PORTSMOUTH COLLEGE IS AN INCLUSIVE COLLEGE AND WE ARE KEEN TO ENSURE THAT ALL OF OUR STUDENTS ENJOY A SAFE AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT. ALL LEARNERS HAVE EQUALITY OF OPPORTUNITY REGARDLESS OF ANY PHYSICAL OR LEARNING DISABILITY THEY MIGHT HAVE.
OUR MISSION IS TO ENABLE ALL OUR STUDENTS TO THRIVE, DEVELOP THE ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR SUCCESS AND TO ACHIEVE EXCELLENT EDUCATIONAL OUTCOMES IN ORDER TO REALISE THEIR VERY BEST FUTURE PROSPECTS.
Portsmouth College follows the principles set out in Chapter 7 of the SEND Code of Practice and we aim to offer:
- high-quality teaching that meets the needs of the individual
- additional support that meets the needs of the individual
- each student the opportunity to discuss and review the support given
- opportunities to promote independence
- an inclusive approach to learning and teaching that focuses on enabling students to achieve and to make progress
- a friendly environment where the student can express his/her views and where points of view are listened to and respected
- collaboration with the student, families, Local Authorities (LAs) and outside agencies to provide the best possible support
- timely and relevant training for our additional support staff that leads to high-quality provision
What specific courses are available to students with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities?
Horizons, Futures and Aspire provide three separate opportunities for students who need to start making progress on the qualifications ladder. On all three courses students work in a small-group setting with classroom support to develop their individual abilities and self-confidence. Courses include qualifications in Maths, English and ICT (from Entry 1 to Level 1) and a focus on independence and employability.
Portsmouth College also has a new, purpose built facility (opened in 2015) for a limited number of young people aged 16-25 years old with profound and/or complex learning difficulties or disabilities. Students who attend this facility will work on individual study programmes to support progress with literacy, language and numeracy skills. The curriculum and staff will also focus on independent living skills, non-qualification activities and work experience, with a view to preparing students for adult life.
How do I let the College know that I need extra help?
If you already have a Learning Difficulties Assessment (Moving on Plan) or an Education, Health and Care Plan when you come to college then this will include details of the support that you need and also the funding that is needed to make sure that we provide for your needs.
If you do not have a Learning Difficulties Assessment but have had support at school, or if you think that you will need help, we would like to know and there are different ways that you can tell us about your needs. You can tell us on the College application form and there are opportunities for you and your Parents/Carers to come into the college before you start, e.g. Open Evenings and New Parent evenings. You will also be asked to fill in an Additional Support questionnaire when you have started college to tell us about any learning needs that you may have.
This information is sent through to our Deputy Director of SEND or to the Additional Learning and Study Support team, depending on which course you have chosen and we will arrange a confidential meeting to discuss your needs and your support before you begin college. Your support plan is individual to you.
Once you have settled into college you may find that your needs change. We will review your needs at set times and in Portsmouth College we have an ‘Open Door Policy’ for both the Additional Learning Support and the Learning Difficulties/Disabilities (LDD) departments and we will do our best to respond to any concerns that you may have throughout the year.
How will the College support my learning?
At College we are keen to support your disability or learning need by providing you with the support you need to succeed on your course. This support can be varied to meet your needs. Your learning need may have been identified before enrolment and you may have an Education, Health and Care Plan, or a Medical or Educational Psychologist’s report that will help us to put in the right support for you. It is also possible that a learning need is identified whilst you are at College. Following identification, appropriate provision will be discussed and may take the form of exam arrangements, adaptations and strategies used by subject teachers and/or additional support. If you have a higher level of need that is beyond our expertise, we may need to draw on more specialised advice and assessments from external agencies and professionals.
It could be that you need support:
- in the classroom, with a Learning Support Assistant.
- outside of the classroom – you can access our experienced teachers in our Student Additional Learning Support Study area, where we will discuss an individual support plan with you. You can organise regular, weekly sessions or you can drop in to see us at any time.
- with specialist equipment. This could include coloured overlays, laptop computers/tablets and specialist and assistive technology to enable you to access the curriculum more easily.
- with further assessment, to support your learning. This may lead to special consideration during exams, which could be of benefit to you.
- physical support, such as help to write in lessons, to move around the College and with personal care. The College does have a wet room and a fully adjustable bed that may be used for physiotherapy. The room also has a trackable hoist, which can be lowered on to the fully accessible toilet if needs be.
- from one of the outside agencies who come into College to offer advice and/or further assessment of your needs.
What specialist services and expertise are available at/or accessed by your education setting?
We have a Dyslexia Specialist who works with students on a 1:1 basis to help them to manage their dyslexia. Further assessment may be recommended with the Specialist Teacher or with one of the Educational Psychologists who work with us. This may lead to special consideration during exams.
We also work with outside agencies that come into College to offer advice and/or further assessment of needs.
Do staff supporting young people with learning needs and disabilities have training?
We have a Dyslexia Specialist at College and the Learning Support team receives regular training. Recent training areas have been Disability Awareness, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, using covered overlays, Manual Handling, Behaviour Management, and supporting students with Autism. We are aware of and respond to the need to maintain and update our training.
How will I know that I am making progress?
Your individual subject teachers will discuss your progress with you and you will have your own Individual Learning Plan - an online record of your progress and attendance. You and your parents/carers can also attend Parent/Carers’ Evenings where they can meet with your teachers.
How will the College support my wellbeing?
We have a quiet space in our Study centre that you can go to if you need to and you can talk to our team to discuss strategies for coping with difficult feelings and emotions when in class.
Support is available from our Wellbeing Services team which includes advice about personal issues as well as finance, transport and health and safety. We have close links with outside agencies, such as Portsmouth Public Health, CAMHS and The Chaplaincy Project.
If you have a particular physical or health issue our Health & Safety Officer can meet with you to plan how you can manage your condition and keep safe at College.
Our Student Progress Officers (SPOs) support you from the start of your College year until you complete your course. Your SPO will check that you are attending, and are happy on your course, and they will keep in touch with you and your parent/carer to help you to achieve personal and course success.
How will the College help me to transfer from school?
The College arranges Taster Days for Year 10 students and this will give you the opportunity to see what college life is like. Once you have applied to College you will be invited to Introduction Day at the end of the Summer Term and Fresher’s Day at the beginning of the Autumn Term, where you will meet with some of your teachers and fellow students. The LDD department will be happy to arrange additional taster sessions if needed.
How will the College support my progression and future employment?
We have a Careers and Employability team who can advise you. Throughout the college year there is guidance available about careers, applying to university, apprenticeships, work experience and part-time jobs. If you have a disability and you are applying to university then you may need to apply for the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) from the Student Funding Agency and our Additional Learning Support team can help you with this. We now have a Job Coach working closely with our LDD department who will assist and support students with work experience and supported internships. Supported internships are designed to help young people to achieve sustainable employment through learning, whilst in the workplace.
How accessible is the College environment?
Portsmouth College has two floors and lifts are available. We also have 9 reserved disabled parking spaces in the car park. The College has a loop facility for those with a hearing impairment.
How can I be involved in your education setting?
Portsmouth College has a thriving Student Union which aims to represent the views of students, organise social activities, fundraising, and provide information and advice to students. As a student you are automatically a member of the Student Union and this supports your welfare and interests and also gives you a great opportunity to have a positive impact on the College.
Who can I contact for further information?
Additional Support Coordinator and Dyslexia Specialist
Deputy Director of SEND