The Learning Support Department
“The Learning Support Department at Matthew Moss High School has responsibility for ensuring that learners with Special Educational Needs, English as an Additional Language or those with emotional, social and behavioural difficulties are achieving in their learning. We are proud of the successes we have had and continue to have with these groups of learners.”
Special Educational Needs
Children with special educational needs have access to a broad, balanced and inclusive curriculum. In order to help them develop as successful learners, they may receive additional staff support in lessons and may also be withdrawn to work in a small, specialist group. Learners have access to a range of programmes which are designed to develop numeracy and literacy skills. More complex needs are met through delivery of individual programmes created to particular specifications. One example of this is the Social Use of Language Programme (SULP) which is an initiative that has been proven to develop social interaction, language and communication skills, particularly in learners on the autistic spectrum.
Information about what services are available to young people in Rochdale with a disability or special educational need are available on the Rochdale Borough Council website through the local offer which can be found by following this link:
Hearing Impaired Resource Base (HIRB)
Rochdale’s secondary Hearing Impaired Resource Base is situated at Matthew Moss High School. The base is designed to support hearing impaired learners in the mainstream. Sign supported English is used in lessons so as to allow students to be included and access the learning. The base is staffed by one teacher of hearing impaired students and five teaching assistants.
Visually Impaired (VI)
Visually impaired learners are able to access the curriculum through modification of resources and support in mainstream lessons. For all of our VI learners, full inclusion in the mainstream is made possible by these adjustments as well as the use of specialist equipment and assistive technology. The use of ICT equipment also enables full inclusion. Support from Rochdale Additional Needs Service is available from specialist VI teachers and TAs.
We have recently begun the process of becoming an accredited dyslexia-friendly school with the charity Dyslexia Action. This is something which has been proven to have a positive impact on the learning of all pupils, not only those with dyslexia. In order to identify dyslexic tendencies, all learners are given reading and spelling tests in years 7, 8 and 9. Those who have below average scores are then screened for dyslexia using dyslexia screening software. This identifies any discrepancies between general cognitive abilities and levels of literacy. A suitable programme of intervention can then be offered where it is required.
Teachers at Matthew Moss High School are experienced in working with learners diagnosed as having Autistic Spectrum Disorder and those with social interaction and communication difficulties. Input from the school’s Educational Psychologist and specialist teacher of learners with ASD have also enabled us to have a good record of success with these learners, enabling them to achieve and thrive in mainstream education. The introduction of SULP, lego therapy and Mindfulness programs have also allowed us to continue to build on our successes in this area.
Our three Learning Mentors work with learners who are experiencing personal or social difficulties which might get in the way of their success in school. They offer a breakfast club every day to all learners. They also provide counselling and advice to students, emotional support and a range of programs of intervention to allow all learners to develop their self-confidence and reach their academic potential.
Following major renovations to the school building, wheelchair access to the school building has been made possible. There is disabled access to a number of entrances, wider corridors and a lift to all floors. A disabled toilet is located on each of the four floors and green help points placed around the school for use in an emergency.
Learners with English as an Additional Language are supported in the mainstream where they are immersed in the language. At key stage 3, learners attend some intervention lessons each week when they first start learning English to allow them to decode phonics in English. At key stage 4, some learners require pre-teaching and post-teaching of subject-specific and academic language in order to enable them to access the curriculum. This is provided by both an EAL specialist teacher and EAL teaching assistants.
Learning Support Policies
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