Support for Learning exists for pupils of all levels of ability, including the very able. Its role is to develop and support a pupil's learning wherever a need is encountered or any barrier to learning is identified, be it temporary or longer term.
This may be through tutorial support - working directly with the pupils concerned; or through curriculum support - working with colleagues across the School to support and help to develop the arrangements they make for pupils.
Wherever there are needs which may not otherwise be met, special arrangements may be put in place. The aim is to do this in close partnership with the pupil, the family and teaching staff to provide a learning environment where the child may achieve his or her potential and find success within the context of a broad, stimulating and demanding school environment.
In countering learning difficulties, pre-emptive support is likely to be the main emphasis. Each pupil's emerging literacy skills are closely monitored through ongoing review and formal testing, to allow early intervention and precisely targeted tuition. Early intervention is available in Primary 1 to provide extra support and optimum opportunity at the earliest stages, continuing after that for pupils who may have further barriers to learning.
Tuition groups, curriculum and in-class support are prominent strands of our provision. As the pupil moves through the Upper Primary, it is likely that difficulties will have emerged in a more unambiguous way. It will be easier to ascertain the extent to which difficulties may be specific, perhaps of a dyslexic type, or whether they stem from other factors or are more general learning difficulties.
Patterns set in the Upper Primary are continued with individualised or small group tuition continuing to address each child's difficulties for as long as it seems helpful; however, there is an increasing emphasis on finding ways of supporting the pupil in the classroom. The complex and varied Senior School curriculum means that individual tuition may gradually give way to the development of alternative strategies - for example, tailored study skills advice, increased use of the computer, the use of a reader and scribe, and taped texts, all of which help the pupil to develop a realistic and self-reliant acceptance of their difficulty.
For the dyslexic pupil, using ICT and readers and scribes is likely to become ever more important as the demands of text-based work steadily increase through the school years towards SQA examinations, college, university and the workplace.Where it seems appropriate and helpful, a pupil may attend the Support for Learning Department for one or two periods per cycle taken from their core time allocation, to work on literacy skills. Students with significant difficulties, either general or specific, may be advised to reduce their curriculum, to drop perhaps one subject to allow a literacy skills programme and supported study, while reducing the overall curricular load.
Some pupils may require particular provision to stimulate and extend their learning. To this end, programmes are in place to challenge our most able pupils.
Provision for these pupils will necessarily be tailored to the needs of each pupil and is usually of limited duration. The central strand will be tutorial provision, supported by liaison and consultancy.