Recently on the second floor of the Winchester South building, I found a small group of Year 12 students working on individual projects from their timetable subjects.
They were seated around one central table in one of the smaller classroom spaces, totally focused on their tasks, leading their own learning. This group is one of three who is supported by the Learning Enhancement Faculty, led by Ms Catherine Bell, based in the Leck Centre.
This faculty supports learners who are our English Language Learners (English is not their first language), GATE students (Gifted and Talented students) and Learning Support (those with specific learning differences). Each of these groups has teachers facilitating and supporting them for their specific learning requirements.
The group I talked to were able to explain how their learning was supported in the Learning Enhancement Faculty. The workspace gave them the opportunity to study independently while having a teacher aide or teacher close at hand. They were supported with strategies to enable them to manage their workload as seniors and if necessary how to approach the tasks. They have been taught how to plan and use their time wisely, how to prioritise and break tasks down to focus on the relevant requirements for NCEA. They appreciate the individual pace to assist understanding which is harder in a class context. When being supported in their learning they talked about being in a relaxed state to open up their minds to learning, and this in-turn supports their sense of wellbeing. The group of girls were quick to identify how, over the last two years in the senior school, they have been encouraged to become more independent to assist them through to their transition from SMC.
While each of the Learning Enhancement groups has varied support, the faculty works hard to support each student with their individual needs.