The students at HeadStart are all unique and have very different ways of learning and engaging in school life. At times this can lead to challenges for students and their families. The Student Support team, led by Michael Atkins, are on hand to provide academic, emotional and social support to all members of the school community; ensuring that students receive the appropriate level of guidance and care required to achieve their full academic potential and become confident, resilient young people.
Learning Support collaborates closely with students, parents, specialists, identified outside agencies, teachers and the school Leadership Team to ensure that students with Additional Educational Needs (AEN) are identified, assessed and supported in an appropriate and timely manner. The Learning Support Coordinator provides advice and guidance to teachers on differentiation and resources, and offers practical teaching and assessment support.
Additional Educational Needs (AEN)
HeadStart International School classifies students as having Additional Educational Needs (AEN) if they have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age. They may have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) or Disability that acts as a barrier to their learning, or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age. Students with AEN may present difficulties in some or all of the following areas:
- Social interaction
- Emotional Intelligence
- Academic attainment
- Communication skills
- Physical disabilities or impairments
If any student experiences barriers to their learning, the Learning Support Coordinator follows procedures outlined in the UK Code of Practice to agree upon (with parents and teachers) an Individualised Education Plan (IEP). An IEP contains specific targets and strategies that will support the student both inside and outside of the classroom. IEPs are reviewed regularly and parents are updated on progress through either informal conversations with teachers, or scheduled review meetings. On the rare occasion that we feel we are unable to provide the resources to meet the needs of a child, either during the admission process or after enrolment, the school will support families in the identification of an alternative provision for their child.
We are very lucky at HeadStart to have the services of a Clinical Psychologist, Dr Debora Previti, available on site. Dr Previti collaborates closely with the Learning Support Coordinator and offers consultation services for students and families. Please note that Dr Previti is a private clinician and fees are charged for her services. If other specialist assessment/intervention is recommended, for example from a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT), the Learning Support Coordinator will provide families with a list of other practitioners available on the island or further afield.
HeadStart’s school counsellors aim to provide a broad range of services to the school community for the guidance and support they need to lead healthy, fulfilling, productive and responsible lives. Our dedicated and professional counsellors are based in the Student Support Office on the second floor next to the Primary Hall and provide a safe and welcoming environment for students and parents.
Our counselling service contributes to the development of a comprehensive student support and wellbeing program that is responsive to the needs of our school community. The support offered includes providing advice and counselling on educational, behavioural, vocational, personal, social, family, and mental health and other wellbeing issues.
Common issues that are attended to in counselling include:
- School: organisation, goal setting, time management, study schedules, focus, absences
- Personal: self esteem, unmanageable stress and anxiety, relationship/friendship issues, low mood, sleep/health concerns, crisis, grief.
- Building resilience: strength coaching, mindfulness, growth mindset.
We offer an environment of understanding, support, encouragement and challenge as we assist students to achieve their educational, personal and vocational goals. Our counselling services are available to all members of the school community, especially at risk students, students with additional needs and their families.
Our counsellors work closely with the Deputy Heads of Foundation, Primary and Secondary, the Learning Support Coordinator, the Head of Sixth Form, the Child Protection Officers and Homeroom teachers to ensure that all students have the opportunity to access the support they require to feel comfortable and happy at school.
For all Learning Support enquiries please contact Mr Michael Atkins by writing to [email protected]
For all Counselling enquiries please contact Ms Hayley Milner by writing to [email protected]