Shrewsbury is a selective school, and our careful admissions process is designed to ensure that both families and the school understands the particular needs of the children in our care, and that every student who joins our community will thrive here. To support this, the school has a range of provisions in place to students’ learning and wellbeing.
The school employs four full-time learning mentors, who work in both the Junior and Senior sections of the school.
The role of the Learning Mentor is to support children in overcoming barriers to learning and to help these students reach their full potential. These barriers may be caused by social, emotional or behavioural issues and the Learning Mentor will, based on their deep understanding of the student and the pressures they face both within school and beyond, work with them to help establish a positive and productive approach to their school life.
Alongside teachers and tutors, Learning Mentors also provide an important connection for families with the school, helping to advise Parents on how to help their children achieve a happy and healthy work-life balance.
In addition to the support provided by teachers, tutors and Learning Mentors, the School employs a dedicated team of learning support professionals, trained to identify, assess and support students with special educational needs (SEN).The aim of the learning support team is to ensure all children with special educational needs are able to fully access the curriculum. In addition, it provides support for children who need short term interventions to support academic progression.
The School works in accordance with the 2015 SEN Code of Practice to adopt a graduated response to a student’s individual needs. This approach recognises that SEN are varied in nature and complexity, and, where necessary, we bring an increasing range of strategies and specialist expertise into effect in order to support and address the difficulties that a student may be experiencing.
Even before a student arrives at Shrewsbury, our assessment and admissions procedures seek to identify any special learning support that a student may need once they are at the school. A process of continual monitoring and assessment of our current students also seeks to identify any emerging issues that were not apparent at the assessment stage, and to devise action plans and additional support measures as appropriate.
Our School employs a team of three full time Learning Support specialists, led by the Director of Learning Support. Should another member of staff express any concern about a child that may indicate the requirement for specialist assessment and support, the matter will be referred directly to the SEN team.
The team provide support (and oversee support provided by others) to students with a variety of needs, including those students with:
- Social, emotional and mental health difficulties
- Physical difficulties including visual, hearing, gross and fine motor delay
- Cognitive learning difficulties (such as Dyslexia and ADHD)
- Communication and interaction difficulties
- Expressive and receptive language and social communication disorders, including ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder)
Our specific provision for children with special educational needs is as follows:
- Director of Learning Support
- Learning Support Teacher x 2
- Internal standardised assessments for a range of learning barriers
- Support available for students in EY1-Y13
- Support with class teachers and TAs to develop strategies/resources to support children both in and out of class
- Regular meetings with parents to support learning at home
- Some children have additional support provided by a member of the Learning Support Team (free of charge)
- Some children have 1:1 Learning Support Assistants to support learning in class (at additional cost)
- Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Pupil Passports which are reviewed termly.
- Work closely with Learning Mentors to support children with SEMH needs (Social, Emotional and Mental Health)
- Liaison with external providers for Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and a number of different educational and child psychologists (assessment and therapy fees paid for by parents)
The EAL Department is comprised of a team of 11 highly qualified, experienced and dedicated practitioners who work across the entire school from EY1 to Y13 to provide specialist support for the development of English language.
Proficiency in English is essential to a student’s academic attainment in the English curriculum and public examinations, and to their success in the English language universities to which the vast majority of students will progress. The remit of the EAL Department is to improve significantly, noticeably and measurably the acquisition of students' English language within the school, and to provide specific and direct support to students whose current proficiency in English presents a barrier to accessing and responding to our English-taught curriculum.
Our EAL specialists work predominantly within a sheltered immersion model, working alongside class/subject teachers to provide direct support and to co-teach EAL learners within their normal subject lessons, and also via timetabled English Language lessons, called English Plus, attended in place of optional foreign language subject lessons. The English Plus programme seeks to build on previous knowledge and learning, reinforce the skills taught within the mainstream classroom and further develop all of the four literacy skills (reading, writing, speaking and listening).
Students are assessed upon entry to the school and at key points throughout the year in order to determine the level of English language proficiency. Those identified as needing specialist EAL support are placed on an EAL register, and remain there until they reach a stage at which teachers feel they will be able to independently access and respond meaningfully to the curriculum. At this stage they are able to leave the specialist support of the English Plus programme (albeit with some ‘scaffolding’ still in place).
In Key Stage 4, the Academic Literacy Programme (ALP) provides an important linguistic and cognitive stepping stone for students wishing to progress through their IGCSEs and enter Key Stage 5 (e.g., A-level). A variety of students from within the school (including those who have English as a First Language) are eligible to enrol on the ALP, and students who remain in English Plus at the end of Year 9 are automatically enrolled into the ALP programme as they enter Year 10.
The ALP sharpens students’ overall academic literacy skills and focuses on developing proficiency in critical thinking and discussion, textual analysis and public speaking by exploring key global issues which are relevant to them. It is designed as a backwards-planned model that seeks to thread through its units of work the most important literacy skills of the IGCSE, and A-level curricula (including IELTS and Reading the World). It also aims to help fully equip students with the life and study skills that they will need when they leave the school and take their initial steps in a university setting abroad.
It is vitally important that parents are engaged in their children’s learning, and that they have the guidance and information they need to ensure that the lifestyles, activities and environment that children experience outside of school serve to support the progress made within it.
The school has a range of information programmes to help parents, including our “Ready to Learn” programme, which provides targeted advice on the themes of e-safety and wellbeing.