Incoming First Year SFL Support

We understand that transitioning from primary to secondary school can be difficult and daunting at the best of times for both the students and their parents especially when you throw a learning difficulty into the mix! We aim to provide as much support and advice as we can along the way to try and make that transition as smooth as possible for all involved.

Starting with our entrance assessments for our incoming first year students. Students will complete the Cognitive Abilities Test 4 (CAT4) which assesses in four areas:

  • Non-verbal Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitive Reasoning
  • Spatial Ability

It is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn and what their academic potential might be. It assesses how students think in areas that are known to make a difference to learning. While many tests focus on a child’s attainment in core subjects, CAT4 is designed to give schools a much broader, more rounded view of each child, their potential and how they learn. Results help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for a student and whether additional support or challenge is needed.

We will then review any and all reports and information that has been supplied by parents in the application process. It is vital that all of this information is passed to us as soon as possible to allow us to properly plan for the needs of your child.

In April of the academic year before the student is due to start a link will be sent to the relevant primary school with questions to be completed regarding supports that have been in place so far. The SEN teacher, classroom teacher and SNA if applicable will be asked to give input on this.

As the volume of reports into the school has significantly increased it is not possible to meet with every parent individually ahead of the new school year. Parents if student will significant need will be prioritised. Parents will be contacted with a link to a similar form completed by the primary school so as to ensure we have parent information also. Should parents have further queries they are asked to submit them to the e-mail address below.

Where appropriate meetings will be held with parents of those children with significant need. 

This all helps us to build a clearer picture of the student and to ensure as much as possible that the correct supports are in place from the start.

All the information gathered will then be compiled into Support for Learning file that is circulated to his classroom teachers once the school timetable has been completed.

You can contact the SFL department by: