Special Educational Needs


The Special Educational Needs Department in Ashfield Girls' High School provides a safe, nurturing and caring environment for pupils with a wide range of learning needs such as ASD, Dyslexia, ADHD, social, emotional and behavioural difficulties as well as physical difficulties.

The school's SENCO, Ms Rossborough, and Assistant SENCO, Mrs Strange, are supported by a team of trained Classroom Assistants who work hard to ensure that each pupil in the SEN department has full access to the curriculum and enjoys a varied and engaging experience at Ashfield. Within the setting of "The Learning Zone" pupils may be given support to develop literacy, numeracy, social and emotional skills.

A large number of highly trained external specialists also support our children and these include:

  • Educational Psychologists
  • Secondary Pupils Support Service (SPSS)
  • The Link Centre
  • Autism Advisory and Intervention Service
  • Park School
  • Cedar Foundation
  • Hearing Impaired Service

Assessing Needs

How do we know if your daughter has Special Needs?

All pupils are tested on admission using standardised tests in English and Maths, for the purpose of identifying any learning needs and to provide teachers with baseline information. Primary schools and parents also provide insight into pupils’ learning needs. In addition, medical reports, psychology reports and information from the Education Authority including statements of Special Educational Needs are also considered.

How does Ashfield Girls’ High School meet the needs of all its learners?

If your child is provided with different work or activities in class from that of their peers, you should not worry. All children are different. Teachers are highly skilled professionals and use a wide range of approaches and strategies to help children learn. Praise your child for their effort and for trying their best in school. This will build their confidence.

What to do if you are worried that your child may have Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Children do not all learn at the same rate or pace. Some may have difficulties with aspects of their learning from time to time but most children with learning difficulties do not have special educational needs. If you are worried about your child’s progress, contact the form tutor who will discuss how your child is getting on in school and, if needed, will address any concerns you may have. The teacher will also advise you on how you can help your child at home.

If, after a period of observation, the teacher thinks that additional provision in school is needed for your child, they will contact you to discuss this.

Please be assured that we have clear processes for identifying and assessing children with Special Educational Needs. Staff will strive to ensure that your child’s needs are fully met, whether they have learning difficulties or SEN.

Lots of children will have learning difficulties from time to time and the school addresses this by:

  • Grouping pupils for learning new tasks
  • Using different learning materials and resources
  • ICT
  • Small group withdrawal
  • Use of practical resources
  • Providing some small “catch up groups” for various subjects
  • Providing training for teachers
  • Time out area
  • Access to the ‘The Sanctuary’

If you have any other queries, please contact Ms Rossborough, Mrs Strange or your daughter’s form tutor.


English As An Additional Language

For some children in Ashfield, English is not their first language and at present we are able to offer out Newcomer pupils some specialised English support in the Learning Zone.

The Inclusions and Diversity website is very useful for pupils and parents and can be found at www.education-support.org.uk/ids


The Learning Zone

This is a centre, co-ordinated by Ms Rossborough, for pupils who have been identified as having special needs or who require extra support to aid leaning at any time. It aims to assist students to achieve their full potential. Support available includes:

  • Small group/individual literacy and numeracy support
  • Dylexia support
  • Independent Study
  • Homework/revision clubs
  • Fast-tracking
  • Specialist equipment – software programs and activities to aid learning.
  • Website help-lines
  • Individual study areas and support programmes
  • Time out area
  • Circle time
  • Counselling Service
  • EAL Support
  • Lunch Time Friendship Skills Club
  • Catch up Club