Support and Study Skills (SSSD)

Our Support and Study Skills Department (SSSD) comprises a team of highly specialist staff qualified in teaching pupils with specific learning profiles.  

Information on a pupil’s needs in advance of entry will ensure that recommendations are taken into account from the beginning of the academic year. For this reason, liaison with the College prior to entry is essential and parents should send a copy of any educational assessment (Educational Psychologist’s Report or Specialist Teachers Report) to the Department before the arrival of the pupil.

All pupils are screened on arrival at Bradfield. The screening takes the form of standardised literacy tests in spelling, reading comprehension and freewriting, plus a numeracy test for Faulkner’s (Year 9) pupils. Any anomalies apparent during these tests will be investigated further by the Support and Study Skills Department. Close liaison between SSSD, tutors, Housemasters/mistresses and subject departments ensures confidential communication on a pupil’s progress, and concerns are investigated through the department’s rigorous enquiries process. The information on a pupil’s known specific need is made available to all teaching staff, documenting a learning profile, learning strengths and weaknesses and implications for teaching and learning.

Pupils may be recommended to receive individual support lessons on a regular basis. These pupils are involved in the process of setting targets with their SSSD tutors at the outset of the provision as part of an Individual Teaching Plan (ITP). Support provision is reviewed with parents and House staff, and SSSD tutors welcome discussion at Parents’ Meetings. All pupils are expected to participate in the full curriculum, and individual lessons are planned around a pupil’s timetable; every effort is made to ensure that commitments to particular activities, such as sport, music or drama, do not clash with SSSD lessons.  Any pupil can contact SSSD for help with study skills or learning strategies.

Where arrangements may be appropriate for public examinations, the department facilitates an Educational Psychologist’s assessment in consultation with parents. To be eligible for such arrangements, the report of a chartered Educational Psychologist must make the recommendations after entry into Year 9 secondary education as defined by the State educational system (normally post-13 years). However, the specific regulations set by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) are subject to change every year. These arrangements may include additional time, word processing, a scribe, a reader, a prompter or rest breaks.  The need for such arrangements is closely monitored by SSSD and extensive evidence of need is collated. The examination board regulations require that some of these arrangements be reviewed within two years of the examination series. Applications to the examination boards are made by the Head of SSSD. We recommend that all pupils with examination access arrangements are seen in the department for one or two lessons to discuss best use of any examination access arrangements.

SSSD works closely with pupils to maximise their full academic potential recognising their particular needs for learning.