Language and Literacy Centre

The aims of Winchcombe LAL are:

  • To provide personalised learning programmes for junior aged pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties /Dyslexia as part of the overall provision of the Special Needs Support Team in West Berkshire
  • To promote an awareness for each pupil of their own strengths and weaknesses and to provide them with the learning strategies to enable them to cope with their difficulties
  • To enhance pupils’ self esteem by improving their ability to access the curriculum.

The Wider role of LAL

Winchcombe LAL has various roles:

  • As a West Berkshire Resource, the unit caters for children from thirty five surrounding primary schools, who attend in small groups for weekly two-hour sessions. The number of pupils on roll can vary, with one Teacher-in-Charge.  Groups are made up of three children who may all be from the same school, or who may be from different schools. New friendships are made and children become aware that they are not alone in their struggle with literacy. For some, this can be a very important message
  • The LAL unit also supports a small number of children in The Winchcombe School and acts as an additional source of support, guidance and training for staff on matters relating to literacy difficulties.The Teacher-in-Charge works alongside the Special Needs Co-ordinator and the Teacher-in-Charge of the Language Resource
  • The LAL has a wider role of liaison and training with it’s feeder schools in the locality of which there are 34. The LAL also provides training for the authority
  • The Teacher-in-Charge attends Independent Education Plan review meetings where possible. Interim Target Reports and Final Reports are also provided to support the staff of host schools in making provision for their LAL attendee. Meetings are held with both parents and teachers of host schools
  • Formal training for staff is held in the summer term. Details are to be found in the Staff Training Handbook.

Admission to LAL

Children are admitted to the unit via referral by their school to the admissions panel. The Admissions Panel meets in the summer term to discuss cases for the following year. The Admissions Panel is made up of: the West Berkshire Learning Support Services Manager, the Special Needs Support Team, an Educational Psychologist and the LAL Teachers-in-Charge.

Time in LAL

Children are admitted in their year 5 group. Each child will receive one session lasting two hours each week in the LAL unit. The placement will start in September of their year 5 and will end at the summer half term break.

Transport

The child is transported to the LAL unit in a taxi at no cost to the child’s school or family. Transport is arranged by the LAL unit. It is an expectation that the parent will contact both the taxi company and the LAL unit if for any reason their child is to be absent.

Liaison

Parents are invited to meet with the Teacher-in-Charge prior to their child started their placement. The educational history and needs of the child are discussed and a demonstration is given as to how to carry out homework. A handbook is provided which covers all points discussed and contains a thorough explanation of homework. Future liaison is encouraged through use of the ‘orange book’, phone-calls and meetings in schools. An email link is available at request of parent.

Children very much enjoy their LAL session, for many it being the highlight of the week.

Homework

The Big Issue

One session on it’s own each week is not going to fix what for many children has become a major stumbling block to learning: inability to read and/or spell.

However

One session which is consolidated with daily home practice and support in school CAN fix the problem. It is for this reason that daily practice is an integral part of the programme. It is important that any child attending LAL should be mature enough to cope with this expectation and that parents enter into a dialogue with the Teacher-in-Charge as to how they may best support their child. At present this support takes the form of:
Weekly communication written in the child’s ‘orange book.’
Weekly homework done in the ‘orange book.’ Homework is done on all school days and should last no more than 10-15 minutes.

Homework consists of:

Practice reading and talking about cards in the ‘White Reading Packet.’
Write out words [or sentences] from ‘Coloured Spelling Cards.’ These cards are read to the child by and adult. The words should then be marked and if necessary, corrections written.
Reading reading books sent home from LAL. These books are specifically set to the child’s individual needs and are monitored weekly.