How does the Infant School support children who have additional learning needs? Jo Osman (Academic Deputy Headteacher) and Deborah Pearce (Head of Enhanced Provision) explain how they do this with Enhanced Provision.
We have always had outstanding provision in the Infant School for Learning Support, Precision Teaching and Enrichment to support children who have additional learning needs. Fresh out of the pandemic, the Infant Leadership Team took the opportunity to review and slightly restructure departments to meet the needs of children who, among others, have been affected by over two years of masks and restrictions. This led to the creation of a new, separate department known as Enhanced Provision. Unlike Learning Support, which supports children with diagnosed learning difficulties, this new department focuses on two aspects.
The first is precision teaching, supporting children whose progress in a specific area may have stalled or slowed, putting them at risk of falling behind their peers. These groups may include children who need more focused, intensive and repetitive practice of basic concepts in English or Mathematics in order to feel secure and move forwards. Or perhaps they may be new to Tanglin and need some intensive additional sessions to help them rapidly fill any gaps and access classroom teaching alongside their peers. To this end the department comprises of two Precision Teachers, Mrs Deborah Pearce and Mrs Leanne Dean, and two Enhanced Provision Teaching and Learning Assistants, Ms Festin and Ms Lynn, all of whom have a great deal of experience and expertise in helping children develop confidence, whilst also rapidly accelerating their progress.
The other aspect of Enhanced Provision is through Enrichment, led for many years by our expert, Mrs Kelly Lapping. Mrs Lapping helps teachers identify children who have an exceptional aptitude or passion within English or Mathematics who might benefit from being further challenged in a group of like-minded peers outside of the classroom for a few weeks. As a school we believe in challenging all children, and all colleagues are trained to differentiate, stretching the expectations of even the highest fliers within the regular classroom setting. The enrichment sessions require children to think outside of the box, apply their knowledge in unfamiliar ways and utilise their communication, collaboration and concentration skills with new friends, so the dynamics of the working group are key. The ultimate aim of our enrichment programme is not to teach more content, but to inspire curiosity, build learning resilience and further ignite passions.
A fantastic start
The Enhanced Provision department has already made a fantastic start to the year. They immediately identified children transitioning into new classes and year groups who need a boost in specific areas, including many new children to Years 1 and 2. A great deal of focus has been directed at supporting children with their phonics. This is key to becoming a successful reader and writer, affecting the whole curriculum. With the new implementation of Read Write Inc across the Infant School, the team have worked closely with the children to identify their strengths and areas for growth so any gaps can be filled rapidly. Even our youngest readers in Reception have enjoyed meeting ‘Fred’ the frog, who is teaching them how to blend those all-important letter sounds. Look out for F-r-e-d next time you are in school!
- The Voice