We celebrate diversity in all its forms at Portobello High School. Our neurodiverse young people know that they are valued for who they are. Our Support for Learning (SfL) team is leading on the work to create an inclusive learning environment where pupils can be themselves without judgement and be supported when challenges impact their wellbeing or progress.
Every pupil is different and there isn’t a standard approach to provision for our neurodiverse pupils. We work with young people and their families to develop an individual plan, where wellbeing concerns or barriers to learning are identified. Some pupils benefit from a bespoke timetable where they receive intensive support in SfL. For other pupils, very little additional support is required beyond knowing that the whole school community respects and celebrates their differences.
What does support for pupils with autism/ASD or ADHD at Portobello High School look like?
Many pupils require no additional support beyond the classroom. The strong relationships that pupils develop with their classroom teachers are key. Teachers take the time to get to know pupils well and to plan lessons which meet the needs of all learners in the class, including any neurodiverse pupils.
Teachers are provided with information on each pupil. The amount of information depends on the level of differentiation a pupil may require. Teachers at Portobello have a good understanding of Autism and employ strategies recommended by the Support for Learning team, CAHMS and our Educational Psychologist.
In addition to the support of their classroom teachers, some pupils will also benefit a Pupil Support Assistant in their lessons or from time spent in Support for Learning. If Support for Learning (in conjunction with classroom teachers, parents and carers, the wider integrated support team and the young person themselves) agree that support at pathway 2 is required it may include the following:
Some pupils benefit from knowing there is a safe space available if they need to regulate away from their peers. A time-out card can provide this in a way which helps the pupil and adults working with them understand where there are challenges in their day.
Support for Learning Groups
Some pupils have timetabled sessions in SfL to support with different aspects of school life that they find challenging. This could include social skills development, emotional regulation or some time with a trusted adult to talk through concerns.
We offer the PEERS Curriculum to autistic pupils who would like support with their social skills, including help to make friends. This is delivered in small groups by a Support for Learning teacher, for one period per week, over 16 weeks.
From S3 onwards, some pupils can opt to study for alternative qualifications through The Prince’s Trust. These classes take place in Support for Learning and benefit pupils who need higher levels of support and who enjoy a smaller group setting, due to finding busy classroom environments or relationships with others challenging.
In S4, S5 and S6 pupils may be entitled to additional assessment arrangements for SQA exams and When sitting tests and assessments, some pupils benefit from additional assessment arrangements such as the use of ICT, a scribe, reader, extra time, separate accommodation or a prompt for example. We try to ensure that this support is in place from S1 onwards to allow pupils to familiarise themselves with these arrangements and derive maximum benefit.
In S4, S5 and S6 pupils may be entitled to additional assessment arrangements for SQA exams and Support for Learning collates requests from teachers. More information is available on the SQA website here: Assessment arrangements guide for learners.
A small number of pupils benefit from Pathway 3 support. If Support for Learning (in conjunction with classroom teachers, parents and carers, the wider integrated support team and the young person themselves) believe that support beyond Pathways 1 and 2 are required, referrals can be made for help from partner agencies to supplement or enhance a pupil’s timetable.
Further information support and for young people and families