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Support for Learning

Canford supports learning through a whole-school approach, achieving excellent outcomes for all pupils. Our SENCo provides whole-school training on a range of learning differences, helping teachers to identify and respond to the learning challenges that all pupils can encounter, including those with SEND. Support for learning (SFL) is embedded across Canford’s curriculum. Teachers meet regularly to share good practice across departments and develop awareness of differing needs; all departments offer drop-in ’clinics’ and ad hoc 1:1 support. The Shells (Year 9) participate in the Accelerated Reader and Mindfulness in Schools programmes.

The SFL department also provides specialist programmes for those pupils with identified learning differences who may require additional support. Our aim is for pupils to develop the skills they need to think and learn independently. We enable our pupils to develop strategies, gain confidence in their own learning and acquire the study skills that will help them to succeed at Canford and beyond.

Assessing Needs

All new pupils complete the computerised Lucid Exact, a comprehensive assessment of literacy skills. Free writing speed is also assessed.  Baseline assessment also provides a helpful snapshot of a pupil’s current skills, such as vocabulary, maths, proofreading and speed of working.

Pupils and parents are encouraged to communicate with tutors about their child’s progress in the first instance. Tutors and teachers liaise closely with the Academic Head of Lower School and SFL in monitoring pupil progress, raising concerns and agreeing appropriate interventions.



Sharing Information

The more information shared, the better support we can provide. We ask for copies of any assessment reports and exam access arrangement information so that we can ensure a level playing field during the Admissions’ process and a smooth transition. If in doubt, please get in touch with our Admissions team for more information on

GCSE and A Level Access Arrangements

Our SENCo holds a current Assessment Practising Certificate (APC) and AMBDA accreditation. The exam boards, who annually update regulations on access arrangements, prefer assessment to be carried out internally, ideally by the SENCo. Parents are advised not to commission private reports without discussion.

Additional Support

All SFL teachers either have, or are working towards, specialist qualifications in teaching pupils with specific learning differences.

The department currently offers the following additional support to all pupils:

- ‘Extreme’ English instead of a classical language for those Shells we feel would benefit

- A Learning Skills course is available in place of a tenth GCSE

- Sixth form support arranged during study periods

- One to one specialist tuition, both short-term and long-term, in areas such as study skills, literacy development, managing anxiety and improving attention. These take place in free time



The department is centrally located in the Lovell Building near the library, with three adjacent teaching rooms.   It is a comfortable, well-equipped space providing a welcoming and purposeful environment.

Contact SFL

Hannah Ryan - Head of Support For Learning

MA (Edinburgh), MEd (Open University), PGCE (York), PGDip SpLD, AMBDA, APC
Hannah is Canford’s full-time SENCo and in-house specialist teacher and assessor. She teaches Learning Skills and a number of pupils on a one-to-one basis. She is happy to talk to parents of prospective pupils at any time and may be contacted by telephone on 01202 847494 or by email

Kristina Symons - Deputy SENco

Pagan Bishop - Support for Learning teacher

Penny Frampton - Support for Learning teacher

Naomi Miles - Support for Learning teacher

Penelope Talfourd-Cook - Support for Learning teacher

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