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Learning support and EAL

Our team of experienced, qualified Learning Support specialists works in close partnership with teachers, parents, and pastoral staff. They ensure that the individual needs of all boys are met, including boys who are high functioning, boys with a learning difficulty or disability, and boys for whom English is an additional language. 

Across the school those pupils with a particular need or who require learning support are nurtured and guided by caring and effective staff, who ensure that self-esteem is kept high and a positive attitude to learning is maintained. This encourages pupils to work hard and their progress is of a high standard as a result.



All boys are routinely screened for dyslexia in the summer term of Reception. Further on, they may be referred to the Learning Support team by a teacher or parent. 

Next steps

The majority of boys’ requirements are met within the classroom, but some may benefit from special educational provision.

A programme of support may be recommended, which may take the form of 1:1 lessons, targeted group work, or in-class support. A referral to an educational psychologist, occupational therapist, behavioural optometrist, or speech and language therapist for a full assessment could be suggested.

Our team

Head of Learning Support

Eley MacDonald-Smith oversees the needs of individual boys throughout the school. She ensures there is a close link between parents, their son, and his teachers. This involves assessing pupils, setting up appropriate support, tracking progress, mentoring individual pupils, offering study skills sessions, and teaching small literacy/numeracy groups. She will also ensure access arrangements are made for internal and external exams, where necessary.

Pre-Prep Learning Support coordinator

Sacha Thorne carries out Pre-Prep assessments, plans and coordinates support, teaches small literacy/numeracy groups, and provides targeted, multi-sensory support within the classroom environment.

Specialist teachers

Our team of specialist teachers provide individual, multi-sensory lessons for pupils who have been identified as having a specific difficulty. Individual learning plans are drawn up and made available to all staff and are reviewed every term. This is arranged through the Head of Learning Support (there is an additional charge).

Our Location

We are blessed with a truly idyllic location. Just an hour south of London by direct train, with easy access to all the major travel hubs, and yet we are surrounded by the stunning countryside of the South Downs National Park. The school is tucked away between Winchester Cathedral and Winchester College, within the secure and secluded Cathedral Close. Moments from our front door is the heart of the historic city of Winchester, or step through our back gate to find water meadows, countryside, and the South Downs Way.