Welcome to Academic Support at
Saltus Grammar School
Academic Support endeavours to meet the needs of students whose academic performance is consistently disparate to their overall measured ability. Recognizing that students excel and struggle in unique ways, our learning specialists partner with classroom teachers to explore and identify challenges for students who may require additional support to realize their own potential. Academic Support Services vary based on the developmental expectations of each department, resources available, and the needs of individual students.
The aims of the Primary Academic Support Services are:
- To identify students whose needs are not being met in the classroom through screening, analysis of data, portfolios of work, and teacher or parent referral
- To provide small group targeted intervention in Literacy and Numeracy to supplement effective classroom instruction
- To support students, their parents and staff in helping students to reach expected levels of progress
- To facilitate networks that foster skills of self- awareness, resilience and self- advocacy
The early years of school are important for every child, but for those who find learning difficult, every one of these years is critical. Powerful early intervention can change the path of a child’s educational journey. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we strive to address difficulties in Literacy and Numeracy before they become lifelong challenges.
Synthetic phonics instruction is provided in small groups to support students who need to further develop their phonic knowledge, skills and understanding. Focused sessions reinforce the basics of phonics in a fun and enjoyable way. The aim is to help students become fluent, confident readers and writers as soon as possible.
Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a small group, supplementary intervention designed for students in S1 – S4 who find reading and writing difficult. The lessons include systematic phonics and focus on key aspects of phonics learning: phonological awareness, letter knowledge, letter-sound relationships, letter formation, word structure, spelling patterns, and high frequency words. The focus of writing is the building of early writing strategies. Students learn how to compose, construct, and develop essential strategies for writing in the classroom. Fluency is an important goal of LLI instruction. Lessons highlight attention to fluent, phrased reading as well as fluency in writing.
Key Stage 1 students who need extra support receive additional targeted instruction in basic number concepts, calculation and problem solving. Small group pull out sessions are designed to complement in-class support where tasks are differentiated to meet unique and individual needs.
Key Stage 2 students participate in Springboard. This is a Numeracy catch-up programme. In addition to daily math lessons, these small group interventions are designed to support targeted areas of mathematics that can prevent students from achieving expected levels of progress. Springboard combines explicit instruction with extended opportunities for student response and feedback.
The aims of the Secondary Academic Support Services are:
- To provide flexible student-centered support to students who have documented learning exceptionalities from years 7 to SGY2.
- To support students in developing a repertoire of strategies that will empower them to become responsible and resilient learners.
- To foster positive attitudes towards learning and to enable self-advocacy.
- To make applications for examination accommodations to IGCSE examination boards and to the College Board, on behalf of IGCSE, AP and CLEP students.
- To assist students in learning how to use their accommodations to maximize examination achievement.
- To advocate on behalf of, and collaboration with students and the School Guidance Counselor, assisting with subject choices.
- To liaise with appropriate outside agencies, teaching staff, and parents.
Academic Support in the Secondary Department supports student learning across the curriculum by facilitating Literacy and Numeracy support at Key Stage Three with wider support available at Key stage 4 and in the SGY years. In addition, students develop planning, study and organization skills to maximize learning potential. Students are encouraged to liaise regularly with subject teachers, with their Learning Support specialist and with their advisors to promote communication and personal ownership of learning. Additionally, Secondary Learning Support Specialists liaise with students, their parents, advisors, classroom teachers, Year Coordinators and Heads of Department with great regularity throughout the school year. Team-work is at the heart of the support offered in the Senior Department as students prepare to transition to tertiary education and into the working world.
At Key Stage 3, students receive explicit support in Literacy and /or numeracy based on their individual needs. Sessions focus on improving skills that will enhance performance in Math and English, specifically, and the wider curriculum in general. Individual support targets are generated every marking period in agreement with the student and their Math and English teachers.
As students progress into GCSE years, they receive a blend of explicit Math and English support, in addition to specific subject support in other curricular areas. Liaison with subject staff continues as does the use of support targets. When students progress to the Senior Graduate Years (the last two years of school), support becomes even more individualized and students have greater input into the process.
Learning specialists in our Academic Support department have extensive training in testing and assessment. Students in S10/S11 who may benefit from extra-time arrangements for external GCSE/IGCSE exams can be assessed internally. Applications for these exams are submitted in March of the same year the exams are held.
Students who request extra-time arrangements for Advanced Placement (AP) exams must meet more extensive and stringent requirements outlined by College Board. We refer these parents and students to our local psychologists. Applications for these exams are submitted, at the latest, in February of the same year the exams are held; however, we advise and encourage the submission of applications during SGY1 to facilitate accommodations being available in SAT examinations which students may take throughout their SGY years and for those writing examinations external examinations at the end of SGY1.
Beyond the classroom
When students face challenges beyond teaching and learning, we partner with a wide network of resources in the community. Some of these resources include The Reading Clinic, Child and Adolescent Services, speech and language therapists, educational/clinical Psychologists, occupational/physical therapists, behavior therapists and pediatricians.
Parents and families are by far the most important influence in a child's life and your involvement will play a vital role at all stages of your child's education. Research consistently indicates that the home learning environment is a crucial factor in predicting and developing children’s literacy and numeracy skills and their future life chances. Parents are a child’s first educator.
Academic Support will continue to promote an active collaboration between the home and school which serves to strengthen the effectiveness of the quality education we provide at Saltus.