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Sunningdale School

Learning Support Policy


The Learning Support Policy is reviewed annually by the Head of Learning Support, in consultation with the Director of Studies. This review includes looking at the effectiveness of the identification, provision, record keeping and resources.

This policy document reflects the aims, practices and strategies that we as a school, have agreed on to ensure effective and efficient provision for those boys with special educational needs at Sunningdale School.

Definition of Special Educational Needs


Aims and Values

Sunningdale School is an inclusive, non-selective school. As such, some boys enter Sunningdale with known learning difficulties. In addition, some boys as they progress through the school, are flagged as boys who may potentially have specific learning difficulties. We have a strong desire and a collective responsibility to ensure that boys of all abilities are given the provision they require to progress in their learning. All teachers are responsible for seeing that this is the case, including those boys with SEND. At Sunningdale, we are fully committed to the following six key factors:

Sunningdale School’s four ultimate aims are as follows:

Increase confidence

Gain a sense of ‘I can do’

Bridge a gap(s) in learning

Release back to class without the need of support

Raising a Concern / Identification

The school is passionate about early intervention and putting each boy on the road to success. Concerns about a boy with learning difficulties or possible learning difficulties can be raised from on-going class performance, school assessments, in-class observation, as well as monitoring over time. A teacher concern is passed to the Head of Learning Support who then with the teacher communicates the nature of the concern to the Headmaster. Should further action in the form of learning support provision be required, the parents are informed and direct communication is had.

Concerns can also be raised directly by the parents based on their own observations. In addition, external agencies such as educational psychologists and / or speech and language therapists may also inform us of any learning difficulties present.

Staff Awareness

Sunningdale recognises the importance of its teachers being fully aware of which boys within the school have learning difficulties. This contributes to the holistic nature of the boys’ education and is vital in other areas around the school, not just in the classroom. A termly list is shared along with vital details regarding the type of learning difficulty, eg dyslexia, autism, dyspraxia. The Learning Support Awareness Form (placed at the front of each teacher’s working diary) provides all finite details. This is then used for teachers’ planning and for differentiation purposes.

In addition, further information is logged on the staff portal, ISAMS, to which each member of staff has access. Recent educational psychologist reports as well as lesson notes are available for viewing.

Furthermore, Sunningdale recognises the importance of direct communication between its teachers. The weekly staff meeting provides a formal setting for discussing boys on the learning support radar, alongside many other informal meetings throughout the day and week regarding concerns and progress. The school actively promotes open dialogue.


In order to aid a boy’s access to the curriculum and to make learning as effective as possible, a number of strategies are implemented. These are shown below:

Learning Support Passport: This is used as a communication tool between the boy and his teacher. The ideas and differentiation tools are put together by the Head of Learning Support and the boy. The school recognises that not all of the boys are willing to speak outwardly about their concerns and so this strategy provides a more discreet way of portraying what they think will help benefit them in the classroom.

Learning Support General Awareness Form: This detailed document is the responsibility of the Head of Learning Support. It details all information about a boy on the learning support register, as well as provides tips for differentiation and how to make work more accessible for the boy in question. It is part of the school Learning Support Policy that this document be at the forefront of a teacher’s planning process.

Head of Learning Support Observation: During each term, it is expected that the Head of Learning Support will observe each boy on the learning support register, at least once whilst in class. This will be used to help guide further teaching / planning as well as monitor progress of the boy.

Key Pupil Working Areas sheet: At the beginning of each term, this document is made available to teachers so that they are informed of the general area of teaching that the boy will be focussing on during his 1:1 or 1:2 learning support lesson. It is expected that teachers be familiar with this document so that a child centred approach can be further fostered.

SEND Teacher Classroom Tips: This is a continual working and shared document between all subject teachers. It is a method of teachers being able to share teaching methods or ideas that they feel have worked for a boy, as well as share ideas about what may not have worked for that boy.  

‘My Plan’ Document (IEP): The ‘My Plan’ document brings together all of the above and details the exact topics / subject areas that each boy is looking to develop. In addition, tips for classroom improvement are included. The boy is very much part of the process in devising this plan for the term ahead. This is then shared with teachers and parents. This document is reviewed termly by the school. If desired progress is not being made, further interventions may be sought.

Learning Support Provision

Many of the boys respond very positively to interventions that happen within the classroom following an initial concern. However, if this is not the case, individualised support is readily put in place. Following the communication process outlined in ‘Raising a concern / Identification’, a boy may then receive outside of the classroom provision. Triggers for needing support are outlined below:

In-Place Provision:

Following the raising of a concern, an initial assessment may be carried out. The results of which are then shared with the Headmaster and parents. Suggestions for learning support provision may then be put to the parents. This is very much a child centred approach where the best short-term, medium-term and long-term effects for the child are considered. 

Teaching provision for SEND at Sunningdale is carried out in the following formats: 1:1, 1:2 or in-class. The need of the boy is central to this and is decided upon through consultation with parents, subject teachers and tutor. The ultimate aim is that appropriate support is in place to allow the boy to flourish and be able to return to learning without the scaffolding of learning support provision.

The learning support department is committed to the whole school. There is an open door policy where if boys themselves feel they are struggling with an area of their learning, they can readily access support. Should a boy make a concern about their learning, clear communication then occurs between the Head of Learning Support, subject teacher, Headmaster and tutor. Parents may then also be liaised with.

In addition to the above, daily reading sessions are in place for those boys identified as requiring some boosting of their reading ability.

SEND information sharing

All relevant information for staff is available on the staff as well as on the staff portal, ISAMS. It is primarily the teacher’s responsibility to inform themselves about the needs of the boys in their class. Information shared includes:

In addition to the above, the Head of Learning Support delivers beginning of term inset training as well as provides information about any new boy who may be starting at the school. Staff development is ongoing. Staff are encouraged to regularly consult with the Learning Support department, as well as actively gather information and research for themselves.

The SEND register is reviewed at the beginning of each term. Any change made to the previous term is quickly made available to all staff.

Communication Channels With Parents

The school aims to promote a positive partnership with its parents. Parents are informed very early in the concern / identification process and are kept fully abreast throughout any further action that is carried out. Communication is carried out either via telephone, email or in most cases, a direct face to face conversation.  

EHCP Plans

The school recognises that its intake may include boys who arrive with a statement of educational needs that has been transferred to an Educational Health and Care Plan or is in the process of being transferred to a EHCP. The school will support the specific requirements of the boy’s plan and endeavours to make appropriate provision. The school is committed to forging professional relationships with the LA and all other external agencies, so that the needs of the boy are central and met suitably.


Sunningdale School respectfully considers the confidentiality of some documentation that will be in circulation. To ensure that we work with confidence and in a trustworthy manner, the following applies:


Updated 10/01/2018 MPG

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