The Learning Support Department at Heath Mount exists to help ensure that every pupil in the school is enabled to learn without barriers. We aim to afford equal access to a broad and balanced curriculum for all children and to create maximum opportunities for every child to reach his or her full potential through the least intrusive, most effective support.
The needs of the majority of pupils at Heath Mount are met through quality first teaching in the classroom, which responds to children’s diverse learning needs and encourages high aspirations. Within the classroom, teachers make the relevant provision to support individuals or groups of children to enable all pupils to participate effectively in curriculum and assessment activities.
Children are screened in the early years to help identify any speech and language difficulties and later, any key literacy deficits. Alongside this, teachers regularly monitor progress and attainment of all pupils and in cases where children do not make the expected progress, the learning support department works with colleagues to tailor additional support to best meet the needs of individuals within the classroom environment.
Small group interventions are in place in the early years to provide additional support and facilitate the development of key skills. These carefully structured sessions take place several times a week and are highly effective in helping children bridge any attainment gap.
In the middle and upper school, groups of children requiring support have a modified curriculum in which ‘Core Skills’ lessons reinforce key concepts for Maths, English, Science and Humanities.
Within the Learning Support Department we have three specialist teachers, who are qualified to assess and support children with Specific Learning Difficulties and complex needs.
Where necessary, our specialist teachers undertake full diagnostic assessments of individuals then devise and implement one to one programmes of support to best facilitate the learning of those individuals. The Learning Support Department also works in close conjunction with outside agencies and is able to draw on the expertise of other professionals where appropriate.
The Learning Support Department has ‘an open door’ policy and staff are always happy to discuss concerns and offer advice or support. We aim to foster regular, open communication with pupils, parents and with outside professionals. The views, wishes, aspirations and feelings of pupils and their parents are central in all that we do and we recognise that the knowledge and experience of parents and pupils are vital in helping us to tailor the best possible provision. Decisions are made in partnership.
Our most important role is to foster a high level of self-esteem in our pupils. We aim to ensure that children know that their strengths are recognised, drawn upon and celebrated. We strive to help develop resilient children who are confident, optimistic, aspirational and well equipped to achieve the best possible outcomes in their future.