Support for Learning

Support for Learning

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At Ibstock, additional support for learning is provided by the Academic Mentoring Team.

Our expert staff take an individual approach, supporting pupils to become autonomous learners who can fulfil their potential. Through listening to pupils and communicating closely with teaching staff and parents, we aim to create trusting relationships and build confidence. 

Academic Mentoring Team


Sarah Harmer

Head of Academic Mentoring


Tanya Dowgierd

Academic Mentor


Alison Shafiee

Academic Mentor

Our Mentors are experienced at supporting pupils with a diagnosed learning difference as well as pupils who perhaps have a skills gap or a temporary difficulty.

The team work with a range of pupils who are not defined by their needs, but who may have elements of Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as Dyslexia or Dyspraxia, or are Neurodivergent (including Autism or ADHD). Pupils are invited to join individual or small group sessions, which are scheduled depending on need.

Areas of Support

  • Study Skills –  such as note taking, active revision strategies, examination technique and meta cognition. 

  • Executive Function – such as suggesting routines, considering strengths, encouraging task initiation, organisation and strategies for more autonomy.

  • Literacy – such as reading comprehension, vocabulary building, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, developing written expression, planning, editing and proofreading work. 

  • Soft Skills – such as problem solving, self-motivation, communication skills, emotional regulation.
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Supporting Student Needs

When joining the school in Senior 7, all pupils are screened for indications of learning difficulties.

Through strong links with the Pastoral team and teaching staff, pupils are continually reviewed and inform appropriate support for each pupil. 

If a need is detected, or a diagnosis shared, the Academic Mentoring Team will write a Learner Profile (Individualised Education Plan) that is shared with the pupil, their parents and teachers. This document is updated termly and summarises the strengths and challenges faced by the pupil, suggesting strategies for progress in class and homework.

The Academic Mentoring Team aim to ensure strong lines of communication with parents and carers, alongside external agencies and specialists as needed. 


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