Additional Learning Needs

Welcome to the Additional Learning Needs Department


ALN Co-ordinator: Mr I Garvey, 

Lead Teaching Assistant: Mrs J Blackwell (HLTA)


We want all our pupils to receive the very best possible education. Our aim is to help each and every pupil to develop to their full potential, bearing in mind their individual needs and abilities. We recognise, however, that all children are different and may have very different needs. The school has an excellent reputation for pastoral support especially for pupils with learning disabilities and difficulties.


Additional Learning Needs might mean:


  • Children with learning needs across the curriculum;

  • Children with specific learning difficulties;

  • Children with physical or sensory needs;

  • Children with behavioural or emotional needs;

  • Children with English as an Additional Language;

  • Children who are more able and talented



Or a combination of these needs.



We take great pride in having achieved Dyslexia Friendly School status and all staff are trained to teach and support pupils with dyslexia and dyslexic-like difficulties. All staff have a Guidance & Support file, containing Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for pupils identified on the Additional Learning Needs Register, with information on how best to meet the pupils’ needs.


The school has a set procedure for identifying and assessing the special needs of individual pupils. This includes formal testing at age 11, National literacy and numeracy results, reports from the primary schools, teacher assessment, the views of parents, assessment by an external agency and the views of pupils themselves.



Pupils with additional needs are helped in a variety of ways:


As well as receiving information from primary schools and end of Key Stage 2 National Curriculum teacher assessments, the pupils are screened for their Reading and Spelling in the first couple of weeks, and take a Cognitive Ability Test (CAT) to inform staff of the pupils’ strengths and difficulties.


Pupils with weak or poor literacy scores are identified and parents are consulted about the provision and intervention strategies the department can offer. Pupils may be withdrawn for one hour a week on a rolling programme from their standard curriculum in Years 7 – 9 in order to access specialist teaching. By assessing the pupils biannually the department can monitor progress and determine when a pupil’s literacy is adequate enough to access the mainstream curriculum. There is close liaison and consultation with parents throughout, with reviews of pupils’ progress at least once a year, but more if required.


Pupils with speech and language difficulties are supported with their individual programmes one to one, during academic review, by trained teaching assistants and for some pupils with social/communication difficulties, they are withdrawn from lessons one hour a week to work on the Alex Kelly social communication programme.


With regards to numeracy intervention, we employ a variety of strategies to support pupils in this area:

Sixth Form mentoring, Numeracy Catch Up and smaller 'grouped' lessons.


Statemented pupils receive support as detailed in their statement from the specialist teachers in the department. This may be direct individual or small group (2-5) teaching. Statements are formally reviewed annually in accordance with The Code of Practice. A very dedicated team of Teaching Assistants support pupils across the curriculum, and offer a variety of support strategies eg. Paired Reading during Academic Review, and Homework Club.


The department is very well resourced, with two teaching classrooms fully equipped with up to date computers and a variety of ICT software to enhance the pupils’ learning experience.


In Key Stage 4 pupils with Additional Learning Needs may be offered a reduced timetable, or a vocational option in order to increase choice, reduce stress, and attain the best possible results in the core National Curriculum subjects. Pupils who are statemented may be disapplied from Welsh in this Key stage in order to continue accessing literacy support, or to assist with the demands of GCSE coursework.


Appropriate Access Arrangements for internal and external examinations are conducted in school to ensure that pupils in Key Stages 4 & 5, with Additional Learning Needs, have equal access to their GCSEs and GCEs.


As a department we strive to promote positive relationships with both pupils and parents in order to educate successful, independent learners of the future.


Lexia Strategies Test Link    

Contact Us

St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School

Albert Avenue,

Flint, Flintshire,


Tel : 01352 736900

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St Richard Gwyn Catholic High School


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