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Learning Support




The Learning Support Department aims to ensure that all students, irrespective of age, ability, ethnicity, language, class or background fulfil their potential. All students have a right to a broad and balanced curriculum which will meet their needs and which allows progression and coherence throughout the Key Stages. The Learning Support Department will support the students by advising on differentiation in all subject areas and will also offer in-class support to some identified groups. Hitchin Girls’ School promotes a Quality First teaching approach to support. This means that all students will benefit from high quality teaching which will also support the needs of learners with specific needs. 

We acknowledge that outside influences may affect academic achievement for some students and, with this in mind, the department will support social and behavioural issues in line with school policy. Where appropriate, the department will offer small group interventions and support as required. These include support work for social and emotional needs for Autistic students, Dyslexia strategy interventions and 'meet and greets' to encourage students to develop their organisational skills and independence. 

The department also works closely with the Examination Officer to ensure that all students with a long term disability or learning need have fair and equal access for public examinations. Please refer to our Access arrangements for further details. Students who have a temporary condition (e.g. medical/injury) are also supported.

The department works closely with a number of outside agencies such as Speech and Language Therapy, Educational Psychologist, Minority Ethnic Curriculum Support Service, Counsellors, Advisory Teachers, Outreach and Reintegration Support Workers, Asylum, Refugee and Traveller Team, School Health Advisors etc. We also work in conjunction with other educational establishments and workplaces. We have a specific location available for students at lunchtimes, where they may get support from Learning Support Assistants or use the facilities to do catch up work or homework. There are also drop-in sessions for students who need support socially during lunchtimes. Students who have an Educational Healthcare Plan (EHCP) are offered a Key Worker from the Learning Support Department who they will meet with on a regular basis.

There are opportunities to speak to the Learning Support Department at all Parent Evenings by appointment.  Parents/carers are able to call or e-mail at any time for further discussions. The SENCO is also the named Mental Health Lead at Hitchin Girls’ School.

Whilst every effort is made to gain information from primary feeder schools before a student arrives at Hitchin Girls' School, we would strongly advise that, if you have any concerns at all about special additional needs or any other issues, that you contact Mrs L Cole  on 01462 621300 or email

Meet the team 

Mrs Laura Cole - SENCO/Head of Learning Support Department. Also, the school Mental Health Lead, a DSP and Learning for Life Coordinator

Miss Shani Casey - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Visual and Hearing Impairment support and EAL support

Mrs Deidre Lawrence - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Autism support and Coordinator for the Lexia programme

Mrs Natalie Noble - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Dyslexia support and intervention strategies

Mrs Susan Rabel - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Dyslexia support and Maths interventions

Miss Molly Rackham - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Visual and Hearing Impairment support and social and emotional needs work

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