Learning Support

At Biddenham, we believe that all students have the right to a full and balanced education.

At some stage in their school career many students encounter difficulties that prevent them from learning successfully. Factors such as:

…all these can create problems that make it difficult for students to fulfil their learning potential. Working in close partnership with colleagues, the Learning Support Department aims to foster success for all students across the whole curriculum.

Additionally students who are gifted or talented can encounter situations requiring special attention to ensure they achieve their learning potential.

TA support is provided via in-class support for students with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP) as deemed appropriate at the annual review. Support is also present in the lowest set maths groups in order to support the students with greatest need. TA’s are also present in classes where there is evidence of need in terms of students who are known to the Learning Support department and are on the SEN register as requiring additional learning support.

Targeted students participate in Learning Support lessons to further support their literacy, numeracy and academic skills to help them access learning in the mainstream classroom.

IDL (International Dyslexia Learning Solutions)

“IDL is an online literacy intervention that combines a multi-sensory, structured approach with an accessible, stress-free user method.

Multi-sensory approaches are effective because they address key areas, commonly associated with dyslexic-type difficulties. These relate to processing and retention of information. Multi-sensory learning methods allow information to be accessed via several sensory channels

simultaneously. This maximises opportunities for effective processing and retention. IDL incorporates sight, sound, touch and voice. Students see and hear the words, type and repeat,

then read aloud and listen back. Research suggests that information heard via one’s own voice is absorbed more readily than via others’ voices.

Structured learning

IDL is tightly structured to provide comprehensive and specific teaching, tailored to individual

need. Sequenced modules contain lessons in sentence format with story themes, interspersed with spelling, grammar and punctuation exercises. Following the Initial Test, Students’ reading and spelling scores are entered to generate lessons at the appropriate level. Students then work through the lessons sequentially. Each learning focus is introduced, demonstrated, practised and consolidated before progressing to the next focus. Previous learning is continually reinforced throughout the programme. Specialist intervention for dyslexic-type difficulties will provide a very high level of repetition and ‘overlearning’ opportunity.

Each lesson should deliver approximately 80% revision of previously learnt material, with 20% new learning, to allow learning to be consolidated and, ultimately, transferred to long-term memory.” https://www.idlcloud.co.uk/

IDL will be administered as a whole cohort intervention for years 7 and 8.

Students will be expected to complete a 20 minute session 3 times a week. One of these sessions will be facilitated during an English lesson and the other 2 independently.

For students in years 9, 10 and 11 any student with a reading age below their chronological age will also complete IDL on the same basis as years 7 and 8, with one session occuring during timetabled English lessons. Students not enrolled on the IDL programme will be able to engage in some independent reading.

If students have EAL Lessons or Learning Support lessons, IDL will be completed during this time.

For the independent sessions students will be able to access IDL before school, at breaks and lunch and after school. As IDL is web-based students are also able to access IDL on any electronic device at home.


The aim of the school is for all students to have a functional reading and spelling age of greater than 10 years and 6 months by the time they take their GCSEs. After initial assessment on entry to the school, currently all students are placed on the Lexia programme to develop their literacy skills. Progress is monitored within a year and students then continue or not as required.

Additional literacy interventions are offered as required on a 1:1 or small group basis to support students needs i.e. reading club; handwriting club; toe by toe intervention.


Students develop numeracy skills where necessary through 2 different computerised interventions. Either by using ‘mymaths’ within their maths lessons or by using ‘123maths’. Some targeted students do this as a part of their Learning Support lesson or as a part of their Maths (set 5 only) lesson.