Elizabeth College is committed to the provision of support for pupils with additional learning needs. Pupils having such needs are defined as having “a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made.” The provision of additional support is intended to allow these students to enjoy access to the full richness of our curriculum, in order that they are empowered to achieve or exceed their academic potential.
The College applies the principles of the National Association of Special Educational Needs (NASEN), accepting that a child may have a learning difficulty as a result of one, or a combination, of conditions, which may be temporary or long term, mild or severe.
Students challenged by literacy-related difficulties, mainly because of dyslexia, form the largest group of students at Elizabeth College requiring additional support. Most students have at least one weekly session of literacy support on a one-to-one basis, following highly structured and individualised programmes of study, with the primary aim of boosting literacy skills to an age-appropriate level within a maximum of two years. The course is computer-based and highly intensive, with as many activities in a single session as time allows, although all students will move through the programme at their own individual pace.
Other students require support because of communication disorders such as Asperger’s Syndrome, attentional differences like ADHD or physical challenges such as dyspraxia. There also are a few students for whom English is an additional language (EAL). They generally cope very well, but may benefit from working with our Learning Enrichment teachers if they find themselves challenged by language-related difficulties. Curriculum Support for all these students is tailored to their needs, and may encompass teaching organisational skills or even social skills. We also offer study skills workshops, aimed at our older students who are working towards public examinations. Alongside learning techniques for maximising performance in examinations, students are encouraged to try out alternative study methods and memory strategies.
The early identification of any of these additional learning needs is important, and all staff members are trained to look for areas of concern which are then referred to the Learning Enrichment Department. Making provision for support to be given may then require a formal assessment to be arranged. The wishes of the students and their parents are fundamental to the support we offer and any provision is kept under review, with regular communication between teachers and parents.