Pupil Support Leaders (previously known as Guidance teachers) have a pastoral role – looking after the welfare and emotional wellbeing of all pupils and day-to-day issues. They teach PSE (personal and social education) – everything from health topics, sexual health, substance misuse, relationships. In S1 pupils are taught one period of PSE each week.
Pupil Support Leaders also have a role supporting course choices and careers advice for pupils as they progress through school. Later on they help pupils with college/university/job applications and provide references. Each pupil is allocated a “house” at Trinity (Skye, Arran and Orkney) – each house is looked after by one (or more) Pupil Support Leader and your child will stay in the same house throughout their time at high school. Pupil Support Leaders attend parents’ consultations for appointments like other subject teachers. They are also happy to be contacted by parents regarding any concerns or information you think might be relevant for school to know about your child. The key message is get in touch if you need to.
Support for Learning teachers help any pupil who has an issue affecting learning – this could include, for example, speaking English as an additional language (EAL), dyslexia, autism spectrum, ADHD, visual/hearing impairment. Pupils may have received additional support at primary and for these pupils there will be extensive joint planning and collaboration with primary school colleagues well before arrival at high school. Pupils may be offered an “enhanced” transition, such as getting to know teachers or the school environment in advance to help with settling in.
If you have not already had contact with Support for Learning staff and have concerns relating to your child’s learning where additional support may be needed, then do contact staff to discuss this. At Trinity Academy, there are 2 full-time teachers in this department and one part-time teacher. They are supported by Pupil Support Assistants to support individual pupils. There are also visiting teachers who specialise in EAL. The department has a small number of laptops which can be used in lessons to support learning – these have to be collected from the Support for Learning base and taken to relevant classrooms. Pupils can bring in their own tablets/phones, but these cannot connect to school wi-fi.
The school hosts themed coffee mornings in conjunction with its cluster primaries, for parents and carers of children with additional support needs – the most recent event was on ICT Support for pupils with Additional Needs. Parents (subject to checks) can assist the Support for Learning work in the school by offering weekly help with ‘paired reading’ alongside pupils who would benefit from 1:1 support.