West Derby School believes that every child is of equal importance and that we must do our best to remove any barriers to learning. The Pupil Support Centre has been set up to help specific pupils cope better with and access mainstream education in a successful way. The PSC is fully staffed before the school day, at breaks and lunches, during lesson times and after school. Key staff who work in the PSC are the Inclusion Manager, the SENDCO, the learning Mentor and high needs LSAs.
The PSC provides an understanding, safe and enjoyable environment for pupils who may fail due to, for example:
• Physical disability
• A specific learning difficulty e.g. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia
• General learning difficulties
• Emotional behavioural difficulties
• Frequent absence because of medical or home problems
• Refusal to attend school
• Low self esteem
The PSC is overseen by the Inclusion staff. It is a base where pupils with socialisation difficulties can interact with their peers in a regulated, non-judgemental environment where appropriate behaviour is modelled. Regular mentoring sessions are timetabled in the PSC. The PSC also welcomes external support staff from outside agencies. Students who are identified as requiring support attend literacy and numeracy lessons in the PSC.
If PPLs or key pastoral staff believe that a pupil would benefit from time in the PSC they refer their concerns to the Inclusion Team and arrange appropriate time and course of study. Reasons for referral could include, for example, emotional issues or illness and incapacity.
What helps children to learn?
• Active/practical experiences
• Secure and happy environment
• Familiarity with the classroom
• Available choices
• Attractive surroundings
• Feeling valued
• A positive approach
• Encouragement and high expectations
• A welcoming calm atmosphere
• Clear and patient explanations
• An appropriate match of learning
• A promotion of fun and enjoyment
• Seeing the purpose of what they do
• Participating in interesting activities
• Being given time for in-depth work and extended work
• Being encouraged to be active and independent within a secure environment
• Open-ended tasks
• Feeling confident
• Being challenged – however small the steps
• Trying out new work and new learning experiences