The emphasis of the Individual Development Department within South Lee School is, through liaison with every member of the teaching staff, to accelerate the learning of all pupils in all aspects of their education and individual development. The department was purposely given the title of ‘Individual Development’ to come away from the often misunderstood title of ‘Special Educational Needs (SEN)’. At South Lee we consider all children to have needs and at times these can come under the umbrella of the Individual Development (ID) department.
The aim of our Individual Development department is to take a more holistic approach to supporting the children to develop strategies for their lessons, to support the teaching staff to cater for those children more effectively, as well as continuing to deliver high quality 1:1 and small group support. Research shows that this more holistic approach to individual needs is very successful. As well as focusing on academic subjects, there is a lot of support for children who need extra help in terms of developing their emotional intelligence. Pastoral and academic welfare are of equal importance, so we ensure both are catered for at the highest possible level.
Those children currently in receipt of ID support will have assessments and observations in the first few weeks of the Michaelmas term so that we can review and set meaningful targets collaboratively with children and parents. We will be reviewing these targets on a regular basis with the children, parents and internally with teachers.
The support from the ID department will be more fluid and tailored to the needs of individuals. In some cases, this may mean short term support, in other cases much more sustained or long term support. In all cases we are supporting our children to develop into independent learners, equipped with strategies for success in all subjects.
Every child at South Lee is seen as an individual and we aim to allow each of them to develop their potential to the best of our ability.
Teachers use differentiated activities, seating positions and incorporate the use of multi-sensory teaching. Extension and enrichment activities using accelerated learning techniques and the development of thinking skills may also be utilised. Targets may be agreed to enable the pupil to take steps to achieving their learning goals. Differentiation within a class can take many forms but every teaching programme devised places a very strong emphasis on confidence building.
We also encourage parents to take an active role within our plans for their children. We ask that every parent reads regularly with and to their child across the year groups in the school. Reading with children should not stop once a child can read, as the development of vocabulary is hugely beneficial to the development of intelligence. Support with homework is also appreciated, however if your child is struggling with a concept please inform the subject or class teacher.
Mrs Baker leads the department and is joined by Mrs Donald, Miss Levett and Mrs Chinnery. Alongside them, specialist teachers run individual and small group sessions for those children in need of extra help. Extensive training in a range of learning difficulties is provided to all teaching staff.
Sometimes a child may have an Individual Development Plan (IDP) where we formalise the arrangement for targeted support. Occasionally, as a parent, you may come across other children undertaking differing tasks to your child. Children who work with the ID department regularly have daily sheets to work on. These are for revision of a specific task and only take a few minutes. If your child does not have the same work, this means their needs are being met in a different way. We do aim to monitor every child as closely as possible but if you feel your child’s needs are not being met then please do contact the department. All teachers, including those in the ID department, are available for you to talk to. A phone call or appointment can be arranged to suit your availability.