The Buchan aims to give pupils every opportunity to reach their full potential and resources are targeted to those who have specific difficulties. The Head of Learning Support works in liaison with all of the teachers to identify children with specific difficulties, which may need short or longer term intervention.
The School places great importance on knowing the profile of individual learners in order to teach to the strengths of the individual child, whilst working to improve and support areas of weakness. Specialist assessment, undertaken by the Head of Learning Support, informs teaching and learning across the School. Targets are set within an Individual Learning Plan (ILP), in consultation with subject teachers. The targets are either addressed within class lessons or through withdrawal in small groups. In addition, the ILPs disseminate appropriate information and strategies to subject teachers to enable effective teaching. Good communication is essential for a cohesive approach to special educational needs and this is promoted at the Buchan. Involvement of pupils and parents is essential throughout and is at the heart of any decision making process.
Class and subject teachers are experienced in differentiating content and style of delivery to make topics accessible to every pupil, while maintaining high expectations. Even when pupils have challenges with their learning, the focus is on higher order thinking skills. Within the Learning Support lessons, some pre-teaching and reinforcement of topics can take place, across the curriculum, as necessary. Pupils with specific learning difficulties benefit from structured and incremental knowledge and skills based teaching. 'Overlearning' through games, puzzles and computer software provides an enjoyable experience. Reinforcing underlying auditory and visual skills is essential to improve attainment and is an important thread running through all learning support sessions
The Head of Learning Support has extensive expertise and experience, and the School is fully and appropriately resourced. Provision for the development of speech and language, social skills, fine and gross motor skills and assistive technology are all available within the School.
The transition to King William's College is carefully managed through a close liaison between the Heads of Learning Support at each site.