by Georgina Clifford-Smith, Head of Enhanced Learning (Prep)
The annual Summer Celebration of Learning Support Success gave the LearningSupport Department the opportunity to congratulate and wish our Year 8 the best of luck and the opportunity to reflect on the successes of all of the children we support in the department. We also heard from Ellie Lennon, an Old Felstedian, who talked to us about the barriers to learning she faces and how she overcame them to achieve amazing A-Level results. She is now at university and is a semi-professional rugby player hoping to make it onto the England team.
Since joining the department here at Felsted, it has been wonderful to see the difference that learning support lessons make for the children we work with. Being able to work closely with teachers across the school allows us to tailor specific support for every child's learning needs and for us to help teachers support children more effectively in their classrooms. It can often feel that progress is not being made; phonics seem impossible to grasp, spellings just don’t seem to stick and ZPD’s get lower. But they have persevered, kept going and, without exception, I have seen every child we work with make progress this year; reluctant readers have turned into avid readers, correct spellings of key words have gone from 0 to 100, comprehension skills have improved and, perhaps most importantly, confidence in learning has improved.
Success for children with barriers to learning is often far more of a challenge than we realise or give credit for and that is why it is so important to recognise success, no matter how small it might seem. The Summer Celebration gave us an opportunity to recognise those successes and to thank parents and teachers for their support.