ADDITIONAL LEARNING NEEDS
Teacher: Mrs. J. Morris ALNCo.
Every child has a unique combination of strengths and needs, and St Brigid’s School is committed to educating children with a range of abilities. All pupils at our school share the right to experience a broad and balanced curriculum that matches their needs, and to achieve their full potential. We aim to educationally, holistically and pastorally support all pupils in a way that meets their needs, builds confidence and promotes independence to give them skills to achieve beyond school. All ALN staff are trained and go above and beyond to give the very best experience to your child to make their time at St Brigid’s safe, secure and enjoyable. We are committed to working closely with all parents to enable this to happen.
Identification of ALN
In line with Welsh Government and the new Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales (2021) a learner has ALN if he or she or they have a learning difficulty or disability which calls for Additional Learning Provision (ALP). A child of compulsory school age or person over that age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:
(a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age, or
(b) has a disability for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 which prevents or hinders him or her or them from making use of facilities for education or training of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in mainstream maintained schools.
A child under compulsory school age has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she or they are likely to (or would be likely to if no ALP were made) have significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of their peers when they reach compulsory school age.
It is possible for a child or young person to have a learning difficulty or disability that does not call for ALP. In these instances, the child or young person would not be considered to have ALN. Further it is important to note that not all learning difficulties or disabilities that arise from a medical condition will call for additional learning provision.
Our School and ALN
ALN covers four broad areas: communication and interaction, cognition and learning, social, emotional and mental health, sensory and/or physical needs. The school has extensive experience of supporting all of these needs all the way from Lower School to Sixth Form.
The school works in close partnership with parents to develop an understanding of all their pupils. On-going assessments by staff will help identify where children have significant difficulties and need a higher level of support than usual.
As some of you may be aware, the current ALN Act has changed in 2021, and will be fully in effect from September 2023. Until then, school will continue to follow the SEN Code of Practice 2002, for those year groups that fall into the old system.
Elsa Intervention Programme
Our aim is that this short intervention will assist and support your child in their studies to achieve their potential. ELSA is an Emotional Literacy Support Programme. Examples of things that your child could work through, depending on their identified needs are; social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, solution focus and friendship.
Seasons for Growth
Support for loss, grief, attachment, family relationship dynamics, peer dynamics and changes within their world that make them feel lost or overwhelmed peer-group education programme. It aims to produce a sense of resilience, personal growth and acceptance of change in people’s lives.
We understand that when it comes to helping struggling readers, sparking their interest and keeping it is a big part of the battle. Accelerated Reader provides a fantastic collection of finely levelled fiction and non-fiction books, covering a variety of topics and themes that your children will love.
Click below for a parent's guide about Accelerated Reader
Careful planning is needed for pupils with ALN when they move between year groups, especially different phases of education. Pupil Profiles, a summary of pupil’s strengths and needs, are updated and passed on to the new class teachers, this allows them to have good prior knowledge of the pupils with ALN before they begin to plan for the new academic year.
Universal Support and Universal Targeted Interventions
Your child may find that they will have:
access to an LSA within certain classes with an emphasis being given on core subjects, and when possible on the wider curriculum,
small groups in core subjects when possible
differentiation in subjects to ensure access to the curriculum
offered targeted intervention programmes to support their wellbeing
Outside Agency Involvement
As part of the review process we may ask your permission to discuss your child at our next Denbighshire Team Around the Schools panel (TAS). This is to helps us to plan the most appropriate support for your child with the advice of the Additional Learning Needs team, Inclusion team and the Educational Psychology Service.
We may also make referrals to:
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), this could be for emotional support, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments.
Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT) for pupils that may show a delay in speech or have a speech impediment.
Occupational Therapy (OT) for pupils who may have problems with their gross or fine motor skills.
ASD Outreach, this may be for advice on staff at the school for pupils with ASD on ways to help to engage them in the classroom.
Denbighshire Schools Outreach Service (DSOS), this is to help pupils who may be struggling to engage in the school learning.
We Care About Our Pupils
St Brigid's ALN staff are not just there to support your child academically, but also to provide the understanding and empathy your child needs. Whilst at St Brigid's, the Learning Support Assistants (LSAs), become an important link for your child and their teacher, advocating for them when they feel the need arises. They offer an emotional support network, ensuring your child always has a point of contact that they feel comfortable going to if they find things difficult/overwhelming at school