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St. Bede's Catholic College

ST Bede's

Catholic College

    Learning Support

    The Learning Support Faculty is widely respected in the college, and the Governing Body, Principal, Head of Learning Support and all members of staff have important responsibilities and roles to play to ensure Inclusivity within our Catholic Community. The Head of Learning Support and our team of LSA’s have brilliant relationships with staff, students and parents, as well as other stakeholders. The College seeks to raise aspirations and attainment, remove barriers to learning and increase physical and curricular access for all. Every child and young person is valued, respected and an equal member of the learning community.

    We are committed to offering an inclusive curriculum to ensure the best possible progress for all students whatever their needs or abilities. We value the contribution that every child and young person can make and welcome diversity arising from culture, religion, intellect or disability. All teachers at the College are responsible for students with SEND in their classrooms, and so we ensure CPD on special educational needs and disabilities is thorough and regular for all staff. All staff feel confident in teaching a variety of disabilities and are able to scaffold work and embed strategies to support these students in their learning and socialisation. Besides creating a learning environment which is encouraging and sensitive to individual needs, the College sees education as more than academic performance. It is also about fostering qualities of independence, self-advocacy, positive self-esteem and respect for others. 

    To support our students, the Learning Support Faculty facilitates a range of Interventions, such as Writing, Reading, Maths, Wellbeing, Speech & Language, Vocabulary, Creative Wellbeing and Social Skills Groups. Over recent years we have expanded this offering, to ensure that students can access this support on a wider scale. We have grown our department through creating a progression structure, which not only gives our team the opportunity for progression and responsibility, but also encourages the pursuit of CPD opportunities and qualifications. The faculty is an inspiring place to work - colleagues have meaningful work to complete and their successes are celebrated. Therefore, as part of this progression structure, HLTA’s in core subjects and specialisms in different disabilities, such as Autism and Learning Difficulties, have been implemented to strengthen our knowledge base and ensure that we are kept up-to-date with current research and discovery within various fields.

    The Learning Support Faculty completed the SENDIA Award for the school, which highlighted that our provision for students with additional needs at St Bede’s is of an excellent standard. As part of this report, the assessor stated that ‘The SENCo has a clear vision for SEND within the college, which promotes fully inclusive provision and valuing staff and stakeholders within a child-centred approach.’ Our Ofsted Report 2021 stated that: ‘The support for students with special educational needs is coordinated effectively. Teachers have received useful training so they can adapt the curriculum to meet students’ needs. The special educational needs coordinator checks what is working well for students and liaises with staff and external agencies accordingly’. We were pleased with all this positive feedback on our work and then built on these positive foundations over the last few years.


    Mrs R Parry - Head of Learning Support
    Mrs V King - Learning Support Administrator
    Mrs M Bird - Learning Support Teacher
    Mrs J White - HLTA / LSA
    Mrs V Mundy - HLTA / LSA
    Mrs M Everitt - LSA
    Mrs A Matthews - LSA
    Mrs S Gouveia De Castro - LSA
    Miss A Preen - LSA
    Mrs J Zielinska - LSA
    Mrs S Moseley - LSA
    Mrs S Kalfopulos - LSA
    Mrs S Curtis - LSA
    Miss K Inker - LSA
    Mrs L Campuzano de Colman - LSA
    Mr L Motta Laranjeiras - LSA

    What types of SEN does St Bede’s Catholic College support?

    St Bede’s Catholic College has experience in supporting a wide range of Special Educational Needs including:

    • Cognition and Learning difficulties
    • Speech, Language and Communication difficulties
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Social Communication Difficulties
    • Specific learning difficulties such as Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Dysgraphia
    • Physical difficulties and medical needs
    • Sensory difficulties including Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment
    • Social, Emotional and Mental Health difficulties

    How will St Bede’s Catholic College identify and assess pupils and young people with Special Educational Needs and how do I contact the Head of Learning Support?

    The Head of Learning Support is Mrs R Parry who can be contacted via the main school number 01173772200 or via email on

    St Bede’s Catholic College is committed to early identification of special educational need. A range of evidence is collected through the usual assessment and monitoring arrangements:

    Prior to transfer to St Bede’s Catholic College the Head of Learning Support visits the primary schools to gather information from teachers who know your child best.

    We use assessments such as KS2 results and reading, spelling and Maths test results, the teacher’s own assessments and any outside agency reports that may be available.

    On transfer to St Bede’s Catholic College we carry out our own assessments including reading and spelling tests, Cognitive Abilities Tests and some subject specific assessments.

