Learning Support New-Bridge Integrated College

“New-Bridge Integrated College is an integrated all-ability school, welcoming children of whatever creed, culture, class or gender. We are committed to ensuring that all our pupils are provided with the opportunity to achieve to their full educational potential in a challenging and stimulating environment in which they feel cherished and valued.”



Mrs A. Cumiskey         SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator)

Mrs D. Manson          Assistant SENCO

Classroom Assistants:


Miss L. Campbell

Miss M. Connolly (Maternity Cover)

Mrs J. Gibson

Mr R. Gourley

Ms P. Hamilton (Maternity leave)

Mrs J. Kelly

Mrs H. Lennon

Mrs A. Lennon-Malone

Mrs V. McCoy

Ms A. Monaghan

Ms C. Moore

Mrs V. Morton

Mrs C. Runicman

Mrs E. Sands

Ms J. Smith

Mrs R. Sweet

Ms M. Walker (Cover)

Mrs I. McEvoy (Cover)




It is the policy in New-Bridge to deliver the curriculum to pupils on the Code of Practice or with Statements of Special Educational Needs in mixed ability classes, with some lessons being ability matched.

Pupils with SEN have access to the full Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key Stage 3 and at Key Stage 4 can choose from 3 pathways – this includes the traditional GCSE route or some students can also enrich their curriculum with some vocational courses. This flexible approach allows the curriculum to be tailored to meet the pupil’s abilities and interests. Our Post 16 curriculum offers a range of AS, A-Level and BTEC options.

At both Key Stage 4 and Post 16 we also offer our pupils the opportunity to attend some courses as part of the Banbridge Area Learning Community (BALC).


We strongly believe in quality first teaching and as such support pupils in lessons rather than withdrawal groups.

In order to achieve this, we offer the following interventions;

  • Classroom Support / Graduated support
  • Flexible grouping
  • Use of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic approaches
  • Differentiated activities / materials
  • Reading support / Guided reading / Accelerated reading
  • Lexia Literacy Programme
  • Read Write Gold
  • Nurturing approaches
  • Restorative practices
  • Visual aids and Assisted listening devices
  • Resources to support independence
  • Alternative learning pathways
  • Access Arrangements for exams


Outside Agencies

To meet the needs of our pupils, we work with a variety of external agencies at the Education Authority and beyond- these include:

  • Education Psychology
  • Vision Support Services
  • Hearing/Sensory Support Services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapists
  • Behaviour Support Team
  • AAIS – Autism Advisory and Intervention Service
  • HAND – Helping Autism in Newry and Down

• To ensure that pupils with special educational needs have access to a broad and balanced curriculum which develops the knowledge, understanding, attitudes, values and motivation they need for their personal and social fulfilment.

• To provide a differentiated curriculum appropriate to the individual’s needs and ability.

• To ensure the identification of all pupils requiring learning support provision as clearly as possible in their school career.

• To ensure genuine equity and equality of opportunity for all pupils with special educational needs.

• To manage effectively and efficiently the needs of these pupils through consultation with external agencies by building on partnerships.

• To ensure parents of pupils receiving learning support are kept fully informed of their child’s progress and attainment

• To encourage involvement in support of their children’s education, and to respect as far as possible the wishes of parents in relation to the education that their children receive. To help with any anxiety they feel and ask for assistance in any programmes set in place.

• To develop the skills and talents of all members of staff and to involve them fully in improving the service to these pupils through appropriate training.

• To work with representatives of Banbridge Area Learning Community Schools in the interests of all our pupils receiving learning support.

• To ensure pupils receiving learning support are involved, where practicable, in decisions affecting their future learning support provision and hence motivate pupils to achieve their optimum potential so that they can make a positive contribution to society.

• To work with CEAIG team to ensure additional guidance to support transitions.

• To ensure pastoral support is utilised to provide pupils receiving learning support the opportunity to develop academically and socially.

