Learning Support in the Prep School

‘Learning Support has changed my life for the better and has helped improve my learning’ Fourth Form Pupil

Our Learning Support Department endeavours to ensure that all pupils who attend Bishop’s Stortford College have the support they need in order to access all aspects of school life within a wider context of inclusion, becoming confident learners and achieving their full potential.

Within our Learning Support Department we have five highly experienced members of staff who work across the College and work closely with teaching staff to ensure that the support programme in place for each pupil is tailored to meet his or her specific needs.  Depending on the specific needs of our learners with SEND, we are able to offer one to one, paired/small group and/or in class support. Please note that there is currently an additional charge for Learning Support lessons.

Four members of the Learning Support Department are qualified Specialist Assessors and are therefore able to assess pupils, if requested by staff, for learning differences and eligibility for Access Arrangements for internal and external examinations.

We consider home/school liaison to be very important and we encourage regular contact with parents of pupils receiving Learning Support. It is also essential that we are aware of the additional needs of pupils joining us from other schools, so that we are able to ensure they have access to the support and resources they require in order to reach their full potential during their time with us. Parents are encouraged to assist us in this by providing us with copies of all relevant reports, assessments and other relevant documentation. 

Please feel free to contact us if you feel your child may benefit from additional support or if you have concerns about their progress.

Learning Support Staff

Elizabeth Bridle: MEd, PGCE, BSc, DipSpLD, NASENCo, PAPAA
Elizabeth is Head of Learning Support, and joined the College in 2015.  She has a broad range of experience in a variety of educational contexts, including time spent as a Curriculum Leader in an outstanding special needs school.

Rita Gearing: CertEd, DipSpLD
Rita has many years' experience. She joined the Department in 1995, gaining her diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties the following year, and was Head of the Department until 2015.

Gerda Miller, CertED, DipSpLD
Gerda qualified with the diploma in Specific Learning Difficulties in 2005 and has worked as a specialist teacher in the College Learning Support Department since 2007. Prior to joining the College, she taught as a specialist teacher in an enhanced provision dyslexia unit.

Helen Atkinson: MA (Ed), PGCE, BA (Hons), Dip SpLD, PAPAA 
Helen joined Bishop’s Stortford College in September 2012 as a Class Teacher in Shell. Having taught in Shell for three years, she started working in Learning Support in January 2016. She has a wide range of experience working in a number of schools.

Estelle Shilton-Heath: BA (Hons), PGCE, TESOL
Estelle joined the College this academic year (2017-18), and has brought a wealth of experience and huge enthusiasm with her. She supports pupils within core subject lessons in the Senior School and also provides some one to one sessions for individual pupils, reinforcing in-class learning and developing basic skills.

The Learning Support Department
Contact number: 01279 838656