ADDITIONAL SUPPORT NEEDS
What are Additional Support Needs?
Some children and young people need extra help in school to make progress. It is the duty of the education authority and the school to give some extra help in schools to all children and young people with additional support needs.
Children and young people may need this help with their reading or writing, to make sure they can get into and around the school or to support their learning through difficult family circumstances.
Additional support needs can last for only a short time or could last for much longer or be permanent. Permanent or long term additional support needs may include, for example:
Young people who experience barriers to learning such as dyslexia, autism etc.
Young people who experience long term health difficulties
Young people with a physical disability
Young people who are deaf or blind.
Short term barriers to learning can arise for any young person and may include the following examples:
A young person who has recently been bereaved and is experiencing emotional difficulties
A young person who has behavioural difficulties
A young person who is being bullied
A young person who is experiencing temporary health difficulties
A young person who is not attending school regularly
A young person who is looked after by Social Work.
What type of Additional Support Needs do children and young people at Kyle Academy experience?
Young people at Kyle Academy experience a wide range of additional support needs which currently include physical disabilities, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, and difficulties with sight and hearing. Several young people have long term health difficulties including diabetes, allergies and several have more serious problems. Some young people experience behavioural difficulties which arise from social and emotional problems, child protection and other issues. A proportion of our school population experience poverty and deprivation and some have mental health difficulties.
How does the school meet the needs of children or young people with Additional Support Needs?
1. Support from Class Teachers
All children and young people may need additional support at some point to help them make the most of school education. The main support is the class teacher who is able to meet the needs of most pupils without extra help. With good teaching and learning, and the right materials, most children and young people won’t need anything more than this.
2. Support by Staged Intervention
If a pupil needs more help than the class teacher can give in school, then a process of providing the right support begins. We call this staged intervention. Staged intervention is our way of recognising additional support needs and then giving extra help for a child or young person. This can be broken down into three main stages in school:
Stage 1 - In class support
At this stage the teacher notices children or young people who need more help than others in the class. For most pupils the help they need can be given by the class teacher without anyone else being involved. The teacher may change the way he / she teaches, change the materials the pupil is using, allocate different tasks or activities, or reorganise the classroom. Even after this, some children still need extra help and so the class teacher will make a referral to the child’s Guidance teacher, the Pupil Support Coordinator and the Principal Teacher of Pupil Support for help and advice.
Stage 2 - In school support
If the child or young person is still having problems and not making good progress, the teacher will get help from other people in the school, such as pupil support staff. At Stage 2, this help will come from the school.
The level and nature of the support offered will depend on the individual needs of that young person. For example if it is suspected that the child may have Dyslexia then testing will occur and a range of supports will be agreed with the parents / carers and young person including the provision of a reader or scribe for any internal or external assessments such as SQA examinations. If the child has recently experienced bereavement and is struggling to cope, Pupil Support specialists will take the child through a programme called ‘Seasons for Growth’ which is designed to support young people come to terms with bereavement.
Support is tailored to the needs of the individual child. When a child reaches Stage 2, the Year Head will convene a ‘School Assessment Team Meeting’ where the parent / carer, child / young person, Guidance teacher and Year Head will meet to identify the problems and plan supports. The meeting will be minuted and a copy of that record shared with parents / carers. The case will be kept under review until such times as the supports are no longer needed or additional supports are required.
Stage 3 - Interagency support
Sometimes the help at stage 2 is not enough and so the school will arrange a ‘Joint Support Team Meeting’ so that everyone who might be able to help the child to learn will be able to talk things over and agree a plan to support the child or young person. This might be social workers, health workers or voluntary workers who might be asked for information, advice or help. It is likely that the educational psychologist will also attend. Everyone attending the meeting will be asked to share information about the child or young person’s additional support needs. Then everyone will agree what they can do to support the child or young person.
They will all have to agree some targets and when to meet again to make sure the targets are being met. For some pupils this will be written down in an Individualised Educational Programme (IEP). For a small number this might mean a Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) has to be prepared. An IEP sets short and long term targets for the child or young person. A CSP also sets targets for the child or young person. However, in a CSP the child or young person needs the support of people outside education, such as health workers, in order to help them learn to their full potential.
These meetings will also be minuted a copy of the minute shared with parents / carers. The case will be kept under review and support plans revised if this is required.
How is the curriculum organised for pupils with Additional Support Needs?
1. Support for all Young People
The promotion of health and wellbeing is a key priority for Kyle Academy: The school achieved a Commended
Award as a ‘Health Promoting School’ in 2008. The school has also secured and held a Bronze ‘Healthy Working Lives’ Award for the last four sessions as a result of work to promote the health and well being of staff.
Learning about Health and Wellbeing ensures that children and young people develop the knowledge and understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes which they may need for emotional, social and physical wellbeing now and in the future. All subject departments now have a responsibility to deliver and assess ‘outcomes and experiences’ in Curriculum for Excellence in relation to the development of Health and Wellbeing which includes the ability to work well with others in a team. Aspects of Health and Wellbeing are also covered in Personal and Social Education (PSE) courses.
All first year pupils take part in the ‘Bounce Back’ programme which is delivered by Pupil Support specialists and is designed to develop the emotional resilience of our children. We are currently exploring ways of extending this provision to other year groups.
All learners in S1 to S4 also have a weekly lesson entitled ‘Support for Learners’. The aim of this course is to help develop a child or young person’s awareness of themselves as a learner and to support them to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and development. Further details are provided in the Parent Zone / Curriculum section of the web site.
All pupils receive one period of Personal and Social Education (PSE) per week. Throughout their secondary education, pupils will be introduced to a variety of topics designed to encourage self-awareness; to promote the development of responsible attitudes to health, safety, work and leisure in themselves and the community; and to help them understand and meet the difficulties in relationships and decision making in the complex society in which we live. In this context, and in subject departments and extra-curricular activities, young people will develop skills for learning, life and work.
For further details about the curriculum please see Parent Zone / Curriculum
2. Support for Pupils with Additional Support Needs
Young people with additional support needs can gain additional support through adjustments to their curriculum which better meet their needs.
For example, young people experiencing difficulties with literacy or numeracy can receive additional tutorial support from Pupil Support specialists, or can access ‘Read, Write and Gold’ software in classes which is a word processor/research tool that can read on screen text for pupils. We can deploy School Assistants to help children and young people in classes but priority must be given to supporting young people who have physical disabilities.
Pupils in third and fourth year can undertake courses to develop their social and personal skills which include the ASDAN bronze and silver awards, the Duke of Edinburgh Award and sport leadership and coaching awards.
In some circumstances, children and young people with additional support needs cannot sustain a full curriculum. In agreement with the young person and their parents / carers, the number of subjects can be reduced to provide additional study time in some subjects or for other more flexible curriculum arrangements. These may include support from Community Learning and Development (e.g. in delivering the Duke of Edinburgh Award), the Council’s Intensive Support Team, the Council’s Care and Learning Team, for example. Pupils can also undertake additional work experience placements, experience new leisure activities or undertake volunteering activities.