to fully understand any learning challenges that may occur.
Information gathering and sharing may well involve:
- Classroom observations and feedback
- Coaching sessions with an individual pupil and/or their tutor
- Sharing good practice
- Maintaining a database of information for staff
In addition the Head of Learning Development acts as the SENCo for the school and oversees all access arrangements for public examinations as well as a screening programme on entry to the School.
At St Edward’s we feel the following are key points for us all:
- We see the child, not their difficulties
- We have high aspirations for all pupils
- Good teachers of pupils with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities) are good teachers
|Debra Clayphan||MSc, University of Southampton; BA, Lancaster University (Head of Department)|
|Joanna Sephton||BA, Wadham College, Oxford|