Department for Academic Support
Head of Department: Mrs A Burrows BA (West of England)
Department Teaching Staff
Mrs I Chistyakova BA (Taurida, Crimea)
Mr P Henson MA (De Montfort)
The philosophy of the Department for Academic Support, (DAS), is that all pupils can improve and achieve given the appropriate support for their special educational need and disability, (SEND). At Epsom College, qualified and experienced specialist teachers are able to provide for a wide variety of mild SEND: dyslexia, DCD (developmental co-ordination disorder/dyspraxia), Asperger's Syndrome, AD(H)D and other behavioural, emotional, and social needs. On average, 11% of pupils are identified as having a special educational need.
Within the Department for Academic Support is an English as an Additional Language, (EAL), section. On average, 19% of pupils have EAL. Many of the pupils take specialist EAL lessons instead of a Modern Language. Private tuition is also available.
The generic provision is one of personalised learning. Teaching programmes are customised and take various forms depending on need: literacy or spelling programmes; handwriting, touch- typing and organisational support; support programmes for pupils with AD(H)D; exam and revision technique; study skills and time management. The SEND provision often includes a counselling element. The aim is to produce confident independent learners who can invoke automatically learned strategies and techniques across the curriculum.
Integral to the practice is close liaison with parents, Housemasters/ mistresses, tutors, subject staff, the Medical Centre and other agencies. The Department maintains a SEND Register of all pupils with special educational needs, including EAL. This list includes a description of the need, and strategies for supporting the pupil in class. All information is highly confidential on a 'need to know' basis. Pupil data is available to Common Room on a secure intranet site, only. DAS staff are able to provide more detailed advice to staff and parents, as required.
The English Department and EAL section work closely together to provide the highest level of provision for Epsom College pupils.
Literacy screening of all pupils on entry ensures that no difficulty goes undetected. Appropriate action is taken if there is a cause for concern. The Head of Department is qualified to administer specialist SpLD assessments to tertiary level. This includes testing for access arrangements for public examinations. Occasionally, a recommendation is made for more specialist input, for example, from an educational or clinical psychologist, or psychiatrist.
Specialist intervention and tuition consists of 30 weekly lessons of 45 minutes. These lessons are always arranged in consultation with the pupil and do not affect the academic timetable. Other programmes of support are offered according to need and can last from 6 to 12 weeks. Like all extra lessons, the cost of these lessons is chargeable to account.