Teaching & Learning at The Clifton Centre header

Teaching & Learning

Please take a look at the frequently asked questions below about Teaching and Learning at The Clifton Centre.

What additional support can be provided in the classroom?

At The Clifton Centre PRU we have a number of support staff with various skills and qualities, who work with the young people to assist Teaching and Learning and to support the teacher. This is often a Teaching Assistant (TA) (who is an additional member of staff) who works under the direction of a teacher or a Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA). TAs work with small groups and on a 1:1 basis with students who need extra help with their learning and/ or behaviour. They try to do this by supporting their development of concepts and vocabulary and reinforcing behaviour for learning during and also following a lesson. They will also provide opportunities to have additional practice in a particular subject area, or working through differentiated materials with them. TAs assist with developing students’ social skills by suggesting strategies to help control their behaviour, if this is an area of difficulty. We also have a teaching assistant assigned to each form group. This means that students have their form tutor and a TA who knows them extremely well, have regular contact with and to whom they can seek help and or advice at any time of the school day. If your child had a high level of TA support in their previous school or setting, we would like you to tell us.

We have a team of 6 TAs who work across the PRU and 2 HTLA’s.

In addition to TAs we also have a team of vocational staff who work with our students offering guidance and one to one tutorials and who support students with their work experience programmes, applying for college courses and helping with reintegration into mainstream education, if this is appropriate.

At The Clifton Centre PRU class sizes are small in order to meet the needs of the pupils, this is to offer extra support and help them in class to make progress in lessons for their level.

What provision do you offer to facilitate access to the curriculum and to develop independent learning?

All our teachers are required to plan lessons that all students can access. When a young person starts at the PRU, they are expected to complete baseline assessments in English (which will include a spelling and reading test), Maths and ICT. They will also complete a questionnaire on how they feel they learn best, this is called a learning style questionnaire. This assessment information allows the staff team to understand each student's starting point and to plan the next step for them. If a student has barriers to learning, the teacher will meet with the support staff to make adjustments to overcome them. Sometimes teachers need help to do this so they may work with another teacher who has more expertise in the subject being taught or they may ask the school's SEN Coordinator (SENCO).

The SENCO may carry out additional assessments or tests to find out more about the student’s learning difficulties so that the curriculum and teaching can be further tailored to enable them to make progress.

If the SENCO thinks we need more advice about how to help your child learn, we will talk to you about this. We sometimes ask for advice from other specialists, such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists or specialist Advisory Teachers whose expertise could be in a more specialised area for example Asperger’s Syndrome or ADHD. The advice these professionals give is used to inform teaching and learning. We record the strategies we are using in a Provision Map which is an individual plan for your child to help them to make progress and improve their behaviour. This will be written by a team of teachers and support staff within school. This will also be shared with you and evaluated on a termly basis.

Some pupils need particular pieces of equipment to help them work and learn more independently. In our school we have:

  • A range of different types of pens, pencils and grips to help with handwriting
  • Some students may need alternative means of recording so they sometimes use a laptop or computer
  • We have sets of coloured overlays that help some pupils see text more clearly
  • Teaching aids and resources which are subject specific and developed by the curriculum lead /TA to help the student make progress and achieve their potential by removing any barriers to learning where possible.