The Learning Skills Faculty

Head of Learning SkillsMrs F Kilpatrick BA, MA, SEN (SpLD), RSA Dip. SpLD AMBDA

The Learning Skills Centre (LSC) is centrally placed within the school, just along the corridor from the IT Suite on the ground floor of the Library building. The Learning Skills Coordinator is Mrs Felicity Kilpatrick, a specialist teacher of pupils with specific learning difficulties. She is highly experienced in helping pupils manage their workload more effectively, especially at the beginning of the Sixth Form. 

The LSC at Christ College has evolved to support those who have identified additional learning needs, predominantly pupils with specific learning difficulties. Access arrangements at GCSE and A Level are also arranged via the LSC. Parents of new pupils who were allowed access arrangements at GCSE are asked to ensure that copies of relevant assessments are sent to the LSC at the earliest opportunity. 

As well as pupils with additional learning needs, any pupil may be referred to the LSC by a subject teacher, by a Tutor or by a parent (usually via a teacher or Housemaster / Housemistress). Pupils are also able to make a direct request for support if they feel they could benefit from out-of-class guidance to develop their skills, such time-management or higher level writing skills.   

Additional support in the Sixth Form 

It is commonly agreed that the transition from GCSE to Sixth Form life is a challenging one. House staff and teachers are experienced in helping pupils manage the demands of Sixth Form life, and the Induction Day for all Lower Sixth pupils in September provides introductory advice to pupils about how they can help themselves stay in control of their work. Most pupils will adjust to the new curriculum and new ways of working surprisingly quickly; they will soon find themselves thriving on all the challenges Sixth Form life presents. 

On the other hand some pupils reach a stage when they feel they are not able to manage their work effectively and, when this happens, they are most welcome to seek help in the LSC. In many cases, only two or three sessions are all that are needed to help a pupil take control of an ever-increasing workload.

 LSC teaching arrangements for Sixth Form pupils are as flexible as possible: depending on the urgency of the concerns, a pupil may be offered two or three sessions in one week or several sessions spread through several weeks. Sessions are usually taught during timetabled study periods and a variety of tried and tested techniques is offered. The initial focus is on helping pupils identify the source of problems, such as ineffective use of free time, confusion about how subject content is arranged, or a lack of experience in defining key points. In later sessions, emphasis is placed on developing and using strategies which are relevant to the pupil’s current and future learning needs. 

AS and A2 courses require commitment and hard work - there are no magic wands for sale in the LSC - but practical advice tailored to match individual needs can help even the most overwhelmed pupil take effective control of their work.