The Learning Support Team at The New Beacon comprises the Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SendCo) and two other specialist teachers, all qualified to support pupils who follow a broad prep school curriculum. Mainstream and specialist staff work together for the benefit of pupils with special educational needs and there is shared responsibility for making the curriculum accessible to all.
Early identification of any learning difficulties is important. If the special needs of a pupil have been identified prior to entry to the school, provision is put in place from the start. Every boy at The New Beacon is screened for dyslexia in Year 3 but screening and assessment at other stages, at teacher’s and/or parent’s request, is routine. If a child appears to have a specific learning difficulty, discussion with parents is initiated at the earliest opportunity. Advice can be given on speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, educational psychologists etc. Often eye sight and hearing checks are the first course of action.
Boys with specific needs are offered group or individual lessons (for which parents are charged) at a mutually agreed time. The content of the lessons vary. A range of multi-sensory programmes are in use to develop phonological awareness, motor skills, listening and memory skills, numeracy, comprehension, reading, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and organisation. The younger boys work in a comfortable and stimulating room in the Pre-Prep building whilst the older boys have their lessons in a room near the ICT suite. Discussion of each child's specific needs and the progress he is making, takes place regularly with parents and staff.
We encourage each boy to reach his potential, bearing in mind that self-confidence is of the utmost importance. Whilst an individual boy may be making progress at his own pace, his progress may be less than his peers. Our thorough knowledge of each boy and his particular strengths and challenges, enables us to advise parents on which senior schools will best cater for his needs, upon leaving The New Beacon.