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Learning Support - SEN



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The Learning Support department aims to ensure that all students have their individual learning needs met so that they can fulfil their potential. All students have a right to a broad and balanced curriculum with targeted support as necessary, which allows progression and coherence throughout the Key Stages. The Learning Support department will support students by advising on adaptive approaches in all subject areas and will also offer in-class support to some identified groups.

Hitchin Girls’ School promotes a high-quality teaching approach for all, ensuring that individual needs are met in a collaborative manner by communicating with students, parents/carers and staff to develop provisions. The department is based in our Pastoral and Learning Support Hub, which provides a quiet space for students to regulate and study if they require time outside the classroom setting.

We acknowledge that outside influences may affect academic achievement for some students and, with this in mind, the department will work to resolve 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. All students have access to Read and Write technology to support literacy needs in the classroom.

The department also works closely with the Examinations Officer to ensure that all students with a long-term disability or learning need have fair and equal access to 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 Psychologists, 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 our department whom they will meet on a regular basis.

There are opportunities to speak to Learning Support at all parent evenings by appointment. Parents/carers are able to call or email at any time for further discussions. Mrs Cole, the SENCO, is also the named Mental Health Lead at HGS.

Whilst every effort is made to gain information from primary feeder schools before a student arrives at HGS, we would strongly advise that, if you have any concerns at all about special additional needs or any other issues, you contact Mrs Cole on 01462 621 300 or email 

Meet the Team

Mrs Laura Cole - Assistant Headteacher/SENCO. Also the school Mental Health Lead and DSL 

Fun Fact: I got an award from the Queen once for a drawing at the East of England show.

Miss Alison Lennon - Assistant SENCO with a focus on access arrangements and coordinating interventions

Fun fact: I danced at the British Library.

Miss Mary Colbon - Learning Support Assistant

Fun Fact: I am a competitive  swimmer.

Mrs Heidi Charlton - Learning Support Assistant

Fun Fact: I have a pet cat called Harry.

Miss Deirdre Lawrence - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Autism support

Fun Fact: I did a 24-hour charity event of Jujitsu self defence.

Miss Kerry Mills - Learning Support Assistant specialising in Autism support

Fun Fact: I am an advanced open water scuba diver.

Miss Jemima Mincher - Learning Support Assistant

Fun Fact: I am on level 81 of Hay Day.

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

Fun Fact: I love the outdoors and can be a 'sewing bee'.

Mrs Bobbi Virdee - Learning Support Administration

Fun Fact: I ran the London Marathon in 2011.

Miss Amelia Wells - Learning Support Assistant 

Fun Fact: My favourite sport is Formula 1.

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