Academic Support at Shebbear College

Our ‘Local Offer’ for Special Educational Needs and Disability
Mainstream version (SEND) is available to download from our Policies page.

An Inclusive Environment for Learning 

Academic Support is a busy and thriving part of Shebbear College, helping pupils to achieve their full learning potential. We feel that in our innovative department we can offer practical advice and assistance. We have pens and pen grips to help with fine motor skills, a handwriting scheme using music for writing skills, coloured reading rulers and overlays to help visual dyslexics, tangles for pupils needing something to manipulate and a multitude of educational games. We strive to assist every pupil with learning difficulties, and to give them the resources to succeed.

At Shebbear College we aim to be inclusive by working towards an ethos of quality first teaching. Teaching and learning is of a high standard and the Academic Support Department aims to enable those students who need that little extra to access a broad and balanced curriculum, to foster independent learning and to develop lifelong skills. We believe that students achieve and learn best when they feel safe, healthy, confident and happy, therefore self-esteem and personal fulfillment are key factors in success.

The Academic Support Department provides specific and structured support primarily for those pupils with a Specific Learning Difficulty, such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia.  Our aim is to provide all of our students with the best possible teaching and support in the areas of literacy, numeracy and study skills. We strive to enable all pupils to access the curriculum and achieve their true potential.

As all of our pupils are individually unique and diverse, they are motivated to learn using their own particular learning styles. For this reason, they are taught to recognise their strengths and know their study habits, so that they can maximise their potential. As many of the pupils find it difficult to retain information and to concentrate, we aim to motivate them using multi-sensory techniques, educational puzzles and computer programmes. These provide structured learning, where gaining knowledge can be fun!

Our Academic Support Department is a supportive and encouraging department. We aim to make learning enjoyable and to support our students throughout their time at Shebbear College. We seek to prepare and equip our students with essential transferable skills that will enable them, primarily, to make the most of the learning opportunities available to them at Shebbear College and also to access further learning opportunities throughout the rest of their lives.

We are small enough as a department to be able to individualise the nature of the support we give, and large enough to be able to deliver that support as and when it is required.

We strive to support our pupils in every possible way that we can. We are small enough as a department to be able to individualise the nature of the support we give, and large enough to be able to deliver that support as and when it is required. Our Academic Support Assistants (ASAs) provide an invaluable role, nurturing and supporting the pupils they work alongside. They use strategies and learning techniques to encourage the pupils to learn in their own way. They are very resourceful and incredibly good at what they do.

Throughout the school, pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties are withdrawn from their classes for specific lessons; this invaluable time can ensure that pupils are given the support and opportunity to improve their literacy skills and strengthen their performance across other subject areas. Individual Target Plans (ITPs) are overseen by the Academic Support Department and are produced termly, enabling pupils, parents and staff to build on the progress made and to celebrate pupil successes. New, achievable targets are then set to ensure future progress is consistently achieved.

When it comes to exams, pupils requiring assistance receive help and support to allow them to compete with their peers on a level playing field. Exam Access Arrangements are easily arranged thanks to our strong connections with local Educational Psychologists. Depending on need, concessions can include reading, scribing, word-processing, prompters and extra time.