Additional Learning Needs (ALN)

ALN Provision

Pontarddulais Comprehensive School prides itself on a pupil centred approach and strives to ensure that the correct support and provision is put in place to ensure that each individual fulfils their potential both academically and socially.

We believe that communication and collaboration is essential for us to achieve this aim and as such work closely with our parents and carers and our feeder primary schools to ensure that we have an overall picture of our pupils before they embark on their journey at Pontarddulais Comprehensive School. We also have close links with our post-16 providers and Careers Wales to ensure that our pupils are also fully supported during KS4 and their transition from Pontarddulais.

In addition to this, members of the ALN department also liaise closely with professionals from outside agencies such as: Educational Psychologists, Behaviour Support Specialists, Speech and Language and Visual Specialist Teachers, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), Speech and Language Therapists, Social Services, Early Help Hub (EHH) and mental health services such as Platfform. Through multi-agency working, we endeavour to access the best support available for all of our pupils.

Within the school environment, all staff are informed of the specific strengths and needs of individual pupils via One Page Profiles (OPPs) which are created through conversations with the pupil, parents or carers and other individuals who work closely with the young person. This document offers an overview of the young person, but also outlines practical strategies that can be implemented in the classroom to help each individual achieve their full potential. As a department, we provide training for colleagues with regards to students with Additional Learning Needs and regularly update all staff on new approaches and ideas.

In KS3, pupils are predominantly placed into mixed ability classes. However, for those with more significant levels of need, we ensure that they are placed in a supported form with added teaching assistant support. As a school we are very proud of our committed and talented TAs who are the experts in supporting and bringing out the best in our young people.

This support is continued into KS4, but here our range of options offer qualifications at all levels and the BTEC and equivalent courses are taught in much smaller groups than the main GCSE classes. Furthermore, pupils with specific learning difficulties are assessed for exam access arrangements in line with the JCG guidance and are provided with additional support and time for examinations in line with this.

This year has seen the implementation of the Additional Learning Needs Education and Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 (ALNET) which will replace previous legislation on a phased implementation timetable. This new Act aims for equity rather than equality and as such requires all classrooms and teachers to adapt to ensure that learning is accessible to all, regardless of needs. ALNET will see a number of changes such as SEN being replaced by the term ALN and consequently SENCos now being referred to as ALNCos. It will also result in School Action, School Action Plus and Statements being replaced by Individual Development Plans (IDPs) which, if your child goes into further education, can stay with them until they are 25.

The first years to transition to this new system will be years 7 and 10 and will see pupils identified with ALN transferred to Individual Development Plans (IDPs). However, the definition of ALN has also been altered and only pupils who require an additional Learning provision (ALP) beyond the universal provision offered at school will require an IDP. Universal provision refers to all of the interventions and extra support services offered within school such as Lexonic, Numeracy Catch Up, Language Link, Talkabout and much more and so will address the needs of the vast majority of pupils, formally recognised as school action and school action plus. To find out more about any of these interventions though please click on the interventions tab and you will find each of them explained in separate booklet form.

The video below also provides more information on the changes to the ALN Bill. However, if you have any further questions or queries that are not addressed in this video or in the explanation above please do not hesitate to contact the school.