ALN stands for Additional Learning Need. A child may have an identified need for a period of time or for the duration of their school career. An additional need may be identified due to a medical need or a cognitive, behavioural, social and emotional, physical delay or difficulty.
At St David’s we are committed to ensuring all children, regardless of background or ability, are able to thrive and achieve their full potential in a nurturing and inclusive environment.
We apply rigorous identification, assessment and monitoring procedures based on the Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales and current Welsh Government regulations centred on the whole child and ensure these are applied effectively across the school.
We work closely with families and a variety of external agencies such as Educational Psychology teams, SpLD advisory services and mental health organisations such as CAMHS. We use a child centred approach to develop specific and targeted support for children with an identified additional learning need and for those children who may require short term catch up support.
For further information on ALN provision at St David’s please refer to the school policy for ALN.
More Able and Talented (MAT)
The term more able and talented refers to those learners who require enriched and extended opportunities across the curriculum in order for them to develop and make progress. Whilst these opportunities are provided for all learners, targeted MAT provision at St David’s ensures that we challenge, inspire and enthuse our most able children.
Such learners may present with academic, practical, creative and artistic abilities that are above the expected level for their age and stage in one or more areas.
At St David’s these children are identified through teacher assessment, test data, and in consultation with the children and their families. Their progress is monitored carefully using school tracking systems and a list of all children is updated annually by the school ALNCo and shared with all staff.
In 2010 ‘A curriculum for all learners’ provided specific advice on meeting the needs of MAT learners stating: ‘The best provision for more able and talented learners is made by extending that which is available to all learners’.
With this in mind, we develop opportunities for MAT pupils in a number of ways as outlined below:
Differentiated teacher planning highlights opportunities to extend the more able and challenge task boxes provide learners with opportunities to extend their thinking and learning beyond normal classroom differentiation.
Use of levelling placemats allows teachers to ensure they are providing the appropriate level of challenge above the expected level in the core subject areas.
Talent logs are kept by all teachers so that special talents and achievements both in and outside school can be celebrated and developed within the curriculum.
Home learning projects allow for extended study opportunities and learners are encouraged to present and share their learning with their peers.
MAT learners have also been given the opportunity to take the lead on a number of whole school projects, such as the development of our school playground and prayer garden.
Thinking skills are developed through the use of effective and challenging questioning. This is enriched by the use of class debates and Philosophy for Children approaches supported by Growth Mindset values which permeate the school and allow our most able children to flourish and succeed.
The use of IT in all classrooms is used to provide opportunities for extension, research and breadth of study and the development of key skills.
A range of extra-curricular clubs, including MAT clubs, are offered to provide a range of opportunities outside the classroom.
For further information please refer to the school policy.
Changes are being made in Wales to the way in which we support children with additional learning needs. The video below will provide you with an introduction to the ALN Transformation Programme.