Skip Navigation LinksSixth FormAcademicLearning Support

Learning Support

Supporting pupils to fulfil their potential and become independent learners for life.

The Learning Support Department provides a support structure which is designed to meet the individual needs of any of our pupils who may require extra teaching or resources to help them enjoy full access to a broad, balanced and suitably differentiated curriculum.  Some new students may have a Specific Learning Difficulty affecting literacy and/or numeracy and we endeavour to ensure that effective provision is in place as early as possible after transition. Support for learning is embraced by all of our teaching staff through differentiation, and specialist tuition is delivered by Learning Support teachers who have expertise in addressing a wide range of Specific Learning Difficulties.  We have a wealth of specialist knowledge for improving literacy and in helping pupils develop robust numeracy skills and guiding them through examinations.  Within the Department, we are developing a programme of provision to enable our students to reach their full potential in all aspects of their curriculum. We may pre teach topics before they are covered in a mainstream class, or over learn material which the pupils have found to be challenging. Techniques for studying efficiently, despite a learning difficulty, are delivered to each Learning Support group.

Junior and Third Form Curriculum

In the First, Second and Third Form there are three timetabled Learning Support lessons each week for pupils not studying a Modern Foreign Language. The usual format would be one lesson for developing literacy, one for numeracy and the final session for additional prep time.  Within a session, for example Mathematics, pupils follow a personalised curriculum based on their needs and gaps in knowledge or skills. This is possible due to the small size of the groups. On occasion, we may adjust the balance between the three sessions to meet varying pupil needs.  In addition, we provide 1:1 support for pupils requiring more input for them to make progress, or for social and emotional needs. For these sessions, there is a cost involved, which is added to the termly bill.

GCSE Curriculum

The situation is similar in the Fourth and Fifth Form but there is a greater degree of flexibility within the Learning Support groups. The literacy and numeracy lessons are based on the English and Mathematics curriculum, but in addition, we are able to support pupils with the drafting and completion of coursework, and revision for GCSE examinations.

A Level Curriculum

There are no timetabled Learning Support groups for A level pupils. However, we do provide small group or individual sessions on a short-term basis for such things as study skills when necessary. This may be at the request of a teacher or pupil.

Department Staff

Mr David Frost BSc (Hons) Environmental Science, Wolverhampton University. Masters Diploma Specific Learning Difficulties and Dyslexia Canterbury Christ Church University. Mr Frost has extensive experience in the role of SENCo and school management.

Mrs Elspeth Head  MA (Hons) in English Literature, Dundee University.   After many years of teaching English Mrs Head is currently training to be a Dyslexia Specialist teacher with Dyslexia Action.

Mrs Simpson BSc (Hons) Physics, University of London. APC, ADS Cert.  Mrs Simpson has comprehensive experience in supporting students with Specific Learning Difficulties particularly in the fields of Maths and the Sciences.

Mrs Lauren Harris BA (Hons) Classical Studies, King's College London​. Mrs Harris has experience teaching English and coordinating SEN provisions.

Mrs Joanne Head (BA Hons in Professional Educational Studies, QTS and Post Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies) has worked her entire educational career in the field of SEN. This has included working in specialist settings as a Class Teacher, Outreach Coordinator, SENCo, Inclusion Manager and Head of SEN/Inclusion.

Mr David Frost
Head of Department


Contact Us

Sutton Valence School

North Street, Sutton Valence, Kent, ME17 3HL


Tel: 01622 845200


© Sutton Valence School    |    Terms & Conditions    |    Privacy & Cookies    |    Site by Blue Level