Malvern College's Learning Enhancement department provides practical help, teaching and advice to pupils with Specific Learning Difficulties (such as dyslexia) or to pupils who may need additional guidance and support in personal organisation, essay writing, prioritising of workload or the management of stress. The department is based in the welcoming surroundings of its own dedicated building, South Lodge, and is open throughout the academic day and on some weekday evenings for supported study.
The department offers tailored private support tuition with a range of specialist teachers who have expertise in multi-sensory approaches to learning. They are very flexible and can arrange one-to-one tutorials on a regular or "short course" basis, or may suggest participation in a small group course. The Learning Enhancement department caters for a range of special educational needs including Dyslexia, Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Asperger's Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder (Hyperactivity). In addition, the department regularly offers more general Study Skills tuition to pupils who do not have a SEN diagnosis but need some structured individual support in certain aspects of their learning.
Tutorials, which are usually weekly one-to-one lessons, are arranged either in free study periods or outside the academic day and last 55 minutes. Teachers are highly experienced in working with the young and intelligent, and the department fosters a very supportive and constructive atmosphere that is responsive to individual need.
The College considers it vital to identify and support pupils with profiles of special educational needs and aims to help them to understand their learning profiles and their strengths, to develop sound basic literacy and numeracy skills, and to acquire strategies that will empower them as learners. A key objective in a tutorial programme is always to identify, from a wide range of potential strategies, a way of working that plays to a learner’s natural strengths; this is done in partnership with the learner and helps to raise self-esteem, enhance self-knowledge, and develop learner autonomy. Informal initial screening of pupils routinely takes place within the department, and a formal diagnostic assessment, conducted by a member of our Assessment Team, can be arranged on-site when appropriate. As appropriate, education plans are prepared to support those who have specific learning difficulties and special educational needs.
The department liaises closely with the College’s academic subject departments and teachers, both to coordinate support for an individual learner as needed, and through the College SEN Forum, a staff body coordinated by the Learning Enhancement department and consisting of representatives from each subject department. The Forum holds regular meetings to pool expertise in SEN-friendly teaching strategies and support for SEN learners in the classroom. Its members are a key vehicle of liaison between the Learning Enhancement department and the individual subject departments.