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Assisted Learning Support

A qualified Director of Learning Support co-ordinates a team of specialists who offer individual and group lessons to girls who require learning support.

All girls are screened to detect literacy difficulties and parents are kept closely informed. Appropriate accommodation is made for girls to use a laptop in class, and all staff work to ensure that girls with Specific Learning Difficulties fulfil their potential. Where appropriate, students can be assessed for extra time in external examinations.

For girls with English as an Additional Language, specialist teaching is available in school. Girls are prepared for external qualifications, such as IELTS or the Cambridge ESOL examinations, as appropriate.

The costs of this provision are detailed in the section on fees

Below is a list of frequently asked questions about SEN and Learning Support at RMS.  If you have further questions, please contact Mrs Ralph, Director of Learning Support (aralph@royalmasonic.herts.sch.uk)

What kind of needs can be supported at our School?

The School has experience with a wide range of mild and moderate specific learning needs, such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia.  If your daughter has a specific learning difference, please contact the School to discuss the details.

Who can parents talk to about their child's needs?

The Head, Mr Carson, and the Director of Learning Support, Mrs Ralph, would welcome the opportunity to discuss your daughter’s needs in the Senior School.  Mr Connors and the Cadogan House SENCo are happy to discuss the needs of pupils in Cadogan House.

How are the girls' needs identified?

There are a number of formal points where a pupil’s needs are assessed.  At the start of a girl’s Reception year in Cadogan House there will be baseline assessments carried out and, where appropriate, Dyslexia screening tests. Throughout the Prep phase there are standardised tests in English and Maths and any concerns are highlighted to parents. At the start of Year 7 literacy screening and baseline assessments are carried out.  At the end of each year in the Senior School the internal examinations are reviewed to monitor progress and identify if any provision for the following year is recommended. 

During the year each pupil is discussed with all her teachers to monitor progress in preparation for the parent consultation.  In addition, if a teacher has any concerns these are raised with the Head of Department, Form Tutor, SENCo, Head of Year and/or Director of Learning Support for further investigation.

How do we work in partnership with parents of children with SEN?

We welcome a close partnership with parents whose daughters have specific learning difficulties or SEND.  Where a pupil is receiving individual support, a report is issued 3 times a year and parents are encouraged to contribute to this process.  The Director of Learning Support attends the parent consultations in the Senior School and additional appointments are welcomed during the year.  Parents communicate via email to share their thoughts and concerns and the Director of Learning Support will distribute any relevant information to the teaching staff. At Cadogan House the SENCo coordinates the same process. 

How do we enable children with SEN to make decisions about their education?

When options are available, the pupil’s subject teacher will offer advice.  Detailed information booklets are issued about the options available and then information evenings for GCSE and A Level choices for parents and students are arranged.  The Director of Learning Support attends these evenings and additional meetings can be organised for further discussions.  The Head of Careers is also available to provide advice.

How do we help children when they move to our School?

The Head of Year 7 visits the students in their current school and then new students are invited to an induction afternoon in the summer term and if they are joining after Year 7, a buddy is assigned to show them around.  All Year 7 students have a further induction afternoon at the start of the Michaelmas term.  All students moving into Year 12 are invited to induction at the end of the summer term.  The Heads of Year monitor new students and information evenings are organised in the first term so parents have the opportunity to meet with them informally.  The Director of Learning Support also attends these meetings. At Cadogan House, there is a full programme of induction which includes an induction afternoon for all new children and parents in the Trinity Term. 

How do we help children when they move to another School?

We provide references that move forward with the student and for girls receiving support, information can be sent to the new learning support department, with the parent’s permission. When a student with specific learning difficulties moves on to higher education, support is given by the Director of Learning Support with the application process, for example the Disabled Students’ Allowance.

How do we help children when they move between classes and /or phases of education?

The Heads of Year work closely to facilitate the transition between phases.  The review of the internal examinations informs Form Tutors and subject staff so they are able to support the individual student. At Cadogan House there are transition meetings in the Trinity Term to discuss the pupils. Important information is recorded on the management information system for an individual pupil. 

How are adaptations made by the School to help children with SEN?

Information about a pupil’s needs is shared with the teaching staff who make the necessary adjustments in the classroom, in the form of differentiation.  Some subjects such as Mathematics, Science, English and Modern Foreign Languages introduce setting so that students are being taught in a way that suits their needs.  Some students will attend the Assisted Learning Programme rather than undertake a second modern foreign language during Key Stage 3.  The School will endeavour to make any reasonable adjustments to meet the needs of students with learning differences and SEN.

What skills and training do our support staff have?

All the learning support staff are qualified teachers and are experienced in supporting students with learning difficulties or English as an additional language.  Most have additional qualifications in supporting specific learning difficulties and all attend regular training to maintain their skills.

Does the School work with other agencies/services?

The School works closely with any external agencies and services necessary to support an individual.

How do we support the emotional and social development of all of our children?

The School has a detailed Lifeskills programme that addresses these issues.  We also have a network of professionals who provide support for students, including the Form Tutor, Head of Year, Head of Pastoral Care, House Mistresses (for boarders), the School Counsellor and the School Chaplain.

How do we know our provision is effective?

We regularly monitor the progress made by our students and review what support needs to be in place to help the students achieve their individual potential.  We communicate with parents and the pupils as part of this process so any adjustments can be made to ensure the provision is appropriate.  Our value added is outstanding.

What do parents do if they are concerned about the quality or effectiveness of the support their child is receiving?

Any concerns or complaints should be made in the first instance to the Director of Learning Support, who will then refer them to the Headmistress or in Cadogan House to the Head of Cadogan House.

Where can I find information on the local authority local offer?

Contact RMS

The Royal Masonic School for Girls

Rickmansworth Park
Rickmansworth
Hertfordshire
WD3 4HF

01923 773168
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