Learning Skills

With a commitment to unlocking every pupil’s potential, our aim is for girls to flourish in a nurturing and supportive environment where there is a high expectation of success.

Head of Department: Mrs Charlotte Jones

Mrs Charlotte Jones, Director of Pupil Progress

The Learning Skills Department is an integral part of our school that focuses on individual pupil progress. Its aim is to enable each pupil to learn in a way that suits her unique profile, and to promote those skills for learning that will underpin consistent progress across the subject range for the wider school community.

There is no one ‘right’ way of thinking, learning, and behaving and in our school, differences are embraced and supported. We ensure all neurodiverse pupils with Specific Learning Differences such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, ASD, ADHD, and often other co-occurring challenges, are supported as an integral part of school life. You can read more about our commitment to supporting neurodiverse pupils to thrive at our school in this article. We also have an accomplished and successful EAL department supporting multilingual learners and those for whom English is not their first language.

The department offers one-to-one or small group support, and these are incorporated into each girl’s bespoke timetable. Lessons are meaningful, purposeful, and positive learning occurs through multi-sensory means, including utilising assistive technology to support all the learner’s executive function skills.

Our academic staff work closely with the department and, through observations, marking and feedback and specialist testing, ensure pupils’ specific needs are identified and fully supported in their academic lives, as well as looking beyond school to ensure they feel equipped with strategies to support them in the future.

The department also contributes greatly to the pastoral care of the pupils, and lessons provide a safe place for pupils to talk openly about their wellbeing and mental health. Pupil wellbeing is paramount, and the school has a strong mental health and wellbeing team, including on-campus counsellors and psychologists, who can support a pupil’s needs and offer wraparound care.

Our team of dedicated, specialist teachers and assessors actively seek innovative approaches and new developments in their field and undertake continual professional development. It is a privilege that we can holistically support so many neurodiverse young women and to provide them with an environment and opportunities that enable them to find out who they are and the incredible things of which they are capable.

Further information about Learning Skills may be obtained by contacting the Head of Department, Mrs Charlotte Jones.

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The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

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Book your tickets | Academic Conference – Maximising Pupils’ Potential | Thursday 13 June 2024
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