Central to the ethos of Ysgol Penglais School is the commitment to addressing the learning needs of all students and, in particular, those who have been identified as having a specific learning difficulty [SpLD] and are on the ALN register. Many students demonstrate dyslexic tendencies and the school is committed to embedding dyslexia friendliness into every part of the school life. The aim of the basic skills support team is to support students with a specific learning difficulty, to fully achieve their potential.
The purpose of the basic skills support centre is to develop and increase the skill of each student in order that they can access the National Curriculum, to develop skills to match their potential and to improve self-esteem within a relaxed and sympathetic environment.
The provision of intervention is based on a number of factors including specialist reports, information provided at transition and regular assessments of reading and spelling levels. The number of lessons students are seen for depends on their individual needs; those in the smaller class have an increased number of lessons. Students may be withdrawn from mainstream lessons to receive intervention lessons depending on standardised scores achieved in assessments.
The learning environment addresses not just academic needs but also the building of trust and emotional wellbeing; many students with SpLD suffer from loss of confidence, lack of self-esteem and disengagement. Using a variety of cumulative, structured learning programmes and interactive, multisensory, supporting activities, students are encouraged to rebuild to discover their natural learning ability. Confidence and self-image are vital in learning.
Ultimately, the basic skills support centre aims to provide a happy, supportive and caring environment where students who are not reaching their full potential are motivated to learn and progress. This support will lead to students improving their basic skills so they can access the mainstream curriculum independently, and without requiring intervention.
A range of skills are taught across the department including:
- Literacy Skills – reading, spelling, comprehension and handwriting
- Keyboard Skills
- Numeracy Skills – the four rules of number, tables techniques, money and time
- Organisational Skills – memory, thinking and listening skills
- Social Skills