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) for the quality of its 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 regular input into her specialised learning plan, which is discussed with parents, and communicated to subject teachers.
Teachers in the Student Support Department aim to develop confident, independent learners who show awareness of their own learning styles and who are actively engaged in exploring strategies to support areas of challenge. Girls with specific learning difficulties often find they excel in creative or physical activities such as Art, Music, Drama or Sport and this contibutes to building their confidence. Student Support teachers encourage girls to discover and develop their talents in these, and in all areas of the curriculum.
Girls are withdrawn from selected lessons, which are timetabled so as to have minimal impact on the curriculum. Students are encouraged to explore the variety of support technology available. It may be advantageous to purchase equipment such as a laptop or reading pen for their personal use. Support also includes all access arrangements for examinations.
Girls must be of at least average ability and able to access the majority of mainstream classes. A teaching assistant may be available to support 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. On-going assessment within the School enables any learning issues to be identified.
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 Department have:
- Followed the full curriculum to GCSE and Sixth Form
- Gained scholarships to the Sixth Form
- Become School Guardians and held other posts on the Student Leadership Team
- 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, and musical events
- Achieved far beyond their expectations
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