    Throughout your child’s time at St Bede’s Catholic College their progress in the curriculum will be tracked regularly

    Any teacher or parent can raise concern with the Head of Learning Support at any time.

    What are the arrangements for consulting parents and involving them in their child’s education? 

    The Code of Practice 2014 has set out the expectation that parents are involved when there is a suggestion that their child may have a Special Educational Need and that parents are involved in discussing the provision and reviewing their child’s progress three times a year. This may happen at parents' evenings or in separate meetings hosted by a member of staff who knows your child well. You are encouraged to contact the college if you would like to come in and talk about your child.

    If we feel that your child is in need of SEND support you will be invited to a meeting to discuss the outcomes we wish to work towards. Your child will be placed on our Learning Support list. We will work together to discuss the type of support which might be appropriate, including what can be done at home. An action plan will be put in place which will be reviewed between you, your child and a teacher who knows your child well. There will be a meeting three times a year.

    If your child is not currently on the Learning Support list and you are concerned, you are encouraged to contact Mrs Parry at your earliest convenience.

    What are the arrangements for consulting young people and involving them in their education?  

    Pupils are involved in every stage of the assessment, planning and reviewing provision and are central in decision-making. Pupils are asked what works and what doesn’t work and there is a focus on future aspirations to make sure that, as far as possible, the provision at St Bedes Catholic College not only suits them but is preparing them for adulthood.

    If a student is in the 6th Form it is expected that they will actively seek advice or support if they need it, either through the subject teacher, Head of 6th Form or Mrs Parry.

    What are the practical arrangements for assessing and reviewing progress towards outcomes?

    When we hold meetings at St Bede’s Catholic College we will focus on what is working and what is not working as well as things that are important to and for the pupil and their family and /or other supportive people as well as aspirations for the future. At these meetings the outcomes that everyone agrees are recorded and an action plan drawn up to identify the appropriate action everyone will take to work towards achieving these outcomes. At the next meeting the progress towards these outcomes will be reviewed and if achieved, other outcomes may be agreed or there may be no further action.

    What are the arrangements for supporting pupils and young people in moving between phases of education and preparing for adulthood?

    Also See Identification of Special Educational Needs at question 2.

    In preparing for transfer between primary school (Key Stage2) to St Bede’s Catholic College (Key Stage 3) there are meetings at the primary school to which the Head of Learning Support is invited, particularly where it is felt that the child may find transition difficult. Specific visits to St Bede’s Catholic College can be arranged with the college by contacting Mrs Parry, Head of Learning Support.

    In moving between phases of education including from one academic year to the next there are sometimes trigger points for stress or anxiety; these can be planned for and supported through the meeting cycle.

    What is the approach to teaching pupils and young people with SEND?

    First and foremost, the subject teacher is responsible for teaching all pupils in a way which meets their needs. This is a strong base and firm belief at St Bede’s Catholic College and, as such, is reflected in the Appraisals of teachers and the training of Teachers' and Learning Support Assistants. There is an expectation that Quality First Teaching is the first response to meeting the needs of all pupils and that all are entitled to a broad and balanced differentiated curriculum.

    How are adaptions made to the curriculum and the learning environment of pupils and young people with SEND?

    Firstly, adaptions are made through differentiating the lesson – this may be some of many possibilities, such as: adapting language, giving a choice of tasks, grouping pupils, questioning, writing down the main tasks, being sensitive to specific needs and exploring ways to ensure that pupils are challenged in a safe way, allowing their strengths and successes to be celebrated.

    Learning Support Assistants are trained in a variety of types of SEND and are available in identified lessons to ensure that a child is able to fully participate in the lesson and to develop independent skills.

    Some pupils have discreet literacy, social skills, Maths or study skills intervention which may be short, medium or long term and could take place during tutor time or out of a lesson. The exact nature and length of the provision will depend on what is appropriate for a pupil at the time; this will be discussed during meetings with you.

    What is the expertise and training of staff to support pupils and young people with SEND?

    Specialist support from the Learning Support team is provided when young people with SEND require support to achieve their potential in their lessons. The support varies from child to child and will be put together through discussion with you using a range of information from subject teachers and outside agencies if appropriate.

    How is the effectiveness of provision evaluated?

    The progress pupils make towards the outcomes they need is measured three times a year plus a full written report through subject assessments. Progress towards other outcomes, social skills or specific interventions is evaluated regularly and discussed at the Learning Support meetings which will take place 3 times a year.

