Learning Support

Box Hill School welcomes students with a wide variety of learning strengths, styles and differences. The Learning Support Department aims to encourage all students to become confident, ambitious and independent learners.

Box Hill teachers are skilled in adapting and responding to the learning needs of their students, but there is also extra support available for those who experience specific learning difficulties. These students benefit from one-to-one support from highly qualified specialist teachers in our dedicated suite of rooms in Weatherall Cottage. Support is carefully tailored to the needs of the individual, with a strong emphasis on multi-sensory learning, and developing strategies and methods that can be used by the student to underpin independent learning across the curriculum. Lessons are normally either literacy or mathematics based, and as a student progresses through the school the emphasis shifts more to study skills, essay writing and revision techniques.

The Learning Support Department works closely with academic and pastoral staff to help all students to achieve their potential. We believe that developing a student’s meta-cognition – their understanding of how they learn – lies at the heart of effective studying, and that a student’s skill in managing his or her own learning needs is essential to success at school and beyond.

A student may require some additional support with their learning at any point in their Box Hill career. Pupils arriving at the school with a recognised need for support will be assigned a specialist teacher who will liaise closely with staff and parents to ensure that the right programme is provided for that learner. Pupils are screened on entry to Year 7 and 9 and support offered if it is felt that is appropriate. If a member of staff or a parent is concerned about a student’s learning at any point during their time at the school, they can contact the Head of Learning Support to discuss the best way forward. The student concerned will usually be assessed and, if appropriate, support lessons will be arranged and teaching staff kept informed of the student’s learning profile.

The vast majority of pupils receiving learning support currently have one hour-long session each week. Support is offered according to the need of the individual; some students may only need 6 – 12 weeks of extra support to give them the tools they need to move on independently. Others will require longer-term support and continue with lessons until such time as their specialist teacher feels that they are able to work effectively across the curriculum without them. We aim to offer as much flexibility as possible; for example a student may discontinue their learning support lessons, but come back for further support later on in their school career. Our students are encouraged to ‘drop in’ and discuss any learning issues if and when they feel they need to – our aim is to support the individual as far as is possible, but to balance this at all times by fostering independence and self-confidence.

The Learning Support Department also works closely with a team of other professionals with expertise in specific learning difficulties and special educational need to ensure that the needs of individual students can be met. For example, we have Speech and Language Therapists in school on a weekly basis, and regularly take advice from psychologists and educational psychologists. It is also possible to arrange for occupational therapy if necessary. 

The Learning Support Department aims to enhance access to the curriculum for students with special educational needs by providing in-class support from skilled Learning Support Assistants. The LSAs mainly support English, Maths and Science classes in the lower school, but are also deployed in some GCSE groups where there are students who benefit from a higher level of individual input.

The Department carries out assessments for access arrangements for public examinations in line with the JCQ regulations. This is generally conducted towards the end of Year 9 and permission is sought from parents before any assessing is carried out.

Assessments for access arrangements and one-to-one lessons all carry an extra charge.