Learning Support

For those students requiring additional learning support, we have a dedicated Student Support Department and an English as an Additional Language Department. Both Departments focus on the relevant learning elements, but also help support students pastorally, whether that’s helping girls adjust to life in a UK Boarding School and cultural differences or providing additional classroom or examination support.

For families seeking an all-girls school, within a caring environment and offering excellent provision for students with SEND and EAL, Cobham Hall provides the ideal solution. – Crested Report 2019

Student Support Department

Our 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. The Department aims to prove to girls that having a learning difference 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, and gained scholarships
  • Become Guardian (Head Girl), and held other posts on the Student Leadership Team
  • 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

In short, our Student Support Department have demonstrated that with the right learning strategies, encouragement and support, each of our students – regardless of ability – have the opportunity to take part in everything Cobham Hall has to offer and discover their full potential.

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. The most recent report can be viewed here.

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 for 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 are withdrawn from selected lessons, which are timetabled to have minimal impact on the curriculum. 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.

English as an Additional Language (EAL)

With Cobham Hall’s international ethos attracting girls from all over the world, an excellent English as an Additional Language Department is essential.

The EAL Department provides language support lessons to ensure that all students at Cobham Hall – no matter where they come from – can access the full curriculum and enjoy a happy and full social life using English. Both of these elements are essential for our international students.

Life as an international boarder at Cobham Hall provides an immersive environment for them to develop academic, functional and social English. Lessons are not restricted to preparation for tests or examinations. Girls at Cobham Hall learn English in a way that will allow them to live and interact with others and to transcend national and cultural boundaries.

EAL classes are taught by a specialist teacher with an emphasis on communicative competence and on developing the skills required for accessing the entire curriculum.

Overseas students take an English language test as part of the admissions process and are tested again on arrival. Teaching is in small groups or occasionally on a one-to-one basis.

Pastoral support is a key element of the EAL Department and all overseas students benefit from our ‘open-door’ approach. Pupils are welcome to discuss any issues concerning their academic life and any language or cultural matters that may concern them. The EAL Department at Cobham Hall is a welcoming, supportive environment where students can both learn and have fun and where they can gain enough confidence in English to integrate and succeed.