Howell’s School, Llandaff GDST

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A magnificent Victorian gothic building right on the edge of the great, green expanse of Llandaff Fields, Howell’s School, Llandaff (GDST) has a tremendous sense of roominess for a city school, with a swimming pool, tennis courts and sports pavilion all on the five acre site, and building work for an all-weather sports pitch currently nearing completion.

Howell’s School puts a great value on a rich and varied life outside of the classroom, and the list of extra-curricular activities that students take part in is seemingly endless, as well as endlessly diverse, running from Photography to Philosophy, Song Writing to Synchronised Swimming. The extensive Enrichment Programmes, together with impressive Wellbeing and Laureate Programmes, make Howell’s a special place to learn and develop in an exciting, creative and thriving environment. The school’s strong Leadership Team; talented and dedicated teaching and support staff; wonderful young people and committed and interested parents are what make Howell’s unique.

The Nursery @ Howell’s is situated in Roald Dahl’s childhood home and takes inspiration from its famous former occupant. Girls who enter the nursery experience a safe, family atmosphere, making the transition from home to nursery a relaxed and happy one. The Prep School radiates an atmosphere in which every child is valued and nurtured. Great emphasis is placed on developing the self-identity, self-esteem and self-confidence of every girl.
When entering the Senior School, girls are encouraged to develop skills of self-analysis and reflection, and choose the learning methods that suit them best, whilst teachers challenge and motivate them towards an appetite for lifelong learning. Howell’s aims to help students acquire skills essential to tackling a competitive and rapidly changing world. Howell’s Co-Ed College, with its proven track record for excellence in and out of the classroom, offers A-level students an exceptional learning experience with flexible teaching styles designed to manage the transition between school and university.

The school’s founder, Thomas Howell, wanted to create greater opportunities for young women, and Howell’s School has been changing lives since it opened its doors in 1860. His generosity gave many young women access to an education that would elevate and inspire them, and in 2019, Howell’s still creates opportunities for girls and boys from all backgrounds. Scholarships and bursaries are available in the Senior School and College for entry into Year 7 and Year 12.

Learning Enrichment (SENCO)

Educational Inclusion
At Howell’s School and College, we have high expectations of all students and we aim to promote achievement through the removal of barriers to learning and participation. Our aim is to ensure the full integration and inclusion of all students in the life of the school and to maximise their learning potential.

Differentiated support

Although we are a selective school, we recognise that some students might have difficulties accessing the curriculum: in these cases effective and differentiated support is provided within the classroom by the subject teacher. Students with specific learning difficulties, however, may require structured learning support which is different from the more general classroom support given to other students of the same age.

How do we define students with special or additional learning needs?
Students who need specialist support with their learning include those with the following types of learning difficulty:

  • Specific learning difficulties, eg dyslexia, dyspraxia
  • Emotional, behavioural or social difficulties, eg ADHD
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Sensory and physical difficulties
  • English as an additional language

How do we identify students with learning needs?
To ensure early identification and assessment of a student’s learning difficulties, we work with the student and parents to provide appropriate support. To help us identify students with learning needs we make use of the following:

  • Information from parents about existing learning difficulties
  • Teacher observations
  • National literacy and numeracy objectives (Prep School)
  • Entrance examination
  • Cognitive ability tests in Year 7(MidYis)
  • Dyslexia screening test (Year 7)
  • Screening tests for examination access arrangements (Year 10 onwards)

Many students with mild learning difficulties make adequate progress within a supportive environment without any additional intervention. The School and College have regular revision skills programmes as part of PSHE, while study and revision strategies are consolidated by staff through their subject teaching. If, however, adequate progress is not being made, then intervention will follow a graduated approach as set out in the SEN Code of Practice (2001). The first stage is when a member of staff raises concerns about a student with the Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator; the Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator will consider if further intervention is needed which may mean some or all of the following:

  • Individual screening test for Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Recommendation for a full Educational Psychology assessment
  • Invitation to join Literacy Express or Numeracy Support (Senior School) or Springboard Maths (Prep School)
  • Advice about the student’s learning needs given to subject staff
  • The offer of 1:1 learning support with specifically qualified SEN teachers
  • The placing of the student on the SEN or Learning Support register

Parental permission is always sought before individual screening or assessment tests are carried out, and the results are communicated to parents.

What support is offered?

  • Springboard Maths and Literacy Support (Prep School) and Literacy Express and Numeracy Support (Senior School) are weekly small group support classes which are designed to improve literacy, numeracy and study skills.
  • Some SEN students in the senior school will follow a modified timetable: the student may not take the full quota of subjects to allow for private study time and individual learning support.
  • Individual or small group specialist teaching during private study periods or during free periods for Years 12 and 13.
  • Individual teaching in the school’s on-site dyslexia unit; this is run and staffed by Dyslexia Action Cymru. Tuition is paid for privately by parents and is not included in school fees.
  • Referrals to outside agencies: Howell’s School is an independent school and does not have access to the services of the Local Education Authority. Parents who require the services of an agency such as an Educational Psychologist will be required to obtain these services outside school; advice can be given by the Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator.
  • The Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator maintains an up to date register of students with learning needs which is available to all teaching staff via the school intranet; a full profile of an individual student’s needs is accessible to staff and parents through the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Who is responsible for learning difficulties and student support?
The Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator is the Head of Learning Strategies at Howell’s and is responsible for the administration of all learning support. The Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator works closely with two qualified SEN teachers who provide practical classroom support and assessments in the Prep and Senior Schools. The Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator arranges learning support within the Prep and Senior Schools and College, in conjunction with the heads of the respective sections.

Partnership with parents
At Howell’s we really value the knowledge parents have of their children and use this to enable us to provide effective learning support. Equally we will always inform parents of any concerns we have and discuss fully any action we feel is necessary. Parents should feel able to discuss any concerns relating to specific learning needs with the Learning Enrichment Co-ordinator whose contact details are below.

Student participation
We encourage students at Howell’s to take responsibility and to make decisions; this is part of the culture of our school. Students are invited to make judgements about their own performance, to set their own targets and to evaluate their work and progress constructively.

Bursaries & Scholarships

The GDST Bursary Fund provides financial assistance to enable suitably qualified students, whose parents could not otherwise afford the fees, to enter or remain in the Senior School and College. We are delighted that since 2011, bursaries of 100% (i.e. covering the full tuition fee) have been available. An application form can be obtained from the Admissions Officer, Mrs C Hall-Davis. If you are in doubt about your son or daughter’s eligibility, please complete the form and the situation will be assessed. Other Trusts are also available to assist with fees in certain circumstances; please contact the school for further details.

As well as Academic Scholarships, there is a variety of additional scholarships. These are awarded to recognise talent and achievement in Music, Drama, Art/DT and Sport. Please contact Mrs C Hall-Davis, Admissions Officer for further details.

Tel: 029 2056 1832

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