​Meeting individual needs


​Meeting individual needs

The College celebrates and values diversity. We are committed to providing an inclusive learning and working environment, free from discrimination or harassment where each individual is treated with respect and dignity and is able to fulfl his or her potential.

At the heart of our focus on meeting individual needs is our specialist team who are located in the Study Skills Centre. The team is led by our Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo), Sara Halliwell, and includes specialist teachers who are able to assess student need through a variety of diagnostic tests. In addition, we have a team of Learning Mentors who can provide in-class support for High Needs Learners and are also able to see students for 1:1 work to support a variety of needs. Specialisms of the team include working with anxiety disorders and autistic spectrum conditions but a wealth of experience is available to support you whatever your need might be.

The Study Skills Team offers a calm and warm welcome to any student who would like to access additional support for their studies. Study Skills has an open door policy and is located next to the Library. It has a suite of rooms available for supporting student needs from 1:1 diagnostic assessment rooms through student group study space and also a comfortable rest space for students needing rehabilitation following signifcant illness or those managing ongoing chronic conditions. Below are some of the areas in which Study Skills supports students. This list is not exhaustive and the team is keen to address support across the full spectrum of student need. Please come and talk to them at Open Evening to discuss your needs and how we might best meet them.
Please see information about our Study Skills Centre.
Adjusting to life at a sixth form college can be a challenge. Students are supported, through their subject areas, to become independent learners and for subject specifc guidance, surgeries and support within departments are likely to be the most effective type of support. However, for more general support, Study Skills can offer guidance on organisation, time management, exam technique and revision. Support can also be accessed through personal tutors and the Supported Independent Learning Service .
We are committed to meeting the needs of people with disabilities, recognising that a disability can affect people in different ways. We encourage people with disabilities to make relevant staff aware of their needs so that full and appropriate support may be provided.
The Study Skills Centre has a wide variety of resources to help students with their learning needs. Qualified staff are available to carry out assessments for exam access arrangements and then to offer appropriate support. Individual and small-group support is available for a variety of needs.
The College screens all students for specific learning disabilities using a computer screener. Students will be contacted if the test indicates any significant need. For students who already have a diagnosis, the Study Skills team will work with them to consolidate their learning strategies and establish if exam access arrangements are appropriate. The College also has a partnership arrangement with Dyslexia Associates, who offer reduced fees for our students who would like full diagnostic assessments. Information for all students and parents of students with a declared learning need is available from the Study Skills Centre in advance of you joining us so that we can make the best possible preparation for your start with us.
Trained staff are on hand to assist with the challenges of making the transition from school to college and to smooth the way. The Study Skills Centre offers a safe place within the College for our students to be able to relax and seek advice. Scheduled 1:1 sessions and in-class support are examples of support which are available to our students.
We understand the demands of working in an additional language and are able to provide support to students for whom English is not their first language. Trained staff are available in Study Skills to provide support, both 1:1 and via small group sessions.
For hearing impaired/deaf students, loop systems are currently installed at reception desks in the Main Building, the Guidance Suite and the Sports and Tennis Centre. Loop systems are also installed in the Science Lecture Room, the Robinson Theatre, the Hall, the Recital Room and the Sports and Tennis Centre’s Sports Hall. Additional communication support can be organised by arrangement with trained staff from the Study Skills Centre who maintain strong links with the audiology services and the Sensory Impairment Team.

For blind/visually impaired students, staff from the Study Skills Centre can provide specialist support. They arrange for course materials and hand-outs to be produced in suitable formats and, where appropriate, will support students during their lessons. Specialist teachers from the Sensory Impairment Team enhance the support that Study Skills is able provide.
Due to the nature of the site, access to some areas of the College is limited. Wherever possible, given prior notification, adjustments will be made to facilitate individual needs. A site plan can be requested from the Main Reception by calling 01223 247251. The plan indicates lift locations, accessible toilets, those entrance doors which have level thresholds to enable access for wheelchairs and wheelchair routes throughout the College.

Further information about accessibility is available from the College’s section of the ​AccessAble website.

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Trained staff are able to support students with everyday tasks where appropriate. For students who have particular issues with dexterity, specialist software or scribe support can be arranged through the Study Skills Centre.

At Hills Road we are always striving for excellence in all we do; and that includes our support for students’ learning needs. If you have concerns about a learning need please contact the Study Skills Centre by post, telephone or email: studyskills@hillsroad.ac.uk. The Study Skills team will work with them to consolidate their learning strategies and establish if exam access arrangements are appropriate.
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