Department Overview

The Learning Support department offers a range of provision including:

  • Fixed LS Groups
  • Short term interventions
  • One-to-one provision
  • Mentoring
  • Key workers for SEN support
  • Personalised timetabling to meet individual needs
  • Break, lunch and after school clubs (social and homework)


At present we have a SENCo, 3 full time teachers, 2 part time teachers, 2 assistant SENCos and a large team (16) of SSA’s who are mostly part-time.

  • We have 5 small teaching rooms (each with a projector or flat screen monitor) and 2 larger rooms (with projectors and 10 computers each).
  • Equipment: see separate list.



The ARC is an Additionally Resourced Centre for students with specific and complex learning needs.  Places are allocated by the local authority via a selection panel.  The purpose is to cater for small groups of students in a safe, nurturing and differentiated setting, so that individual needs are met and individual progress is made.  ARC staff are experienced teachers and SSA’s who are well trained in Autism needs in particular.


Year 7 and Year 8 ARC

  • The students in the ARC are taught as a separate group in a range of small classrooms, currently located on the Learning Support corridor.
  • Year 7 and 8 are taught separately but there is opportunity for them to experience mainstream lessons.
  • Students have 3 main teachers who will deliver a ranging curriculum, with a focus on visual learning.
  • The curriculum aims to reflect mainstream curriculum in most instances but there is flexibility.


Year 9 ARC

  • Year 9 students follow an alternative set of options due to the nature of their complex learning needs.
  • In September 2017 students will take the following options: Hospitality (Pearson BTEC Level 1), Health and Social Care (OCR Certificate), Functional ICT (Pearson Level 1/2) and Asdan CoPE (Level 1/2).
  • Students will also take the mandatory subjects of English, Maths, Science and PE.



Key Stage 3 Learning Support

  • In Years 7 and 8 we cover a range of topics, which we link to a variety of literacy skills (see separate list). In some cases, these include written assessments and are linked to the BLP learning skills.  The Learning Support class groups consist predominantly of students with an EHCP/statement, who attend these lessons rather than MFL.  Some ‘K’ students are given the opportunity to attend, places permitting.
  • Timetable permitting, we run a number of workshop groups, whereby small groups of pupils are withdrawn for spelling, reading, social skills and speech and language based interventions.



Key Stage 4 Learning Support

  • Our Year 9-11 Asdan group consists predominantly of former ARC pupils. Other pupils with severe or complex learning difficulties can be offered this opportunity, spaces permitting.
  • Asdan CoPE is a skills-based course, which is 100% coursework. Students get the chance to spend sessions every week at Solihull College during Year 10.
  • Some students also complete the Asdan Wider Key Skills course (100% coursework).
  • In Year 11, all students then do the AQA Preparation For Working Life GCSE course.
  • In Year 9-10 (starting September 2017) students will study the Pearson ICT Functional Skills course (Level 1/2).


Extra-Curricular Opportunities

  • The faculty runs Homework Clubs for both KS3 and 4 every lunchtime and three evenings per week.
  • We host a variety of lunchtime clubs, including Arts & Crafts, Spanish Club, three different social interaction groups and a board game club.
  • The pupils also participate in a number of community-based activities, such as Wednesday Club (a weekly activities club for the elderly) and a variety of fundraising events.


Career Options

  • As part of the Asdan CoPE and WKS courses, students attend a number of courses at Solihull College, designed to prepare them for post-16 study.
  • All the modules on the Preparation For Working Life course prepares students for their chosen careers.


Contact the Head of Department

For further information, please contact Mrs. Harvey.

Learning SupportKS3 Fixed Group Schemes of Work


Year 7

All About Me (Personal Project)
An Introduction to Poetry
Sheela & The Robbers (Crime Story)
Gangsta Granny (modern text and DVD)
Recount Texts & Newspaper Reports
Aliens & Dinosaurs (research project)
Crash in the Jungle (non-fiction text)


Year 8

Murder at Mortlock Hall (fiction text)
World War II
Buddy (fiction text)
Holiday Brochure (Persuasive Writing)
Animal Research Project
Oliver Twist (old fiction)


Technology & Specialised Equipment Currently Used To Support Pupils


Word Processing

  • Pupils who have significant difficulties with spelling and/or handwriting, particularly those who have had such barriers identified on their statements, are permitted to complete longer written tasks on computers. This strategy is clearly identified on their pupil profiles, which are distributed to all teaching and support staff.
  • Netbooks are made available to these pupils and also used for withdrawal groups (we have 9 of each).
  • Laptops are available for use by some pupils in lessons. There are also two which are adapted for uses in exams.


Tools Used To Support Children With Dyslexia/Irlen’s Syndrome

  • Dictaphones are available for pupils with dyslexia for the recording of homework and to reinforce other information which would be written in their pupil planners.
  • Dragon : voice recognition software is used for severely dyslexic pupils for word-processing longer assignments.
  • AlphaSmart : laptops provided to pupils for word-processing.
  • Exampen : personal reading assistant: scans text, pronounces scanned words and aids spelling.
  • Small and A4 coloured overlays.
  • Magnifying overlays.
  • Coloured-paper exercise books (used by one pupil).


Computer Games & Online Learning Tools

  • Lexia Learning : is used to support some pupils with literacy.
  • Nessie : this reading and spelling games package is used to support the majority of pupils with literacy difficulties. This is an integrated learning system; pupils wear headphones and are immersed in the learning activities.
  • Doddle : this is an online package which has been installed on the school’s website. Teachers can select a range of resources (including quizzes, videos, worksheets etc.) and allocate them to specific students. A markbook is automatically compiled and pupils are offered guidance on questions they have got wrong.
  • Online facilities – such as SAM Learning and BBC Bitesize – are extensively used.
  • Moodle : this is similar to Doddle but instead of readily installed tasks, teachers upload files for pupils to access, download and use. This can be any type of file, anything from worksheets to PowerPoints. As with Doddle, tasks can be accessed from home and it has proved a useful tool for pupils with organisation and/or communication difficulties, as they don’t need to worry about looking after sheets and parents are enabled to support the managing of homework tasks.
  • We are looking at the possibility of ordering a set of iPads, installed with some recommended literacy apps.


Other Technology Used In Learning Support Classrooms

  • Interactive whiteboards and projectors.
  • NGRT Digital: this is being looked at as a possible replacement for the current NGRT reading screen tests from September 2015.


Other Specialised Equipment

  • Specialised stool for one child who has cerebral palsy.
  • Dycem non-slip paper reel, also for use by the child who has cerebral palsy.
  • A range of stress toys such as stress balls, tangles and fidget cubes.