Additional Learning Needs
Student needs at King Henry VIII School are largely met within the classroom though a universal provision that is clearly focused upon excellent teaching and learning. For students with an identified learning need reasonable adjustments are made within the classroom to help them to overcome barriers to their learning, such as using a coloured overlay when reading, or being provided with additional time when completing activities.
Students with identified learning needs who do not make expected levels of progress may access short-term intervention programmes that promote the rapid development of skills in areas such as reading, writing, comprehension and the application of number. For those students where it is thought more specialist help is required, there is access to highly qualified specialist teachers through the Specialist Teaching Service.
In addition to the support provided for the development of literacy and numeracy, it is recognised that there will be students who require varying degrees of intervention to help them to develop their emotional literacy and secure positive mental health. At King Henry VIII School we have a dedicated Wellbeing Team who offer bespoke wellbeing support and who regularly work with outside agencies to provide specialist wrap around care as required.
All students who engage with a support programme within school for an extended period of time have an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) that is made available to staff, informing them of the nature of the intervention and providing them with suggested teaching strategies that consider student views, preferences and needs.
Students who require ongoing support to help them access the curriculum effectively may be placed within a small group provision class where work is highly differentiated and where they will have access to learning, support assistants (LSAs) throughout the day.
A child, or young person is classed as having additional learning needs (ALN) if he or she has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of the same age that requires additional learning provision. This is educational provision that is additional to, or different from, that made generally for others of the same age. A child, or young person may also have an ALN if they have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of facilities for education of a kind generally provided for others of the same age in a mainstream school.
From January 2022, students in Years 7 and 10 without Statements of Educational Need who are identified as having an ALN will be issued with an Individual Development Plan (IDP). This is a single plan that includes a description of the nature of the additional learning need and how that need will be met through additional learning provision. The nature of the provision and associated targets will be discussed with the young person and parents/guardians (if the young person is of compulsory school age) and relevant supporting agencies where their support is required. Listening to young people and taking their views into account to ensure effective provision and to secure progress is central to the production of an IDP. The IDP provides a record against which a young person’s progress can be monitored and reviewed over time.
Additional Learning Provision (ALP) is the additional specialist support/provision that will be accessed by a young person with ALN. The nature of the ALP that will be offered to help a student overcome or mitigate a barrier to learning will be described in their IDP. Essentially, ALP consists of the actions that will be taken to ensure the student can access the curriculum effectively and make progress.
Step-back was designed to support the Additional Learning Needs Act in Wales. It is a whole school approach that supports children and young people with additional learning needs to become increasingly independent, confident and resilient. Students’ are encouraged to identify barriers in the way of their learning and to work alongside staff to develop approaches to learning that best suit their interests, ability and needs. Students are effectively placed at the heart of the decision-making process, using agreed strategies and resources when developing the skills that they need to make progress. Step-back encourages students to problem solve and attempt activities with an increasing level of independence.
King Henry VIII School was pleased to be chosen as the pilot secondary school when Step-back was initially being developed by Gwyn McCormack at Positive Eye and Sarah Hughes, Head of SenCom. As a school we are committed to placing the needs of students with Additional Learning Needs (ALN) at the heart of school improvement, maximising student opportunities through the provision of excellent teaching and learning and by adopting the Step-back principles and associated standards across the ALN Department we have been able to develop a person-centred approach to learning that encourages students to be involved in planning and reviewing strategies that have been developed to meet their needs.
King Henry VIII currently has two members of staff who are Step-back Trainers and 11 members of staff have achieved the practitioner award since 2019. These includes Teaching Staff, Higher Level Teaching Assistants, Wellbeing, Learning Support Officers and LSAs.
If you would like to know more about the Step-back programme, please contact Gwyn McCormack:
If you would like to know more about the Step-back Programme at King Henry VIII School, please contact Martin Williams, Snr AHT ALNCO at the school. Examples of how Step-back is being used at King Henry VIII School can be found within the KHS ALN Journal, Senergedd.
Step-back information can also be found upon the Positive Eye website: https://positiveeye.co.uk/