    St Bede’s Catholic College uses interventions which are research based and structured; if it is necessary to change provision in the light of poor progress, there is a choice available.

    St Bede’s Catholic College has an Educational Psychologist based at Bristol City Council who makes recommendations for certain types of provision and monitors progress with the pupils they review as part of their statutory provision. In addition, we are regularly visited by other outside agencies and specialist teachers such as Social Communication, Autism, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment and Mobility advisors.

    How are pupils and young people enabled to engage in activities available to pupils and young people in school who do not have SEND?

    St Bede’s Catholic College is a fully inclusive school. All pupils are enabled to participate in all activities available; this may require adjustments to be made in terms of technology or staffing.

    What is the support available for improving emotional and social development including pastoral support arrangements for listening to the views of pupils and young people with SEND and measures to prevent bullying.

    St Bede’s Catholic College has a strong Pastoral Support system in place which includes the support of a Head of House and the Pupil Support Team.

    Every pupil belongs to a Tutor Group; tutors stay with their tutor group as pupils move up the school. Your child’s tutor, Head of House and Pastoral Assistant will get to know you and your child over the years at St Bede’s Catholic College.

    How does St Bede’s Catholic College involve other bodies, including health and social care bodies, local authority support services and voluntary sector organisations, in meeting pupils and young people’s SEND and supporting their families?

    Any involvement of outside agencies is made in consultation with parents and through the referral processes accepted by the various agencies. In some circumstances, it may be decided that a Single Assessment Framework (SAF) is needed where a few agencies may be necessary to support the needs of the child and their family. We may ask parents to discuss concerns with their GP especially when it is felt that a referral to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), is appropriate or in circumstances where further investigation into Social and Communication issues or Autism is necessary in order that the GP has a full picture. We also benefit from the support of the School Nursing Team.

    What are the arrangements for handling complaints from parents of pupils with SEN about provision made at the school?

    Any parent/carer dissatisfied with any aspect of SEND provision should first seek to discuss it with Mrs Parry by letter, email, phone or in person. If concerns remain, parent/carer should contact Mrs Marina Smith, Vice Principal.  If it is not felt that the school is not addressing the concerns the Governor with responsibility for SEND, Mrs T Gilpin, should be contacted via a letter sent to the school.

    What is the additional support for learning that is available to pupils with special educational needs?

    There is a wide range of additional support including:

    • Teaching Assistant support in class,
    • Teaching Assistant support out of class
    • Specialist teaching of Maths in small groups,
    • Targeted research based interventions for literacy.
    • Speech and language strategies
    • Sensory support
    • Organisational support
    • Social skills groups
    • Small group support for vulnerable students
    • Anger management support
    • Access arrangements in exams

    The type of package drawn up may include a range of these interventions or supports including that which is generally available through the Pastoral System. We will monitor and adjust the level of support at times of stress around holidays, tests, exams and times of transition, e.g. into Year 7, Year 10 at the start of the GCSE courses and transition at 16.

    How are equipment and facilities secured to support pupils and young people with special educational needs?

    Through discussion with parents (or the pupil themselves if in the 6th form) St Bede’s Catholic College will use their best endeavours to secure appropriate equipment to support pupils and young people with SEND. St Bede’s Catholic College has a limited supply of small specialist equipment which is distributed according the needs of the pupils and includes items such as coloured overlays, fiddle toys and pen grips. Larger and more specialist equipment is generally secured through outside agencies or the Local Authority. The Learning Support Faculty has a number of laptops that can be borrowed by students to use in lessons that require significant writing. These are distributed to Faculties where extended pieces of writing are frequently necessary.

    What are the contact details for support services for the parents of pupils with special educational needs?

    The SEND Code of Practice 0-25 years June 2014 lists the following:

    Specifically for post 16:


    This website includes many useful links to other places and a great deal of information and support guidance.

    Bristol City Council is required to publish a Local Offer

    The requirement for Bristol City Council providing information falls under the Pupils and Families Act 2014, the SEND Code of Practice 0-25 June 2014 and the SEND Regulations 2014. The Local Offer includes information about provision expected to be available across education, health and social care for pupils who have SEN or are disabled, including those who do not have Education, Health and Care Plans.

    The Bristol City Council SEND website is: 

    © 2024 St. Bede's Catholic College. St Bede's Catholic College, a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales, company number 07798550. Registered office: St Bede's Catholic College, Long Cross, Bristol, BS11 0SU.