What Are We Aiming For?
To enable pupils to: become successful learners, effective contributors, responsible citizens and confident individuals.
To continue to work together with teachers, parents, carers and pupils along local and national guidelines.
We are fully committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve their potential within an inclusive environment.
There are two main classrooms in the department – PS1 and PS2. There are also two smaller rooms PS5 and PS7 which can be used when supporting individual pupils or small groups
We have recently developed The Store – a new inclusive provision for pupils who have additional social, emotional and/or behaviour needs.
We also have a new Sensory Room.
Our Sensory Room is a place where pupils with additional needs can explore and develop their senses and skills. It is designed to engage pupils who can learn through play. From following bright lights, shapes and patterns with their eyes to pressing buttons to make the sensory room change colour or even change colour to music.
The flexible functionality of the multisensory room means that pupils can also use it to calm and de-stress.
All children and young people have entitlement to an educational experience of the highest quality. We are committed to the effective inclusion of all pupils in the life of the school. The additional needs of any individual pupil can be described as whatever is necessary for that young person to gain access to a broad and balanced curriculum. For most pupils the source of support, most of the time, will be the classroom teacher.
The Role of Support for Learning
- Co-operative teaching
- Direct teaching
- Specialist services
- Staff development
Our aim is to support pupils in mainstream classes who experience some difficulty with their learning. To enhance their self-confidence and support them to develop strategies, which will give them greater success in the classroom and beyond.
We can do this by:
- Consulting with subject colleagues on individual learning needs and curricular approaches.
- Cooperative teaching within subject classes to support pupils and to ensure that the curriculum is accessible for all pupils.
- Working with staff to differentiate the curriculum
- Working with small groups of students to boost reading, spelling and to help develop confidence, skills and strategies to access the curriculum
- Assessment and investigation of students who are giving cause for concern.
- Provide CPD and in-service on relevant topics e.g. dyslexia, digital worksheets, IEPs etc.
- Working with parents and outside agencies e.g. psychologists, speech and language therapists
- Support with additional arrangements for SQA exams – to ensure that candidates who face barriers have appropriate arrangements in place to support their needs.
The Additional Needs teachers participate in the school’s P7 Transition process to ensure that the learning needs of pupils with additional needs are known and documented. Information gathered through this process is made available to subject teachers, along with appropriate support strategies.
The Store is our provision for students with social, emotional and/or behavioural differences and challenges. It is a quiet, flexible space, in the original janitor’s house on campus. The Store acts as a bridge between home and school with parents/carers regularly dropping in to chat with staff.
The Store works on a nurturing, restorative approach through a peer support group work model. We empower young people to take a lead in their learning, working together under the guidance of school staff and partner agencies, including Community Learning and Development and Tweeddale Youth Action.
We operate an early intervention strategy where P7 pupils are nominated towards the end of their final year in primary for Restore 1 group. This group focuses on smoothing the transition from primary to secondary.
Restore 2, 3 and 4 groups follow on from Restore 1 for S2, S3 and S4 students identified by pastoral staff.
Romance Academy is a group programme for S3 and S4 students. Areas covered include exploring healthy relationships, self-identity, sexual health, making informed choices, keeping safe.
The Store has a lunchtime club twice a few for students to socialise together.
The lego group meets regularly in The Store.
Students who access The Store get the chance to be trained up as mentors to younger students coming to The Store.
In session 2017-2018 we plan to pilot a new group work programme “Bounce Back”, a well-being and resilience programme.
In session 2016-2017 we secured funding from Education Scotland Innovation Fund to pilot a P7-S1 transition project, “Making The Leap”. S1 students from The Store and identified P7 pupils from all of our cluster primary schools came together and worked on a drama project on the theme of transition. Parents and carers also took part in the project. Interim evaluations have shown an increase in family engagement and greater confidence in both young people and their parents/carers during the transition from primary to secondary. Social and support networks for young people and parents/carers have been widened.
Learning Support in Wider School
Learning Support is co-ordinated from The Hub in the school’s Learning Resource Centre (LRC).
All AN teachers have a role in providing wider school support, such as:
- Co-operative teaching with class teachers
- Collaborating with class teachers on differentiation
- Assessing individual needs
- SQA assessment arrangements
- Tracking and monitoring requests for support
- Advising on digital supports
- Sign-posting strategies for students
- Staff training
Two new focus areas for session 2017-2018 will be the development of literacy/dyslexia toolkits and a monthly themed café drop-in for staff in The Hub eg Dyspraxia/ADHD/dyslexia café, where strategies and information can be shared with wider school staff.
The Store is open from 1.15-1.45 each day.
The Store is staffed on a rotational basis by a core group of 3 teachers and 3 ANAs, working closely with pastoral staff, mainstream class teachers, parents/carers and partner agencies.
The Store is an inclusive, positive environment. Each pupil is encouraged to develop a positive self-image and aspire to being successful. Strategies are restorative and solution focused. Pupils sign up to being in a group, with the clear aim of staying in mainstream, supported by the group. Each pupil has a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) with individual targets. PLPs, targets and membership of groups are reviewed regularly.
Celebration of Success
Each term there is a Celebration of Success which recognises personal achievement and progress, no matter how small. Pupils organise this event and invite important people in their lives along. Pupils will also be nominated for awards at the school’s annual prizegiving.
Nominations and Gatekeeping
S1 pupils are identified in June by Primary schools.
S2, S3 and S4 are nominated by Pastoral teachers. Nominees are discussed at SLG. The DHT line managing AN department will be the gatekeeper for nominations.
All Restore groups run at a maximum of 8 pupils. Groups are open in nature. If a space becomes available this will be taken to SLG. Romance Academy is a closed group, which runs more than once per year. All groups require parental/carer permission.
Only pupils in one of the Restore or Romance Academy groups can access the room at times outwith groupwork sessions.
Years S1-S4 each have a group, called “Restore”.
Restore 1 for S1 is based on a nurture group approach. The group meets period 1 everyday. This provides a regular point of contact for pupils to help them with the transition phase, which can often be a challenging time.
Pupils will get the opportunity to:
- build up trusting relationships with key staff members
- have a routined, structured start to the day
- eat breakfast
- practice social and communication skills
- get prepared for the day
- catch up with classwork/homework
- deal with any issues on a daily basis
- celebrate achievements and progress
Restore 2 for S2 and Restore 3 for S3 meet once a week to help pupils identify and understand why they are finding things difficult in school. Once they are aware of what the issues are, they then learn strategies for managing situations better and take responsibility for their behaviours.
Restore 4 for S4 meets once a week with the focus on transition and moving on from school. Pupils work on developing their work, social and life skills. Preparing for leaving school, links with college and the world of work play a major part in this group.
Romance Academy is offered to S2 and S3 pupils once a week to develop identity and relationships.
Whole School Support
Teachers and ANAs based in The Store work closely with mainstream teachers to support learning and teaching for pupils with SEBN. Class teachers are encouraged to come to The Store to share good practice, access advice and resources. Every Wednesday at morning interval there is a drop-in for all school staff to meet up to discuss experiences and strategies. There will be training opportunities for staff in SEBN related areas. The core group of staff in The Store will work to promote positive approaches across the school, including at policy level.