All children who meet our entry requirements are entitled to receive a broad and balanced curriculum. Most needs are met within the classroom, with additional analysis provided for the teacher by a member of our Educational Psychology Department.
Learning Support in the Junior School is a collaborative approach which supports all learners. The Educational Psychology Department works closely with Year level teams and individual classroom teachers.
If any child experiences difficulties in learning, a collaborative approach to assessment based on assessment for Learning and Differentiated Instruction is used to identify strengths, needs and if necessary, implement a programme of support. Support may be given in a variety of ways including differentiation strategies for the teacher which is the adjustment of the teaching process according to the assessed needs of the learners; small group instruction, monitoring, target setting, Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and early intervention programmes.
Early intervention programmes are an important aspect of support in the Junior School in particular and are collaboratively planned and delivered with KS1 teams. Pre-referral intervention programmes are based on the assessed needs of students in language, communication, literacy, numeracy and motor skill development. These are usually delivered as small group instruction where student outcomes are closely monitored for progress.
Transition to each key stage is carefully monitored by our learning support team and the Educational Psychology Department in coordination with year level teams.
St George’s follows many of the procedures of the UK Code of Practice. When a student is referred to the Learning Support team parents will be informed by the Class Tutor. If an IEP is required targets are set with parents and teachers and are reviewed regularly. An IEP is an individualised agreed plan of action which is regularly reviewed as part of the reporting cycle to parents.
When a child requires further assessments (beyond which can be provided by the Learning Support Department (Educational Psychology Department), parents are involved immediately and joint supportive action is agreed. Diagnosis is undertaken at the request of the school by an external agent such as an external educational psychologist.
In the Senior School, Learning Support is a collaborative task working together with students, families and teachers to identify, assess and support the needs of students with learning differences from Grades 5 to 11.
Sometimes students need individual specialist support. We run projects focussing on reading, numeracy, brain gym, phonics, listening, sensory integration and key boarding skills.
Study skills also continue to be an important focus of our work, especially for older students, thus encouraging an awareness of their own learning needs and how to manage them effectively. These programs can be delivered outside the main classroom or at home. In all these programs we deliver, work is targeted to the individual needs of each student and planned accordingly. Special exam arrangements are also organised by Department staff as needed.
Within the daily subject lessons support is offered as appropriate. Our aim is to work alongside class teachers, supporting their differentiation of the curriculum so that every child can access it. Significant information and strategies are passed on to staff to enable all students to learn in the classroom. We hope to foster a sense of independence, achievement, and self-esteem in every student we work with.
The Learning Support Team welcomes the involvement of families. Information evenings and regular consultations enable us to develop a trusting collaborative relationship with everyone involved in the care of each student. The Learning Support door is always open and the staff are ready to support and guide whenever needed.
Assessment for learning
Evaluation & Grades
The school promotes the use of Assessment for Learning and the concept of individually and personally. All pupils are continuously evaluated throughout the year based on their effort and attainment in a wide range of competencies.
Effort is assessed on the observation and consideration of the attitudes and involvement a pupil demonstrates towards his/her studies.
Attainment is evaluated on the observation and assessment of the level and pace at which the pupil understands concepts, the degree of competency demonstrated in the appropriate skills and the extent to which a pupil can apply the knowledge and understanding acquired.
Assessment for learning: a powerful way to improve learning and raise standards. With materials for each subject as well as general information, this guidance will help you integrate assessment for learning into everyday classroom practice.
Assessment for learning involves using assessment in the classroom to raise pupils’ achievement. It is based on the idea that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge). Key characteristics of assessment for learning are:
- Using effective questioning techniques.
- Using marking and feedback strategies.
- Sharing learning goals
- Peer and self-assessment.
"The essence of our effort to make certain that every child has a chance, must be to give each individual student an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become different and to realise whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses".
John Martin Fischer, Dean
Teachers College, Columbia University
Not all students are alike. To differentiate instruction is to recognise student’s differences in the way they learn knowledge and language, as well as developing their readiness and ability to react responsively. Based on this concept, differentiated instruction applies an approach to teaching and learning that gives students multiple options for taking in information and making sense of ideas. Teachers must be flexible in their approach to teaching and adjust the curriculum, and their presentation of information to the needs of the children as learners rather than expecting students to modify themselves for the curriculum.
Differentiated instruction is therefore a teaching theory based on the premise that teaching methodology should vary and be adapted to individual student needs in the classroom whilst focussing on developing the student’s self-esteem and belief in his or her ability to be successful. Specifically differentiated instruction is:
- More qualitative than quantitative.
- A blend of whole class, group and individual instruction.
- Based on broad concepts and skill development, rather than simply facts.
- Aimed at offering many different ways to the content, process and products of learning.
The purpose of applying differentiation as opposed to the traditional method of classifying students is to concentrate on emphasizing student development and in maximizing student growth, potential, and individual success. The focus is on individual student performance, the development of the student’s self-esteem, and the creation in each student of the belief that they can be successful. To achieve this, the teacher must focus not only on the student’s academic performance but also on their personal, emotional and academic development, as well as being personally committed to the belief that each and every student can improve, and achieve success.