The Student Support Department works with students who have Specific Learning Difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia, helping them to achieve their full potential and become successful learners.
Girls often comment on the positive impact the Department has on their school life.
“The SSD has helped me learn different strategies to gain a deeper understanding of my subjects. You can come here and de-stress! It’s an enjoyable way to learn.”
- Year 13 student
Cobham Hall is recognised by CReSTeD (the Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Students) as a Dyslexia Unit and the Department gives tutorial support, delivers specialist teaching programmes and provides input into the curriculum. Support is offered for literacy, numeracy and study skills.
Specialist teachers in the Department know their pupils exceptionally well and develop tailored programmes for each student, taking into account each girl’s strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences. Each student has input into her regularly reviewed individual education plan which is emailed home, discussed with parents, and communicated to subject teachers.
Teachers in the Student Support Department aim to produce confident independent learners who are aware of their own learning styles and have well developed strategies to cope with areas of weakness. Girls with specific learning difficulties often find they excel in areas such as Art, Music, Drama or Sport and this provides a huge confidence boost. Student Support teachers help girls to discover and develop their talents in these areas.
Girls are withdrawn from selected lessons for their Student Support sessions so that they do not have to catch up on missed lessons. The Department has laptops that students can borrow if they wish to use specific software. Support also includes all access arrangements for examinations.
Girls must be of at least average ability and able to attend the majority of mainstream classes. They might have a teaching assistant with them for some lessons. Most students join the school with a prior report from an Educational Psychologist or a qualified Specialist Teacher, and Entrance Assessments will be interpreted in light of any such documents. Girls are also identified and assessed once at the school if any learning issues are detected.
The Student Support Department aims to show that having a learning difficulty is no barrier to achievement. In the past students who have received support from the Student Support Department have:
- Followed the full curriculum to GCSE and IB
- Gained scholarships to the Sixth Form
- Demonstrated high positive value-added scores in their GCSE results
- Shown an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem
- Studied for Degrees in a range of subjects
- Captained school teams
- Taken roles in school plays, public speaking, musical events and been part of the Student Leadership Team
- Achieved more than they ever thought they would!
The latest inspection report from CReSTeD on Cobham Hall’s Student Support Department, written following an inspection in the Spring Term of 2016, stated:
“Cobham Hall imbues its students with confidence, but also with empathy. I noticed peer support of the best kind. It is doing a very good job for their bright girls who have a particular learning need, and they will, I believe, leave here having benefitted greatly.”
“Pupils with SEND benefit from the inclusive policies pursued by senior leaders and highly effective interventions by specialist staff.”
– Independent Schools’ Inspectorate, February 2015