Student Support & SENCO
All students at Wilmington Grammar School for Girls have equal access to the broad curriculum.
This enables them to progress in line with their academic targets. The Student Support Team is based in the cottage and they address the varying needs/learning differences of students. These range from MLD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia to condition and disorder related difficulties such as ASD, ADD, anxiety, visual & hearing impairments; physical disabilities and medical conditions such as epilepsy and eating disorders.
The Student Support Team includes our SENCO (Mrs Baillie), Assistant SENCO Mrs Pritchard, four Pastoral Support Mangers, Mrs Pike (Safeguarding & PP Manager), Mrs Hatton (Year 7), Miss Gaines (Years 10 & 11), Miss McKay (Years 9 & 10) and Mrs Keleher (SEN) and our Student Managers for WG6, Mrs Wheatley (WGSG) and Mrs Regan (WGSB).
Some students require additional support in terms of organisation, presentation of homework, or with certain subjects. Once such students have been identified, they can be referred to the mentoring programme or to the Learning Mentors by either a Head of Department or Head of Year.
Learning mentors provide in-class support for identified students and appropriate interventions to meet the needs of students academically, socially and emotionally.
Peer Mentoring takes place during registration times or at lunch times. Pupils receive one-to-one support from a trained peer mentor within the Sixth Form and Year 10 teams. Where appropriate, this support may be delivered in a group setting. Parents/guardians are informed of the referrals to mentoring, and their support is important to ensure the students meet the targets set. The scheme is co-ordinated by Student Support.
The aims of the mentoring programme are to:
- establish and promote good organisational skills
- support those who are underachieving in academic subjects
- promote self esteem
- develop personal and interpersonal skills
- create positive relationships between junior and senior students
- encourage and enable students across the school to take increased responsibility in a leadership role.
The library and computer rooms are also available after school to facilitate those students who choose to remain in school to complete homework or study.
Prefects (Year 11) and Student Leaders (Year 13) make a valuable contribution to the school as role models, promoting a sense of responsibility and commitment to the school. They mix with junior students as they carry out their duties at form times, break and lunch times and can be approached by a student who has concerns. Some students will be assigned mentors to help them with their academic work. Form groups are assigned prefects who are selected to assist the Form Tutor and support the younger students. They play a very important role as often younger students will feel more comfortable first raising an issue or concern with their form prefect. Prefects also support subject areas, do lunchtime canteen duties, assist with events/ refreshments, support Duke of Edinburgh Award and the Library.
The primary aim of a Prefect System is to contribute towards ‘the Pursuit of Excellence’ by providing an opportunity to develop students’ leadership skills and encourage the qualities of respect and loyalty within the school environment. The team consists of the sixth form leadership team, the year 11 senior prefect team together with year 10 deputy prefects and Year 9 assistant prefects.
Students will be able to:
- Demonstrate the quality of commitment by upholding a post of responsibility within the School.
- Demonstrate leadership skills through the organisation of activities within the School.
- Demonstrate social values throughout the School.
- Support school staff in the promotion of excellence within the School.
- Enjoy the privileges afforded from positions of responsibility.
- Act as role models for other students in the School.
Prefects should be:
- Led by the Senior Prefect Team.
- Trained in leadership skills.
- Appointed through a recruitment process to include a letter of application, short- listing, presentation and election from staff and peers.
- Made accountable for their roles with the use of job descriptions, regular meetings, agendas, minutes, targets, duties and feedback to the Head Teacher etc.
- Proud of their prestigious role within the school
- Provided with a badge highlighting their role.
At WGSG relationships amongst students are very good and the school responds quickly to any allegations of bullying. Our Anti-Bullying Code demonstrates our commitment to promoting positive relationships in the school and our pledge to deal with any incidents that may arise. Our Anti-Bullying Policy can be read on our Key Information, Policies page here.
For information regarding Kent Parent partnership Service please click here. This service offers impartial advice and support to parents with children with SEN. KPPS aim to empower parents and families of children with SEN to be confident to take an active an informed role in their child’s education and development.
At WGSG we promote a whole school approach to mental wellbeing. This is evident through our strong pastoral structure and core values. Where students require additional support they may be referred to one of our wellbeing practitioners. Please click here to view an introduction presentation to the WBPs and their work in school. An increased layer of support is offered by the school counsellor who is available weekly to provide support for students and to try to resolve concerns or problems they may have in a confidential manner. Students are referred to the Pastoral Team by parents, staff and HoYs; they will then determine whether counselling is appropriate. Attendance at any counselling appointment is voluntary, and students may withdraw at any time. The focus is very much on empowering the students to formulate their own ways of dealing with the circumstances in which they find themselves. All information discussed during an appointment will remain confidential between the student and the counsellor, unless it relates to a Child Protection issue, in which case the counsellor forwards the information to the DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) who will the take the appropriate action, as is required by the law and the safeguarding of the student (see Child Protection/Safeguarding Policy). Brief confidential notes are kept by the counsellor, and a weekly appointment log of the students’ names and times is compiled SEN Pastoral Support Manager.
SEND (Special Educational Needs or Disability)
Students with an Education, Health and Care Plan are supported in accordance with their plan; they have annual reviews which set individual and personal targets, enabling students to make excellent progress in relation to their personal targets.
Students may arrive at the school with their needs identified, or they may be identified throughout their time at WGSG. They will be on the SEN register as “SEN Support” – this ensures that these students are supported and monitored in accordance with their personal and individual needs. The school has clear policies and procedures to ensure that all students’ needs are kept under review and additional support is put in place when needed.
The SENCO liaises with the Heads of Year and the Examinations Officer to ensure that special examination access arrangements are in place for those pupils entitled to such arrangements and pupils are guided in how to gain the most benefit from such arrangements. Those pupils who are in Years 10 and above will be given advice about suitable career options through the Morrisby test and Careers Advisor.
Please see our SIR (SEN Information Report) under Statutory Information.
For information regarding Kent advice and support please see the click here. This service offers confidential and impartial information, advice and support to children, young people and parents of children with SEN.
EAL (English as an Additional Language)
Many parents do not realise that if a student speaks a language other than English at home, then they are categorised as EAL regardless of whether English is their ‘best’ language.
“A pupil’s first language is defined as any language other than English that a child was exposed to during early development and continues to be exposed to in the home or community. If a child was exposed to more than one language (which may include English) during early development, a language other than English should be recorded, irrespective of the child’s proficiency in English"
Vulnerable to achieve
At WGSG, a student is considered vulnerable if they:
- have an identified disability or learning difficulty;
- are emotionally vulnerable
- are an unaccompanied Asylum Seeker, a Young Carer, or a pupil whose family’s income is low;
- are in receipt of free school meals;
- have an on-going safeguarding issue;
- have English as a second or other language;
- have been identified as being vulnerable or at risk by the school or Local Authority, including those with multi agency support, poor attendance, additional learning support needs;
- are in the 6th form and are from the EFA defined vulnerable groups - Young Person in Care or a Care Leaver, Young Person receiving Income Support (or Universal Credit) in their own name; and disabled young people in receipt of both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (or Personal Independence Payments).