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Gallwn, Gofalwn

Learning Support and ALN

What is our vision for learning support at Dyffryn Taf?

Our vision for the school is “Gallwn, gofalwn”, “We can, we care”. This complements our long-standing motto, “I Fyny For Nod”, “Reach For The Highest”. We try hard to make that vision a reality by encouraging staff and pupils to work in partnership, to aim high and to look after each other.

Recent reforms in Wales have introduced the concept of the Universal Offer. This is the level of teaching and support available to all children to help them make good progress. Like all schools, we understand that some children will need more help and support to make good progress, either for a short period or throughout their time in school. Those students identified as having additional learning needs are supported throughout the curriculum by all of our staff, as well as through the work of our dedicated Learning Support Department. We have a Study Centre which can offer bespoke support, an Intervention Room for targetted and small group learning, an Additional Learning Needs Coordinator (ALNCo) who also sits on the Senior Leadership Team to ensure the needs of students are included in strategic decision making, and strong cross-school links with the Pastoral System to ensure holistic approach to supporting young people.  This ensures they make good progress relative to their individual starting point.


What is the new mandatory ALN Code?

The Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Code will ensure the new ALN system has a set of clear, legally enforceable parameters within which local authorities and governing bodies that are responsible for supporting children and young people with ALN must act.

A unified plan Individual Development Plans (IDPs) will replace the existing variety of statutory and non-statutory plans for learners. This will ensure consistency and continuity, and that provision and rights are protected regardless of the severity or complexity of needs

Children, their parents/carers and young people will be supported to understand and participate in the decisions which are taken that affect them, provided with appropriate reassurance, and offered opportunities to raise concerns and have their questions answered.

If a child or young person needs Additional Learning Provision in Welsh, this must be documented in the IDP and ‘all reasonable steps’ must be taken to secure the provision in Welsh.

If a child, their parents/carers or a young person is not happy with decisions that have been made about their ALN or IDP by the school, they may request that a local authority reviews or reconsiders it.

Where necessary, IDPs will include Additional Learning Provision agreed by health services, social services and other services, as well as education. IDPs will contain an action plan that is clear about which agency is responsible for delivering the individual elements.

Further guide on the new system

What does this look like at Dyffryn Taf?

At Dyffryn Taf, we offer a Universal Provision for all students.  This might include:

  • A series of transition events, throughout Years 5&6
  • Yr6 Enhanced transition events for those identified with needing extra support to move into secondary school. 
  • Access to the Study Centre before school, at lunch and break so that students are able to check-in with support staff, get help with organising their kit/equipment/day or any help with homework
  • A strong and dedicated Teaching Assistant Team who engage with the professional learning network.
  • Dyslexia friendly classrooms across all teaching and year groups
  • Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA) intervention
  • Handwriting interventions
  • Read Write Inc (literacy) intervention
  • Numeracy intervention
  • Literacy, numeracy and non-verbal reasoning testing
  • Year7 Form Tutors whose role are specific to encouraging and nurturing new students
  • Access to ALNCo whenever needed, for students and their families
  • Individual Healthcare Plans
  • A coordinator approach with the full pastoral centre, including time out / counselling / youth worker / behavioural support / family working and healthcare advice
  • Access Arrangements for exams which account for the additional needs of learners, to give them a fair examination experience
  • Careers Support and assisted transition into Post-16 education

Additional Learning Provision - for those with an identified 'additional' need, beyond that offered through Universal Provision, here are some of the further bespoke interventions we are currently using with individual learners:

  • Full parental engagement in the creation, maintaining and updating of IDPs
  • Access to the ALNCo via a dedicated email address-
  • Local Authority support - including emotional/anxiety support, educational psychologist consultations, physical occupational therapy support, sensory impairment support and ASD/ADHD advisor specialist support
  • Reduced timetables, staggered inductions, phased returns and short-term home learning (where agreed by the local authority)
  • Individual Development Plans with bespoke arrangements to ensure the young person’s access to education.
  • Bespoke exam arrangements which take into account the additional needs of the students, particularly where medical needs might be involved.