Learning Support Department

The Learning Support Department (LSD) was established in 2002 and is based in south block, in purpose – built rooms for teaching and individual support.  It provides a variety of support to pupils with learning needs.

You can access our SEN Policy here and the SEND annual report here.

The department provides support in many ways, for example:-

• In class support from a Learning Support Assistant
• Reading Club & The Reading Partnership
• Homework Club
• A Literacy Intervention Programme
• 1:1 sessions
• Withdrawal from some lessons for catch up sessions
• Horticulture with Greenforce Club
• Social Skills Sessions
• Support for pupils with physical disabilities
• Support with assessments and examinations

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The Department Structure and Team

Mrs Carol Sim Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO)

Mrs Sue Lee Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Caris Stoller Specialist Teacher Assessor

Mrs Katha Harvell LSA/Literacy
Mrs Ellie Vlismas LSA/Literacy
Mrs Barbara Otto Learning Support Assistant

Mrs Caroline Turner SEN – Literacy Leader
Ms Amy McKenzie Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Jude Palmer Learning Support Assistant

Mr Mark Davage Learning Support Assistant
Mr Jacob Moran Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Gifford – O’Brien Learning Support Assistant/Beauty Tutor
Mrs Phil Lazarus Learning Support Assistant
Mrs Nikki Gregory Learning Support Assistant

Diagnosis and Assessment of Needs

Assessing Pupils 

At Romsey School, junior feeder schools are visited each March to ascertain the level of need of students due to start the following September. This provides a provisional L.S. Register. These academic needs are passed to staff at the start of the academic year.

On arrival, students complete individual literacy assessments and decisions are made on the most appropriate support available.

This may take the form of:

  1. Small group literacy support
  2. Individual tuition
  3. In-class support

Or a combination of all these. Parents are informed of any support provided.

To assess progress over time, student’s literacy levels are assessed formally at least annually.

Students from feeder schools that have been placed on the provisional Learning Support Register are assessed on arrival in Year 7. These are individual literacy assessments involving spelling, reading and comprehension, and decisions are then made on the need for support and the most appropriate support available.

All Year 7 pupils are assessed by Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT) and students with particularly low scores will be investigated further by the Learning Support Department.

To assess progress over time, student’s literacy levels are assessed formally at least annually.

Support provided by the Department

Once pupils have been diagnosed with special educational needs and included on the either of the two key registers, they may benefit from one or more of the different forms of support offered by the Department. Decisions are made on the most appropriate support for each individual.

Parents are informed of any support provided to their child.

In Class Support

We aim to assist pupils on the Special Needs Register. These pupils often require extra help in lessons with a high literacy content, to fully understand the subject. Learning Support Assistants attend many lessons to help the pupils with their written and practical work. This allows students with learning needs to access lessons along with their peers.


In order to work on the development of specific skills, some pupils receive individual or small group tuition in the Learning Support Department.

Homework Support 

Homework Support is available for pupils who are on the LS Register. Each lunchtime pupils may attend Homework Support in S5. A Learning Support Assistant is always present to assist pupils and advise and support accordingly. Pupils have access to PCs at this time.   There are also after school homework sessions twice a week which pupils are invited to attend.