What are Additional Support Needs?
Many students no matter what their ability level may have Additional Support Needs (ASN) at some point during their time at school. This difficulty may be either long or short-term and the school has an integrated Pupil Support department (which also includes Guidance and external agencies) that works closely with subject departments to support the needs of individual students as appropriate.
Learning Support at Newbattle
The Pupil Support department works closely with the pupil themselves as well as subject teachers, parents and specialists (e.g. Careers Advisors, Physiotherapy, Educational Psychology, English as an Additional Language, Midlothian Support for Autistics Spectrum Disorders).
The active involvement of parents together with young people and their teachers is vital when deciding on the programme of support that will be offered to a young person. Examples of support provided are:
- agreed use of The Learning Hub for students to be given individual courses of study.
- in-class support from Learning Assistants in normal timetabled classes.
- withdrawal from some classes for individual or small group work or paired reading schemes.
- use of the Learning Hub during lunchtime and morning interval
- the Newbattle Nurture Room (see below)
- distribution and upkeep of electronic aids and other ICT materials.
- providing support in Scottish Qualifications Authority exams (such as readers, scribes, ICT support).
- providing staff with individual student information with teaching and learning strategies that could be employed to ensure they meet the needs of every student in their class.
The school has run a Paired Reading Scheme successfully for many years. A selection of students in S1 and S2 willingly meet up with an S6 student to read a wide range of material over a 20 week course. The aim is to encourage students to read while providing them with an experience of accessing different types of reading materials.
The school is closely involved with parents/carers, students and staff in the integration and inclusion of students with particular needs.
The Newbattle Nurture Room was established in 2016 and is designed to allow our young people to come into a warm and accepting environment which supports and teaches skills to help develop positive relationships with pupils and staff. The room is used for nurture groups, breakfast club, group work sessions and for pupils who simply need a quiet place to come to during periods of emotional stress.
Nurture Groups were designed first and foremost to enable young people to form attachments with loving and caring adults within the school environment and this unconditional positive attitude towards young people is the most powerful mechanism for change. Currently we run Nurture Groups for 25 of our most vulnerable S1 and S2 students with each group coming for a Nurture session twice weekly.
The aim of the Nurture approach is to not only to embed the Six Principles of Nurture within the Nurture Room environment but throughout the whole school. This initiative has become one of our Whole School Aims and is being taken forward by our Principal Teacher (Inclusion). To find out more about Nurture please visit https://nurturegroups.org/about-nurture.