student with teacher

Learning Support

It is very much in the ethos of Bedstone that Learning Support should be accessible to all students, regardless of ability or attainment. We aim to continue to develop awareness of our service across the school community, and to ensure that all students and staff are aware that we are available to support inclusive learning throughout the college. In particular, we aim to offer support to all students, whenever they may experience difficulties with their learning. Should any parent wish to discuss Learning Support issues they should contact Mr Jamie Lowe – Head of Learning Support.

Bedstone is recommended by CReSTeD (The Council for the Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils) as a Learning Support Centre school, one of just 28 nationwide. Find out more here.

Click here for the Learning Support Handbook

“Parents were whole hearted in their support of the school. They find the school welcoming, a family community and the impact on their child positive. They expressed in each case the confidence their children have and how the school has been instrumental in building this. They spoke highly of the communication channels with the school, feeling included and valued as part of the relationship in nurturing their child. They commended staff for being prepared to take an individual approach and listen carefully to meet the need of their child.”

“Students expressed that they enjoy being in school and value the setting and ethos of nurturing the staff provide. They indicted that staff find ways to ensure they have ways to overcome obstacles and build the confidence to tackle difficult and challenging situations. They enjoyed lessons and reflected on the role of the teachers in building interest even when work was challenging.” – CReSTeD report 2019

Approximately 15% of the school population currently accesses Learning Support on a regular basis for help with a range of learning difficulties. Lessons are offered primarily on a one-to-one basis, although small group tuition is also available as is classroom support. The ethos of the LS Department is to offer enjoyable and stimulating lessons in a friendly, supportive environment which help to address whatever particular difficulty any scholar is experiencing with their learning.  Although we exist primarily to support those who have identified areas of weakness, the department is available to offer support to all students at any time.  Raising self-esteem is seen as key to removing barriers to learning for many of our young people and, as such, we feel it is important that all our students are given every opportunity to experience academic success and to enjoy the experience of learning with us.

“The school delivers on their ethos, building confidence and providing strategies for students to transition to the next stage of their education. The school meets the criteria for re registration and effectively communicate with parents regarding changes, which parents identify as being well managed.” – CReSTeD report 2019

Initial Assessment and Referral

All new students are invited for an informal discussion with the Head of LS on entry to the Senior school.  If necessary they are then assessed following this discussion using the Bangor Dyslexia Test and the Wide Range Intelligence Test (WRIT).  Further assessments may then need to be carried out depending on the outcome of these initial assessments.

New entrants to the Junior school are assessed and referred if necessary by their class teacher. Students experiencing difficulty are also identified through the regular Mark Order meeting system.  Students or parents may also self-refer at any time.

If it is thought that a student may need some help or support on a regular basis then parents or carers will be informed and asked to give their consent.  There is a charge for regular LS lessons, and LS staff will make a recommendation as to how many weekly lessons may be needed and over what timescale.  Any changes in provision will be discussed and agreed by parents.


Head of Department:  Mr J Lowe MA, PGDip (SEN +Inclusion), RSA Dip SpLD (Dyslexia), PGCE
Voted SENCO of the year 2016 at the Dyslexia awards

Exam Access Arrangements

At the end of Year 9, all students (including those with no prior history of need) are screened using standardised assessments  to establish eligibility for differentiated exam access arrangements at GCSE. Those receiving Learning Support and any identified by this screening will then be asked to take a further series of tests to establish evidence of need. Exam access arrangements which are available include:

  • Coloured overlays
  • Coloured paper
  • Extra time up to 25%
  • Oral language modifier
  • Reader / scribe
  • Supervised rest breaks
  • Word processors