Skip Navigation Links   >   Home   >   Admissions   >   Learning Support

Learning Support

Our Approach to Students with Special or Additional Learning Need

Educational Inclusion

At Howell’s School and College, we have high expectations of all students and we aim to promote achievement through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. Our aim is to ensure the full integration and inclusion of all students in the life of the school and to maximise their learning potential.

Differentiated support

Although we are a selective school, we recognise that some students might have difficulties accessing the curriculum; in these cases effective and differentiated support is provided within the classroom by the subject teacher. Students with additional learning needs, however, may require structured learning support which is different from the more general classroom support given to other students of the same age.

How do we define students with Additional Learning Needs?

Students who need specialist support with their learning include those with the following types of learning difficulty:

  • Specific learning difficulties, eg dyslexia, dyspraxia
  • Emotional, behavioural or social difficulties, eg ADHD
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Sensory and physical difficulties
  • English as an Additional Language

How do we identify students with learning needs?

To ensure early identification and assessment of a student’s learning difficulties, we work with the student and parents to provide appropriate support. To help us identify students with learning needs we make use of the following:

  • Information from parents about existing learning difficulties
  • Teacher observations
  • Cognitive ability tests (CAT) and Progress in English and Maths tests (Prep School)
  • Baseline tests (Nursery and Reception)’
  • Entrance examination
  • Cognitive ability tests in Year 7(MidYIS)
  • Dyslexia screening test (Year 7)
  • Screening tests for spelling and reading ages (Prep School, Year 7 and Year 12)
  • Screening tests for Examination Access Arrangements (Year 9 onwards)


Many students with mild learning difficulties make adequate progress within a supportive environment without any additional intervention other than differentiated work provided by the teacher. The School and College have regular revision skills programmes as part of PSHE, while study and revision strategies are consolidated by staff through their subject teaching.

If, however, adequate progress is not being made, then intervention will follow a graduated approach as set out in the SEND Code of Practice (2014). The first stage is when a member of staff raises concerns about a student with the Additional Learning Needs Coordinator who will consider if further intervention is needed which may mean some or all of the following:

  • Individual screening test for Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Recommendation for a full Educational Psychology assessment
  • Advice about the student’s learning needs given to subject staff
  • The offer of small group learning support
  • The placing of the student on the SEN or Learning Support register

Parental permission is always sought before individual screening or assessment tests are carried out, and the results are communicated to parents.

What support is offered?

  • Literacy Support (Prep School) involves weekly small group support classes which are designed to improve literacy and study skills.
  • Some ALN students in the Senior School will follow a modified timetable: the student may not take the full quota of subjects to allow for private study time and small group learning support.
  • Individual or small group mentoring during private study periods or during free periods for Years 12 and 13.
  • Individual teaching in the school’s on-site dyslexia unit; this is run and staffed by Dyslexia Action Cymru. Tuition is paid for privately by parents and is not included in school fees.
  • Referrals to outside agencies: Howell’s School is an independent school and does not have access to the services of the Local Education Authority. Parents who require the services of an agency such as an Educational Psychologist will be required to obtain these services outside school; advice can be given by the ALNCO and SENCO.
  • The SENCO maintains an up to date register of students with learning needs which is available to all teaching staff; for those receiving Learning Support, a full profile of an individual student’s needs is accessible to staff and parents through the student’s Pupil Passport.

Who is responsible for learning difficulties and student support?

The administration of all learning support is coordinated overall by Tom Walters, Assistant Principal. Mr Walters works closely with the SENCO and support teachers who provide practical classroom support and assessments in the Prep and Senior Schools.

Partnership with parents

At Howell’s we really value the knowledge parents have of their children and use this to enable us to provide effective learning support. Equally we will always inform parents of any concerns we have and discuss fully any action we feel is necessary.

Parents should feel able to discuss any concerns relating to specific learning needs with the ALNCO and SENCO whose contact details are below.

Student participation

We encourage students at Howell’s to take responsibility and to make decisions; this is part of the culture of our school. Students are invited to make judgements about their own performance, to set their own targets and to evaluate their work and progress constructively.

Key contacts

Mr Tom Walters - Assistant Principal, ALN ext: 19827


Mrs Freda Harvey - SENCO ext: 19876


Dyslexia Action Wales: Tel 029 2131 0010