Student Support Services

We believe that all students are unique, all students have value, and that all students can learn in a supportive environment. We have a passion for developing emotional intelligence within students, caring for their wellbeing, and ensuring that they can access the broader curriculum whilst developing their confidence and emotional security to take risks with their learning. Whether through an emotional or academic barrier to learning, all students can face challenges in their education that may impede their progress in school.  The primary role of Student Support Services is to identify any student who might be struggling with an aspect of their learning and provide them with the support they need to overcome those barriers, achieve success, and fulfil their potential.

We are privileged to have experienced staff within the department. Our staff are professionally trained in assessing learning difficulties and providing extra support to students with mild to moderate learning needs. In close liaison with parents and class teachers, we may choose from a range of diagnostic tools and/ or observations to identify the areas of difficulty that a student may be experiencing. We then design and share appropriate strategies that address the areas of difficulty and remove barriers to learning. Students receive tiered support, and interventions are not rigid and adapt and evolve as the student progresses.

Tiered Support: listed below are the various tiers of support that are provided:

Tier 1: Support to teachers including advice and guidance on meeting the needs of students with additional needs; or training on specific SEN topics such as Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Autism or ADHD

Tier 2: In-Class Support

Tier 3: Small Group Support, either in class or on a withdrawal basis

Tier 4: Direct 1:1 Support from: a) Counselling or b) Student Support


Counselling is an additional service offered within the Student Support Service. Students who feel motivated and engaged can concentrate better in class, increase their attendance in school, and improve their behaviour. Counselling is a confidential process designed to help address concerns, to better understand “yourself”, and to learn effective interpersonal coping strategies. It is an open, collaborative learning process that takes time and practice. Counselling aims to teach cognitive flexibility, emotional regulation and how to be more mindful. Students who attend regular counselling sessions feel more in control of their thought processes, mood, feelings, and behaviour with time. Counselling promotes discussions regarding boundaries, self-regard, self-understanding, self-control, substance abuse, stress management, identity and fostering healthy relationships.

Diagnostic Assessments

We choose from a variety of diagnostic tools to identify areas of difficulty or to see if a student might need special access arrangements for exams. Once assessed, Student Support will prepare a report for parents with the results and give suggestions for ways to support areas of need at home.

  • Dyslexia Portfolio Lucid COPS/ LASS/ EXACT – these test for a range of literacy difficulties and any difficulties with memory or processing speed
  • CAT4 – Cognitive abilities test
  • NGRT/ NGST – Reading/ Spelling tests
  • PTM/ PTE – Progress Tests in Maths/ English
  • British Picture Vocabulary Scale
  • ESL – for students learning English as a Second Language


Occasionally, we may need to refer a student for a more in-depth psycho-educational assessment in order to get a better understanding of their needs and challenges. There is a fee charged for this assessment to cover the cost of the test materials and the time needed.

Access Arrangements for Exams

Access arrangements are changes to teaching, learning and assessment that help remove or reduce barriers. These barriers can be anything from a temporary injury to a long-term difficulty. Access arrangements do not change what a student is expected to learn, or lower what is expected from a student. Instead they provide the best possible way for a student to show the examiner just what they are capable of. Types of accommodations include extra time, supervised rest breaks, a translation dictionary, or taking the exam in a separate room. To qualify for these arrangements, the student must meet stringent criteria, including a diagnostic assessment and any supporting school-based evidence.

The Structure of Our Department

Monica is a qualified clinical psychologist specialising in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

We believe in celebrating difference and are proud to offer additional support to create well-balanced individuals who can achieve their full potential.

Below is a brochure for more information.

Full Name Function Email Address
Norah Buckley
Head of Student Support Services
Monica Grijalva
School Counsellor
Preenella Chipindi
ESL and Key Stage 2 SS Lead
Lestina Kapalu
Key Stage 1 SS Lead