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      The Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) is the national curriculum used from nursery to secondary school.

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      Support and Information for pupils with Additional Support Needs.


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      Stranraer Academy policies cover pupil welfare and safeguarding, teaching and learning practices.

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Support for Learning

Support for Learning Staff










Mr Gary Davidson is the Principal Teacher, Pupil Support with responsibility for co-ordinating support for pupils with Additional Support Needs. These pupils may be in mainstream school, the Learning Centre or Aird. The department is staffed by Support for Learning Teachers and Support for Learning Assistants.

Pupils in mainstream classes are supported academically by both Support for Learning Teachers and Assistants who work collaboratively with the pupils’ subject teachers. Where necessary, pupils also have access to technology to allow them to fully participate in the curriculum and to aid in the presentation of their work.

Students may be withdrawn from certain mainstream classes to enable them to have individual or small group study periods where extra time and tuition can be given to these students. These tuition periods are staffed by Support for Learning Teachers and mean that each child receives the specific support necessary for his/her needs.

Pupils who need more detailed individualised programmes of study may have a portion of their timetable in the Learning Centre where teaching is in small groups and is specifically tailored to individual needs.

All pupils who have significant additional support needs have a `named key person – a member of staff who maintains an overall picture of the pupil’s progress. Parents are notified by letter, soon after the start of term in August, advising who the key person is and how they may be contacted.

During S1 and S2 all pupils follow an appropriate Curriculum either in mainstream classes or through the Individualised Educational Programmes in the Learning Centre.

From S1 to S3 all pupils have an entitlement to a Broad General Education. In third-year pupils select subjects to study which may lead to the award of National 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 at the end of the fourth year. National 1 and 2 awards are delivered by Support for Learning staff.

During examinations pupils who have additional needs are considered for special provisions to allow them to achieve their potential in their examinations. These provisions may take the form of an extra time allowance, readers, scribes, transcription of papers or the use of a computer. The coordination of this provision is done by the Support for Learning Department in conjunction with the SQA and mainstream staff. 

Aird is situated within the new building of Stranraer Academy and caters for pupils with Severe and Complex Learning Difficulties. The pupils follow the Equals Curriculum and, where appropriate, are included in mainstream classes. A good number of senior Academy pupils regularly opt to do a work experience placement in Aird.

Accommodation within Aird includes two teaching areas, a multi-sensory room, a hydrotherapy pool, a spacious kitchen for life skills, and a dining/play area. It has ready access to the rest of the school.

The pupils also benefit from the expertise of a multi-disciplinary team made up of visiting specialists, teaching staff, educational psychologist, paediatrician and paediatric nurse.

Dumfries and Galloway Council is committed to the well-being and educational development of all learners. The process of inclusion requires all involved in the business of learning and teaching to demonstrate commitment, innovation and flexibility in order to ensure that all children and young people have access to quality learning opportunities and experiences.

The Authority attempts to meet the needs of all children with additional support needs through a range of provisions from mainstream classes (with or without support) to the part-time or full-time provision in a school with a learning centre or base.
It is generally recognised that approximately 20% of children may have additional support needs at some time, which are likely to range from mild and intermittent difficulties through to those which are more complex or they may have multiple factors proving to be barriers to their learning.

The Additional Support for Learning Act introduces a framework for supporting children and young people in their school education and their families. This framework is based on the idea of additional support needs.

This term applies to children and young people who, for whatever reason, require additional support, in the short or the long term, in order to help them make the most of their school education.

Children and young people may require additional support for a variety of reasons and may include those who:

have motor or sensory impairments are being bullied
are particularly able or talented
are looked after
have a learning difficulty
are living with parents/carers who are abusing substances
are living with parents/carers who have mental health problems
have English as an additional language
are not attending school regularly
have emotional or social difficulties
are on the child protection register
are young carers

In the main, needs are identified at primary school and communicated to the Academy at the point of transition. However, information received from primary schools is cross-referenced to information gathered early in S1 to ensure appropriate provision for all. Furthermore, all members of staff have a duty of vigilance with regard to pupils’ needs and will inform the Support for Learning Department of any concerns, in order that assessments can be made and appropriate support offered.

This school has developed its own policies for additional learning support within the framework of the Council Policy and a copy can be made available on request.

Individuals and groups of children work with our Support for Learning staff, usually in the classroom. However, pupils can occasionally be withdrawn for one-to-one tuition or assessment purposes and an Individualised Education Programme can be created for specific targets. Sometimes a pupil will have a Co-ordinated Support Plan if several agencies are working together to meet educational objectives for an individual child or young person.

We strive to be a caring community where warm personal relationships lead to mutual respect and understanding. We believe that a pupil’s education should be based on and enhanced by a sound partnership between home and school.

There is considerable evidence to suggest that the better the quality of home/school support for the child the more that child will gain from the experience of being at school. Consequently promoting this partnership between home and school is an important part of our work.