At Westlake, we recognise that our learners present with a very wide range of needs. Each learner is unique and we respect their individual personalities, their strengths and their barriers to learning. In responding to diversity, we are constantly open to learning about new conditions, alternative learning methods and strategies, and our progress and interventions are regularly discussed and reviewed.
A whole-school approach is adopted, and specialist staff, subject teachers and RTLB work collaboratively to optimise the teaching and learning process for students with learning barriers. In this way, students with particular needs are supported in their pursuit of individual excellence.
Within the Learning Centre, the curriculum is tailored to suit each student’s particular needs. These needs are determined by an assessment of the student’s strengths and barriers. This can be done through school screening or by a professional Educational Psychologist assessment; following this, an individual learning programme is devised.
Sometimes the learning needs of a pupil have been identified prior to entry to the school, and provision is put in place from the outset with regular monitoring and review. Parents need to make the school aware at the initial enquiry stage of any learning barriers and to provide copies of assessments that have been carried out.
Examples of support delivered:
Support is offered in a variety of ways. There is a dedicated team of specialist teachers who withdraw boys from class for individual or small-group sessions. Teacher aides also supply class support. There is a multi-disciplinary approach to teaching and learning, and the students benefit from the expertise of staff, who are aided by the provision of a wide variety of up-to-date resources.
Examples of support delivered to students:
- Specialist literacy sessions
- Specialist numeracy sessions
- Individual mentoring: meetings with students to set milestones, track progress and acknowledge achievements.
- In-class teacher aide support
- Study skills and exam technique sessions
- STEPS computer-based literacy sessions
- Curriculum-based support with close collaboration between learning specialists and teachers
- Device support groups to develop computer competency
- Lunchtime peer tutoring
Literacy and Numeracy support
The Learning Centre is able to help some students by withdrawing them from class. We can give them small group tutoring to keep them on track with their academic studies. We also target specific Year 9 students at the beginning of the school year and offer a programme to help develop their comprehension, skills and expression, as well as numeracy skills.
Readers/Writers/Computer Use/Extra Time
We provide Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) for students whose educational psychologist report recommends that they have special conditions such as computer use, reader and/or writer or extra time for all their internal and external tests and examinations. We also provide this support to students who, based on our screening here at Westlake and/or teacher referrals, will also benefit from trialling such conditions.
The Learning Centre also aims to support the self-esteem of pupils with learning barriers. Students are encouraged to take an active role in managing their learning and to set themselves high standards. Parents are involved in decision-making and are kept informed of recommendations, actions and interventions by email, telephone, consultations and meetings.
All tuition is provided FREE by Westlake senior students (year 11 upwards) who have chosen to tutor their best subjects and are enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and helping others succeed. Students register for peer tutoring by completing an Application Form from the Learning Centre once applications open in March. The tutors are then paired with a tutee who matches their subject and availability. The programme runs during lunchtimes from March until end of August. Applications are open throughout this period