The small, specialist team, is made up of Kirsty Lockton (Learning Support and Wellbeing Manager and dyslexia specialist teacher), Helen Smith (specialist dyslexia teacher, Lead for Specialist Teaching and Learning), Rachel Crofts and Natalie Minott (learning support administrators) and our Wellbeing Team are Debra Brown (Mental Health Support Worker) and Tamika Shelukindo (Wellbeing Coach) with Gemma Chapman and Katie Stray (Academic Support teacher for ASD/ADHD).
Exam access arrangements
We can complete appropriate assessments to enable students to have access arrangements in exams and/or use appropriate clinical evidence to apply for exam arrangements. All arrangements are processed in accordance with current JCQ regulations. Please ask your current school for the evidence they have used to secure any exam arrangements you have had approved for your GCSEs.
Liaison with teaching staff:
Following a discussion, Learning Support/Wellbeing can inform the student’s teachers the difficulties they experience and how they can be supported in the classroom. We do not have teaching assistants or learning support assistants in classes here at Bilborough, so this communication with teaching staff is essential.
Additional Support – dyslexia/dyslexic traits
We can add a small Learning Support study group support session to your timetable for 1.5 hours per week. This is an opportunity to work with a specialist teacher to support your studies.
Some students prefer a quick burst of 1:1 support to tackle a specific issue and we are able to offer 1:1 sessions with our specialist teacher (these would be initially offered on a 6 session basis but are open to review).
As a college, we are in a position to offer full dyslexia diagnostic assessments with some financial support available – please ask for our current prices for this extra service. This is NOT to be confused with exam arrangement assessments – no charges apply for those assessments.
We would have a discussion with students to determine what support may be required day to day including possible lift passes and personal emergency evacuation plans (PEEPs). There would also be a discussion about any possible exam access arrangements that may be needed. Following a discussion, Learning Support can inform the student’s teachers of any difficulties they experience and how they can be supported in the classroom. We can also store medication for students to access during the college day.
Visual and hearing impairment
We would have a discussion with students to determine what support may be required day to day. There would also be a discussion about any possible exam access arrangements that may be needed. Following a discussion, Learning Support can inform the student’s teachers what difficulties they experience and how they can be supported in the classroom. We welcome working with existing specialists to ensure needs are best met here at Bilborough.
We currently have two members of staff in our Wellbeing team, Debra Brown Mental Health Support Worker) and Tamika Shelukindo (Wellbeing Coach)
What does Wellbeing Do?
Wellbeing can respond to a wide range of needs that students may have during their time in college, this includes:
- support for students diagnosed with Autism/ADHD
- Advice and helpful techniques to cope with stress, anxiety and other mental health issues e.g low mood, lack of motivation, depression, low self-esteem, self-harming and suicidal thoughts.
- Make appropriate arrangements to promote access for students with sensory needs such as those related to Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, or students who have anxiety, including arrangements for exams
What sort of help can students get from Wellbeing
Wellbeing is different from counselling, as they provide practical strategies to deal with current issues and use a conversation-based approach to help students to find the best solutions for their current difficulties and to plan for the future.
Here are some ways we do this.
- Provide self-help resources via SharePoint
- Anxiety management techniques
- Distraction and delaying techniques for self-harm
- Help with negative thought patterns
- Strategies to deal with social anxiety
- Wellbeing workshops
- Referral to external services such as GP, Mental health Support Team or CAMHS
How this works in practice
Wellbeing offers workshops and individual appointments. Individual appointments are for six sessions, the first session will include an initial assessment, with a further five follow up appointments. Each session is for one hour in a warm and welcoming space, to enable students to discuss their current issues.
How to get help
We provide drop-in sessions which are available every lunchtime 12.10 -1.00pm in the Wellbeing rooms with Debra Brown room B.1.7 or Tamika Shelukindo room B.1.6, alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for an appointment. The welfare officer, the college counsellor, tutors or subject teachers can also make a referral.
Following a referral, students are offered an initial assessment appointment and then follow up appointments if needed.
ASD and AD(H)D
Our academic support teachers Gemma and Katie run the Academic Support programme we have available for our neurodivergent students, to support them to find different ways of working that suit them best in a mainstream environment.
Here are some of the ways this support is provided:
- Support with transition into to college/ to university.
- Support and advice with the first steps of getting a diagnosis e.g., GP referral
- Tailored academic support
Bilborough College has a proud tradition of supporting our students to become independent, and assistive technology can play an important role. All students have an office 365 account, and this gives them access to read aloud functions to support reading and dictation functions to support producing work. Students can have a laptop on loan from Learning Support if this is part of their support provision. We have great success with students transitioning from having human support with reading, to using a reading pen, and these devices are allowed in all our exams (even those testing reading). Dictaphones are available for students who find that having a recording of their lessons supports their note taking.
Key contact details