At The Ladder School, our aim is to deliver outstanding Pastoral Care to all students. We have a dedicated Pastoral Team (SENCO, Head of Learning Support, Learning coaches and Assistant Learning Coaches) who focus on the social, emotional and personal needs of the students in addition to providing academic support. They also lead a daily 30 minute ‘Skills’ sessions which covers PSHE, SRE, SMSC and RE topics. Students are carefully grouped to ensure they are receiving the most appropriate support and guidance for their needs. All students are allocated a Learning Coach who touches base with them daily and also meets with them on a weekly basis for key-work sessions to set personal and academic targets. They also sit with students at break and lunchtimes and support them both in and out of lessons. This ensures that students build positive relationships with staff and have regular opportunities to share any concerns or worries. Learning coaches regularly provide positive feedback to parents and share any concerns to ensure issues are quickly resolved.
As part of our commitment to ensure that our students receive outstanding personalised support, ‘The Ladder Lounge’ provides an alternative Learning area. This is a modified Learning zone within school, which has been created to provide our students with a predictable, accessible and safe environment that offers low arousal, in terms of people, sounds, noise and movement. This area is designed to offer students an opportunity to access learning, on a one-to-one basis, away from the sensory overload of a busy classroom setting. This may be the work taking place in the main classroom or a related activity/task. Students who benefit from these facilities often present behaviour of concern in a traditional classroom; which in turn may lead to them being taught in an alternative environment, for at least part of the school day. Interventions such as Literacy, Numeracy and Lego based therapy may also take place in this area. This means that students will be offered the opportunity to learn in both classrooms and learning zones, in accordance with their best interests and preferences. From time to time, learning zones may be used to provide students with the space and time to regulate their emotions with support from a member of staff
We also have Quiet/reflection rooms which are not teaching rooms. These areas have been created to provide a place of safety for children, experiencing overwhelming emotions such as anxiety, confusion, fear, frustration and anger, in which they can calm down. There are times when some students need access to a quiet, calming and reflective space. It is a space to help a student to calm, begin to use self-regulation skills and time to reflect. When a student starts at The Ladder School, there is a discussion about the way in which it is best for the student to be supported if/when they become anxious, confused, fearful, frustrated or angry. If it is thought that the use of quiet/reflection rooms might be necessary, at some point, this is explored during that discussion.