At Pennthorpe, it is our policy to appreciate the individuality of all the children who come into our care, and to support and nurture their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development, irrespective of their starting points. Recognising a child can be both challenged and gifted in different areas, we have brought our Special Educational Needs and Gifted and Talented provision together to form our Individual Educational Needs programme. By doing so, we are able to provide highly tailored learning journeys for our pupils. Here is an overview of how the programme operates within the Lower School:
Challenging the Able, Gifted and Talented:
Pennthorpe has a number of pupils who are classed as ‘Most Able’ or ‘Gifted and Talented’. We need to identify these pupils in order to ensure they are provided for in lessons and that additional opportunities and challenges are given to them, both inside and outside of the classroom. Our definitions for ‘Most Able’ and ‘Gifted and Talented’ are as follows:
- Work consistently and considerably above the expected level for their age group
- Have a persistent and studious attitude to learning
- Respond to marking, targets and feedback to improve the standard of their work
- Are capable of producing work which inspires others and excites its intended audience
- Possess a natural skill or flair
- Have a creative approach to solving problems or completing tasks
- Have a passion to develop independently or outside of lessons
Subject Enrichment Sessions:
Enrichment Sessions are invitation only sessions for pupils identified to have potential in a certain area. This may mean they are on the ‘Most Able’ or ‘Gifted and Talented’ Register or may simply mean they are showing potential in a particular subject and need to be offered the opportunity to develop that potential. In Years 3 and 4 these sessions take place during the school day and are offered in taught subjects throughout the year. Sessions are also offered in Team Building, debating and others areas which pupils may be talented in but may not be taught as curriculum lessons. Sessions are led by Subject Specialists, Heads of Departments and Pre-Prep or Prep School teachers.
For Years 5 to 8 Subject Enrichment Sessions take place on a Saturday morning between 9:00am – 12:00pm. Sessions are offered in all curriculum subjects and are led by Heads of Departments or Subject Specialists. The aim of these sessions is to offer further enrichment and provision to those children who are currently showing a high level of ability and passion in a particular subject. The aim is not to increase the volume of work for these children, nor to give them extra exam coaching, but rather to stimulate and challenge them, and to allow them to explore new ways of learning.
Pennthorpe is a non-selective school and as such we have some children who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). These pupils may require additional support in one or more area of school life. In order to provide this additional support, we have a Learning Support department with a number of Learning Support teachers and Learning Support Assistants, managed by our Individual Needs Coordinator (INCo), Mrs. Daley
We aim to discuss any concerns we have regarding a child’s progress with the parents at an early stage and agree targets and actions to take in order to support the child. We very much value parental support and involvement, as a joined-up approach between school and home regularly yields the greatest progress.
Once a child has been identified as needing some additional support, our INCo works with the school staff and parents to decide which level of support is required. At Pennthorpe, our support is graduated to ensure that the right level of intervention is delivered for each individual child. Each stage of provision is monitored and reviewed at least termly by the INCo and class teachers. Pupils receiving 1:1 lessons have a formal review each term, which parents are encouraged to attend.
Our highly tailored programme of learning is perhaps the single greatest advantage of a Pennthorpe education. As an independent school, Pennthorpe is ‘just big enough’: we are able to offer a full range of high calibre subject faculty, supported with excellent specialist resources, and with sufficient pupil numbers to compete strongly across a wide range of disciplines; yet our small class sizes and excellent pupil teacher ratios enable us to craft a highly customised learning journey for every child in our care.