Support for Learning

Welcome to the Support for Learning Department

The Support for Learning Department is a whole school resource for staff, pupils and parents to access and is staffed by Mrs K Steele, Faculty Head of Support for Learning and Deaf Education and Support for Learning Teachers, Mrs V Cairns and Mrs K Dickson. There are 10 Support Assistants who also work with our pupils.

We receive specialist support provision from Mrs J Condie and Mrs V Schoenhofen, Area Network Specialist Support Teachers. Mrs M Campbell, English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacher and Mrs G Maguire, Support Teacher of Visually Impaired. We also receive specialist support from Mrs H Kyle, Educational Psychologist.

Our Aim

The Support for Learning Department is committed to ensuring that appropriate and effective provision is made for young people who have barriers to learning, whether short or long term.

The Department is fully committed to raising the attainment of all pupils and to enabling every pupil to achieve his or her full potential.  

The Department is fully committed to the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014, working towards early intervention and preventative measures.

Underpinned by the Scottish Government’s commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (UNCRC), and the national approach, Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC), working together in support of children, young people and families.

The Department aims to develop strategies to empower learners, support teaching colleagues and deliver practical help in and out with the classroom by a variety of methodologies and resources, and deliver a pupil centred curriculum.

We strive to develop self-confidence and growth mind-set along with the basic skills for life, learning and work.

The Role of the Support for Learning Teacher

How will we achieve our aims?

The Support for Learning Teachers play a very important role in the life of pupils, their parents and school staff. Support may be needed for any reason, and for short or long term periods determined by the individual learning needs of the child or young person. Some pupils may need an Additional Support Plan (ASP) to ensure their needs are best met, which are reviewed on a regular basis.

The Support for Learning Department can offer support and advice to parents, pupils, teachers or whole departments, working towards meeting the learning and assessment needs of individual pupils. Effective teaching and learning strategies may be discussed and developed along with the identification and provision of suitable resources. 

The Department may work with teachers in class in order to support learner’s needs, or we may work with individuals or groups for more direct support. 

The Department contributes to staff development in a number of ways – through training and sharing of best practise, resources and insight. Whole school Dyslexia and Autism Awareness events encourage staff to share how to best meet learners’ needs.

Literacy Acceleration groups run in S1 and S2, including Reciprocal Reading, Spelling Intervention and Indirect Dyslexia Learning (IDL).

We also run Essential Skills classes from S2 to S4, focussing on skills for life and work and the essential literacy and numeracy skills that support and enhance pupils’ learning across the curriculum. 

The Role of the Support Assistant

Our Support Assistants provide invaluable support to enable pupils with barriers to learning to reach their full potential.

Their duties are flexible, according to the needs of the pupils, but may involve:

  • Accompanying pupils with mobility problems from class to class and supporting pupils with tasks that they may find difficult on account of a particular disability.
  • Assisting pupils in class and within the Support for Learning Department as required by the class teacher.
  • Assisting with special exam arrangements such as reading, scribing, prompting.
  • Supporting Literacy and Numeracy development.
  • Participating in training opportunities to raise attainment.

Specialist Activities 


The Department supports a number of young people with English as an Additional Language by providing and adapting resources, taking the lead from the specialist teacher in order to meet their needs.

Assessment Arrangements/SQA

The Support for Learning Teachers and Assistants work with a number of young people during prelims and final exams, providing them with necessary support, such as reading or scribing. The Department also works with pupils who have been identified as requiring support in class tests, on an ongoing basis.

The Learning Hub

We work with S6 pupils who are working towards Saltire Awards. They are trained by the department to become reading buddies for our new S1 pupils. The S6 and S1 pupils attend The Learning Hub at registration on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays in order to build upon Literacy, Numeracy and Social Skills.

Study Skills

The Department offer training sessions in study skills, including methodologies and strategies to pupils who are working towards their exams and need extra support to enable them to study effectively. The Study Skills are tailored to their learning styles. Study Skills is also taught as a unit in Essential Skills classes, working towards employability.

Anxiety and Resilience Support Groups

Underpinning the theories of Tony Attwood and Edith Grotberg, the Department offers a series of workshops which encourage the development of coping skills, working towards a growth mindset.

Essential Skills

Pupils may be invited to attend Essential Skills classes as an option to develop skills in Literacy, Numeracy and Health and Wellbeing. The classes build upon essential skills for life, learning and work. Some of the things the classes do include, working with local charities, enterprising projects, employability and study skills. The Essential Skills classes focus on pupil voice and can take a thematic or seasonal approach to their studies.

Indirect Dyslexia Learning (IDL)

The IDL groups work interactively on their Literacy skills. The IDL approach is developed around five basic principles – multi sensory, individually tailored, independent learning, simple to use and distraction free. IDL has been reported to assist pupils to increase their reading and spelling age. It also aims to improve confidence and self esteem, which can be transferred into other areas of school life.

Spelling Intervention Groups

The spelling groups use a range of resources and strategies to improve spelling and confidence. Some of the resources used include North Lanarkshire Council’s Active Literacy strategies and Fresh Start.

Reciprocal Reading

S1 and S2 pupils may be invited to attend reciprocal reading sessions within their English timetable. Reciprocal Reading enhances reading, spelling, discussion and comprehension. It also builds upon social skills and encourages pupils to participate in a variety of roles.

Useful Websites