Additional Support Needs Department
SUPPORT FOR LEARNING
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT NEEDS DEPARTMENT
During their school career, a number of pupils may encounter difficulties of one form or another. Most of these difficulties are of short duration and can be overcome quite quickly with minimal support. Other pupils, however, because of their specific individual needs, may require a higher level of support which continues throughout their education. Many of these pupils are able, with support, to attend their local mainstream school. Some, however, may require a more distinctive teaching approach and level of support that is available in a Department of Additional Support.
Although the Additional Support Needs Department is an integral part of Woodmill High School, the pupils in the department come from schools all over West Fife and not just the traditional associated primaries. Woodmill is an inclusive school and, as such, pupils can not only access ASN classes, but also mainstream classes as appropriate. Every pupil has an individualised timetable where their own skills determine the class they are taught in. This will vary from a mainstream subject class to small class groups within the ASN department itself. There are many opportunities for pupils in the ASN to be included with their mainstream peers, such as the School Council and other committees, House activities, Registration and assemblies, Prefect system, extra curricular activities and award ceremonies.
In the ASN Department, as in the wider school, we aim “to encourage all pupils to achieve as much as they are capable of academically and, at the same time, to develop as confident and well-rounded citizens.” We also have a particular focus on each pupil’s personal and social development, including their health and wellbeing. The Curriculum for Excellence is central to these aims and steers the teaching and learning across all subjects, including Language and Communication, Health and Wellbeing, Maths, Social Subjects, Science and Expressive Arts. As in Woodmill mainstream subject departments, the ASN Department has increased the number and levels of SQA courses available to pupils. We now have more pupils achieving at levels 1-4 across the curriculum than we have had at any other time.
We are very aware in Woodmill of the importance of carefully planned transitions to post-school provision and our senior pupils in the ASN have opportunities to attend Carnegie College and to take part in Work Experience programmes during their last year at school. Planning meetings are held with parents and staff from post-school destinations to ensure a smooth transition, which can include input from Social Work based organisations and providers from the private and charitable sector.
The ASN Department is staffed by two Principal Teachers, thirteen class teachers plus Pupil Support staff. Speech and Language Therapy, Social Work, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Educational Psychologists, the Home School Link Officer and Skills Development Scotland also work closely with us to support pupils. The education of pupils with additional support needs is the shared task of all the professionals involved, the parents and carers and the pupils themselves.