Learning Styles and Specific Needs Policy
Definition of learners with specific needs.
A learner is recognised as having specific needs when their learning, emotional, behavioural or physical needs are significantly different from those of the majority of learners at any given time.
Oxford School of English endeavours to accommodate and provide for students with dyslexia, dyseidetic (visual) dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Autism and Asperger's Syndrome.
Among the school's population we have had learners with mild dyslexia, low level attention deficient (hyperactive) disorder, mild speech and language difficulties, and mild visual impairment.
Oxford School of English ensures learners are offered appropriate teaching based on perceived needs. Oxford School of English ensures learners' progress is reviewed regularly. Learners are encouraged to transfer what they are learning into the classroom and beyond.
To achieve these aims, Oxford School of English seeks to:
- Identify, as soon as possible, any learner who may have specific needs.
- Ensure all staff are familiar with the Learning Styles and Specific Needs Policy and are aware of their role in implementing the policy.
- Ensure all School staff are aware of learners with specific needs and that teachers have the appropriate information including the nature of the learner's specific learning difficulties to be able to support their needs as effectively as possible in the classroom and reinforce the guidance being offered.
- Ensure learners are offered appropriate differentiated teaching based on an agreed programme specific to the individual's needs.
- Provide whole-staff training or advice on supporting learners with specific needs and learning needs when necessary.
- Have access to a specialist trained in specific needs or provide suitable insets and skills training to a member of staff to ensure they are up to date with specific needs developments.
- Extend its support to learners who may benefit from a programme of individual specialist teaching, regardless of whether they have specific needs. Regularly review the effectiveness of any learner’s programme, as required.
General guidance can be found in Learners with Specific Needs file in the staff room.
Agents, learners and in some cases parents are relied upon to disclose disabilities/learning difficulties to the school in advance of application for a place in the school and to pass on relevant assessment reports and history of learning support wherever possible.
Most learners will arrive at the school without our knowledge of any specific needs. Learners tell us on arrival or in the pre-course questionnaire where they are asked if they have any learning difficulties. This information is passed on to the teachers and appropriate provision is made if necessary. In most cases the learner can manage independently.
Identification of Learners with Specific Needs
Teaching staff will normally refer any learner they suspect may have specific needs. This occurs when there are concerns about their work, class or exam performance. A meeting will be set up to assess any concerns and ascertain if the learner needs or wants any extra help.
Each learner identified with specific needs will have a file including information about the nature of the specific needs; and any suggested strategies for support and/or exam arrangements that have been made. This file will be passed on to their next teacher.
Programme of Support
All learners who have specific needs will be offered a programme of support which has been prepared by the teacher with support from the DoS and preferably by a specialist teacher.
Lessons may be arranged on a one to one basis at a mutually convenient time during a learner’s course. Wherever possible, learners are not removed from regular lessons.
However there is flexibility within regular lessons to respond to a learner’s immediate need.
Teachers are encouraged to make sure their lessons are multi-sensory, structured and cumulative in order to consolidate skills where the learner’s self-belief and confidence is promoted. The aim is to develop transference of skills into the classroom and independent learning. Other strategies include giving the learners the lesson material in advance to read before the lesson; giving extra time for tests, a chance to go over any lesson or revise it with a teacher if necessary, extra reading and writing support, photocopying the lesson material in an enlarged size for dyslexics, for example. Teachers can refer to the Specific Needs file in the staff room.
Lessons are extended to those learners who require development of skills in such areas as examination technique, study skills and reading comprehension.
All lessons should already differentiate for slower and faster learners. Teachers provide extra material in different formats for learners with different learning styles. Differentiated worksheets and homework is also standard practice.
This policy is reviewed on an annual basis. However, if any issues relating to the policy should arise, the policy will be reviewed immediately.
Date of next scheduled review: June 2023