Learning Support is given to a range of girls at Hanford, many of whom might not qualify for extra support at other schools. We provide a sensitive, integrated approach wherever we feel extra support would be beneficial, whether for a few weeks or throughout a girl’s time at Hanford. Learning Support lessons are not charged to parents.
In September each year, the whole school take standardised tests in English and Maths as well as Cognitive Ability Tests later in the year. The results from these are used alongside teacher feedback to measure attainment, progress and potential. Girls with individual needs have an Individual Education Plan written for them and a sequence of lessons follows.
Girls in the junior school might follow a detailed program of reading or spelling with two lessons each week with a Dyslexia teacher who will also set a small amount of follow up work.
Alternatively, a Learning Support teacher might work alongside a girl within their lesson to help them to organise their work, monitor understanding and provide instant feedback.
If a child is struggling in a particular area of learning we teach them to use their strengths to help themselves. If a girl was struggling to understand History notes and facts but has a strong visual memory, Learning Support lessons would be used to help them interpret their notes into visually memorable mind maps, pictures and timelines. Other girls might pre-learn scientific Key Words to give them the vocabulary needed to join in discussions in lessons.
Maths lessons are streamed from the middle school upwards. In each year group, the stream of girls who work at a steadier pace have a member of the Learning Support team in most of their lessons, providing individual attention for many.
The Learning Support timetable rotates each term so that if a mainstream lesson is missed for learning support it will not be for more than a few weeks. Many Learning Support lessons are fitted in before lessons or during the afternoon so that girls do not miss either their favourite lessons or a lesson that would be tricky to catch up on.
Children with specific learning difficulties (SpLD) may work with an Educational Psychologist to analyse their learning style. This provides feedback to parents, children, staff and senior schools about how to use a child’s learning strengths to develop their potential.
‘The Pop In Centre’ is run during Games every afternoon in the ICT room. Any girl with follow up work to do, prep to finish, project work or revision can come in before or after their Games session to a warm and friendly atmosphere, supervised by a member of the Department.
After lunch each day the children bring their own reading books to the Hall (juniors) or the Library (seniors) for rest. Juniors read aloud to their teacher or a member of the Learning Support team several times a week.