Learning Support


Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

At Fernhill every child matters.  Our School is a fully inclusive mainstream school, where all students are valued equally, regardless of where their abilities lie.  All students are entitled to have access to a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum, which is differentiated to meet individual needs.  Within its aims, Fernhill School is committed to equal opportunities, with students being encouraged and enabled to achieve their full potential, whatever their academic or physical ability. 

Department Overview

The Learning Support department is based in the Progress Base, located at the top of A block.  This is where students may be invited to come for one-to-one work, group activities, to complete pre-planned assessments or if it is felt they would benefit from a quiet, calm environment at break or lunchtime. 

We have an experienced and well-qualified Learning Support team who work alongside students and teachers.  The Learning Support Assistants predominately work in lessons with students who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).  This might involve helping the student to understand their classwork, differentiating work to their individual needs, liaising with teaching staff to provide guidance on specific needs, or using dedicated planning time to prepare specific resources.  Our LSAs are most likely to support in subjects where there is a lot of reading or writing, or where a student might need additional help to make progress. 

Students may benefit from one-to-one or small group sessions, in which an LSA supports with skills that require further development or embedding including reading, spelling, comprehension and numeracy.  In addition we run Nurture and Social Skills groups and also offer one-to-one support for students needing further emotional support.  We offer support to students whose first language is not English, guided by our designated EAL coordinator.  On Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays after school the Learning Support team run Homework Club in the Progress Base; all students are welcome to attend this whenever they need extra help with their homework or revision, need access to a computer or just need a quieter space to get some work done before going home.

The progress that students make is monitored in a number of different ways.  Targets are set for students to work on during their one-to-one lessons in the SEND department, and also across the curriculum.  We test students to identify needs early on in Year 7, and then continue to test those students we work with to ensure our interventions are helping the student to make improved progress.  We use whole-school data about progress and attainment to identify particular areas of need across the school.  When students make the necessary progress, they may no longer need to attend one-to-one lessons.  However, we will continue to monitor them closely and ensure they are making sustained progress.

 How will the school prepare and support my child/young person to join the school, transfer to a new school, or transition to the next stage of life?

 There are a number of additional ways that students with SEND can be supported to make a successful transition to Fernhill School.  If you or your child’s current school informs us about specific transition needs an enhanced transition plan may be considered appropriate.  Our most recent Year 7 Transition booklet contains helpful information.

Schools are required to publish information regarding their Special Educational Needs provision annually during the Autumn Term.  This information is published to enable families to choose the school that best meets their child's needs. Please see the policies page for the Special Educational Needs Information Report/Local Offer document.

If you have any questions about the Learning Support Department or anything related to your child's learning, please do not hesitate to contact the SENDCo at school, Mrs Crowe: vcrowe@fernhillschool.org.uk

Since September 2014 every Local Authority has been required to publish information about services they expect to be available for children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) and /or disabilities aged 0 - 25 years.  This is known as the ‘Local Offer’.  This website puts all the information about education, health and care services, leisure activities and support groups in one place; making it easier for families to access and use a vast range of information and resources.  The Local Offer seeks feedback from families on local provision and gaps in services to ensure that the commissioning of services is more responsive to local needs and aspirations.

Hampshire County Council’s Local Offer website (https://fish.hants.gov.uk/kb5/hampshire/directory/family.page?familychannel=6-1)  has been co-produced with parents, professionals and young people.  You will find up to date Information about Services and Support for Special Educational Needs and disability aged 0-25.  

Meet the Team

Mrs Crowe (SENDCo)

Mrs Poltock (Assistant SENDCo and Exam Access Arrangements)


Miss Allgood

Mrs Bovington

Mr Card

Mrs Cayless (EAL Co-ordinatior)

Mrs Chalk

Mr Frankham

Mrs Hambleton (Numeracy and ELSA)

Miss Kinley

Mrs Say (Literacy)

Mrs Symons (Nurture, ELSA and TALA)

Mr Thorne

Mrs West (Languages)

Ms Wheddon

Useful websites

British Deaf Association (BDA) https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/living-with/

Hampshire County Council Special Educational Needs Service https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/childrenandfamilies/specialneeds/contacts

Hampshire SENDIAS https://www.hampshiresendiass.co.uk/

Living with ADHD https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/living-with/

Mencap - "the voice of learning disability" https://www.mencap.org.uk/media-centre

Phonics4free - help your child to read using the phonics system https://www.phonics4free.org/

The British Dyslexia Association https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

The National Autistic Society https://www.autism.org.uk/

Young Minds - mental health support charity https://www.youngminds.org.uk/