Arrangements for Providing Access for All Pupils to The National Curriculum

Targeted support for pupils receiving learning support – timetabled by SENCO/Assistant SENCO.

In the classroom using classroom assistants and learning support teachers. Pupils are identified via assessments by SENCO at the start of the academic year. Teachers to bid for support time having been provided with these results.

Differentiation of curriculum by subject teachers.

Use of coloured paper for pupils with specific learning difficulties.

Use of oral strategies (MP3 etc) to support revision for examinations.

Use of coloured coded timetables.

Support given to teachers of year 12 in the preparation of coursework. Individual and group tutorials held. Teachers select pupils needing this assistance.

Pupils have access to appropriate tier in external examinations.

Access arrangements applied for and supported by learning support department. Teaching styles and flexible grouping.

Single Award Science at Key Stage 4 to allow support of pupils across chosen GCSE subjects.

Vocational courses allow pupils to experience success within areas of study requiring practical skills.

Provision of support for teaching staff through physical resources, in-service training and Individual Education Plans.

Literacy/Numeracy/ASD small group programmes in collaboration with external agencies.

Literacy/Numeracy improvement programmes run by the classroom assistants including Lexia.

Schemes of work reflect approaches to be used for pupils.

Tasks and activities broken down into smaller steps

Recording of classwork/homework on board and in diaries by teacher and classroom assistant. Quotes from the Department of Education Standard Inspection January 2012:-


‘The quality of the leadership provided by the SENCO is outstanding. Those pupils who have additional learning needs are supported comprehensively and in an inclusive manner. The provision demonstrates clearly the commitment of the whole school community to integration. The IEPs are well-conceived and effective, and the classroom assistants provide high quality, flexible and well-focused support. There are very good links between the staff who lead and deliver the work in SEN and those who carry pastoral responsibilities. As a result, most of the pupils who have additional needs make good progress in their learning and attain good standards in public examinations; this enables them to experience success and access appropriate career pathways’.

The school demonstrates a high degree of commitment, flexibility and creativity in the design of its curriculum, including the provision for pupils with additional educational needs. Subsequently the school provides a suitably broad and balanced curriculum, particularly at KS4, which meets the ability and career aspirations of all of the pupils. There is a clear vision and strong commitment to the rationale which underpins the aims of the EF; this is communicated effectively to all staff and is integral to the school’s pupil-centred ethos. The Principal, staff and Governors regard the school’s collaboration with other education providers as a strategic priority; it is making a very effective contribution to the work of the Banbridge Area Learning Community.

In addition, the school has developed tailored learning pathways for pupils with special educational needs, based on an effective review and analysis of provision within the EF and the systematic tracking of the progress and experiences of individual pupils. As a result, these pupils benefit from good opportunities to achieve accredited qualifications

Integration of Pupils within Learning Support

Pupils are fully integrated into mainstream classes with only a limited amount of withdrawal in place for specific programmes at Key Stage 3. We are committed to mixed ability teaching and ensuring that all our pupils are valued as equals. In working to ensure the integration of pupils receiving learning support in all classrooms, the Learning Support department provides direct support – the use of in-class support – and indirect support – advising and assisting all staff in the development of appropriate strategies to support pupils and maintaining updated information on all pupils. We also place an emphasis on developing the independence of students so that they become better able to integrate into the world outside of and beyond school.

Definition of Special Educational Needs

Pupils with SEN live upon a continuum of needs. Often there is no clear distinction between our pupils receiving learning support and those who do not. The Code of Practice (1996) recognised that there is a wide spectrum of special educational needs and that often they are inter-related.

Our SEN Policy defines a pupil as needing learning support if:

A child has greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age or has a disability which makes it difficult for the child to use the same facilities as other children’. (Education Order 1996).

Since 1978, the Warnock Report estimated that 20% of children at the same time at school may experience additional learning support and therefore have  a special educational need. Today it is still estimated that one in five pupils will need extra support. Warnock also estimated that 20% of children would need the highest level of special education provision, i.e. a statement. This is now thought to be an underestimation.