Pupil Support and One-to-One
SEN: Sue O' Beirne SENCO (All-Through)
As Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator, I am privileged to work with an experienced and enthusiastic team including our specialist teacher and Learning Support Assistants. We work together to ensure that the needs of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities are met appropriately, with a view to each of these pupils achieving their full potential. This support takes many forms depending greatly on the individual needs of the pupil, but can include support within class, small group interventions and individual work on specific targets.
In order for pupils who have special educational needs or disabilities to thrive and flourish at school, a positive working relationship with parents is also vital, as is close collaboration with professionals from other settings. So, if your child has special educational needs and you would like to discuss this with me, or you would like advice about aspects of special needs provision, please do contact me; I do believe it’s easier to deal with a query than to solve a problem. If you would like to contact Sue, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline Lunniss: Assistant SENCo All Through
I work closely with the SENCo and SEN team to help identify, plan and deliver support for our children with additional needs. We work carefully in partnership with parents and pupils to meet the needs and disabilities of the children throughout their time at Westgate School. I am passionate about children with additional needs having a key role in their own personal learning journey celebrating their achievements and planning their next steps.
I am lucky to work with an experienced hard working team who deliver support to our pupils in different ways depending on the most appropriate way to meet their needs, sometimes they support working in class, group interventions or individual work to support pupils set targets. Do please contact me if you have any concerns or questions.
Andy Hider - Head of Pupil Support
My name is Andy Hider and I am the Head of Pupil Support. I have a unique and privileged role within school where I dress casually and am none by first name terms. My work with our pupils is done through one to one sessions and an extensive range of group work.
I oversee the Pupil Support Team, which consists of counsellors, therapeutic artist, professional singing coach and a number of volunteers. We have worked hard to create an atmosphere at The Westgate, where it is easy and accessible to ask for help. The pupils get to know me before they come to Year 7 as I visit the Primary Schools and also take part in Summer Camp. This all helps with the transition process and allows them to connect with myself and the team. Please feel free to contact me anytime at
GROUP: Student Assistance Programme
‘Group’ has been running in the Westgate School since 2002. It is a six-week course, which creates a safe place for pupils to share their thoughts, feelings and concerns. Our aim is to take every pupil in Year 7 through the course, which then gives them a firm foundation to continue into the older years.
The Course looks at different aspects of their lives and allows them to simply share what’s going on. As we look at different themes such as feelings, control, defences, forgiveness and families, the individuals grow in confidence and self-esteem, as they start to share and listen to other members of the group. Barriers that may have been formed before group, are broken down, as pupils become more aware of people around them, who are facing different issues. The feedback from Group has been outstanding:
“I think that everyone should do Group because even if you don’t think you have problems, it gives you the chance to reflect and contemplate on experiences you have had.”
“Group helped me understand my feelings better and I know that it is OK to feel angry or sad but that moving on is what makes you a better person.”
“I just really enjoyed it – I feel far more confident about talking to people now.”
“It was a wonderful experience and I actually realised that I am a pretty cool person!”
The six sessions are:
Personal History - looking back at what they have been through in life
Feeling - how do we express how we feel – learning to own our feelings Defences/control –
what defences do we use to protect our feelings and how do we control others around us and step out of people controlling us?
Defences and Control - Learning to lower our defences to allow people to see how we feel and recognising that many things are out of our control and we need to let go.
Families - looking at how are families have influence over us
Forgiveness - how we need to let go of the past and its hurts
Certificates - feedback to each other and awards
Pupil Support - One to One
Hi there! My name is Jacqui Croucher. I work at the Westgate School as HLTAs in Maths and Science. I am ELSA trained; this means that I also work in the Pupil Support team helping pupils. I have been here for seven years. ELSA means Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. ELSA staff are teaching assistants who are specially trained to provide emotional and social skills support to pupils.
I assist with strategies for dealing with problems or concerns pupils may have and I can use a range of interventions and resources. This can include help with anger management, friendship, self-image, social issues, family relationships and coping with stress and anxiety. I don’t have magic wands but will always be happy to listen and assist.Pupils do not need to be referred. If a pupil feels that they could benefit from my help then they can drop a note into the help box at Andy’s office or just ask me when you see me around the school. I can then arrange a time to see the pupil. ELSA intervention usually lasts for 6 to 8 weeks.
Hi, my name is Jacqui Tory and I have worked at The Westgate School for 12 years as a Learning Support Assistant with HLTA status. During this time I have become involved with the Pupil Support Team through the organising and running of the Nurture Group. The Nurture Group was set up to help children with social skills, self-esteem, friendships issues and strategies to cope within school.
I mentor several children. I am trained to run Group. I often help pupils with work at homework club. I am always here if a pupil needs help or just needs to talk.
My role at The Westgate School has been to support the work in school surrounding children eligible for the Pupil Premium Grant. I organise and co-ordinate all the mentoring that takes place in school.
The mentoring reviews are reviewed by us alongside pupil progress data to ensure that we are looking at progress and how it is being made across the curriculum.
The aim of the mentoring is to help support these pupils with their progress, attendance, engagement in the wider school life and general wellbeing. The mentoring is reviewed on a half-termly basis and targets are set regularly so that an on-going dialogue is taking place between mentor and mentee that is reflective, encouraging and supportive.
My role is to support Children Looked After (CLA) and those children Post Looked After (PLAC). I am a designated teacher within school with responsibility for our Looked After Children reviewing their provision and working with all agencies to ensure they are able to thrive at The Westgate. I work along side Sue O'Beirne, the SENCO in this role.
Callum Clement - Smith
Lead Teacher -
Support for Learning
At The Westgate School we take any form of bullying seriously. Whether it is verbal, physical, emotional or any form of syberbullying (phones, online etc). Around school we have a simple reminder if pupils are or see people getting bullies.
R.A.T. - The 'R' is for Record. We encourage pupils to record down what is going on. Sometimes that is hard, but it is vital to get an idea of who is doing what an when. This can be shown to a prefect, parent, a Tutor, Head of Year or one of the Pastoral Team at school. The 'A' is to Ask for help. Don't ever go through things on your own. Talk to someone at home or at school, just pop a note in Andy's box and it will get dealt with immediately. Finally the 'T' is for Take Responsibility. Don't just ignore what is happening or hope it will go away. Be responsible and stand up for what is right.