Support for Learning Department


  • Mrs A. Mackenzie (Principal Teacher)
  • Mrs L. Atha (Teacher)
  • Mrs M. Wimberley (Learning Assistant)
  • Mr. J. Macaulay (Learning Assistant)
  • Mrs B. Brooks (Learning Assistant)
  • Ms C. Epp (Learning Assistant)
  • Ms. E. Helpenstell (Learning Assistant)


Role of the department

The Support for Learning Department is part of the wider Additional Support Team in the High School. This team is made up of Support for Pupils, Support for Learning and Behaviour Support staff. The team provides extra assistance to help all pupils to achieve their full potential but, in particular, those who have additional needs.


Forms of support

Both pupils and staff are very accustomed to the presence of Support for Learning staff in classes where they help youngsters complete the work set by the teacher. In S1 up to S4 assistance is mainly provided in five major areas; English, Mathematics, Social Subjects, Science and Modern Languages. Most pupils in S5/6 have developed personal strategies that enable them to operate independently. Where a youngster does require in-class support it is delivered on an individual basis.


Extraction from classes

While we try to support mostly within classes, there are opportunities for some pupils to be extracted for up to three times per week to have one-to-one attention. Additionally, we run various small groups to cater for specific needs.


S1 and S2 Therapy Inclusion Groups

Pupils in these groups are being helped to develop their fine and gross motor skills through a variety of activities. They also work on enhancing personal organisation and memory. They organise a transition afternoon for about 20 incoming P7 pupils in May before the two formal day visit in June of each academic year.


S1 “Pens Down” Group and the S1 “Connect” Group

The aim of these groups is to build confidence and help youngsters cope with the many and varied class and social situations they meet which require a high level of social interaction. The literacy of good communication is dealt with through story reading and discussion.


Monitoring progress

Information about pupil needs is shared with staff and some youngsters will have an additional support plan to help monitor progress. Included in these are targets and strategies specific to individuals which class teachers can use to help youngsters cope with the work set. These plans are set at the beginning of the academic session and reviewed twice; during January/February and in May/June.

There is an opportunity for an early “settling in” meeting in October for S1 parents/carers.

Some pupils will also have a transition meeting in March/April to which parents/carers are invited to discuss how their child can be supported in the following year.

The Support for Learning teachers are available on scheduled parents evenings but parents/carers can contact the Principal Teacher any time with questions or concerns.

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