Learning Support Newsletter

Fifth Edition February 2016

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1. ANNUAL REVIEWS FOR EHCP LEARNERS

For The Special Attention Of Personal Tutors

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Learners with learning support needs who have an Educational Health Care Plan (EHCP) must have an annual review. The annual review meeting implies an invite to the learner, parent/carer and all other professionals involved with the learner, e.g. teachers, social workers, psychologists. All Learning Support staff (LS) are involved in this process including our administrators. Managers and coordinators will carry out the actual reviews and produce the report needed to be sent to boroughs.

However, personal tutors will be invited and are more than welcome to attend if they can. If they cannot attend, they will still be asked to complete Progress reports which must include what the learner is aiming at in terms of qualifications and levels and possible progression for next academic year. We are able to retrieve some information from pro-monitor such as attendance and punctuality or the targets they are working towards but it is less clear what level and their possible progression. LS tutors have already been asking you to complete this information if this learner has an LS staff working with them.

Pete Way or Ines Asis will be sending you the EHCP or a screenshot of the outcomes mentioned in the EHCP, so that you can comment on those outcomes as well. It is a shame we have not been able to share this with all of you up to now, as they have been coming to us quite late due to the fact that it is a new document and new processes. Each Annual Review will have to evaluate how the learner has progressed against their EHCP outcomes. Therefore when setting targets, Tutors should also be setting SMART targets that aim to meet the stated outcomes for this cohort of learners if these are not already covered by the ones that have been set so far.

Below is an example of the outcomes stated in one of the EHCP:

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Finally, we would like to emphasise that all college staff involved with a learner, and this includes teaching staff as well as student services, have the legal obligation to contribute to this annual review, to help these learners achieve their outcomes and eventually meet some of their aspirations.

LS will be relying on your full cooperation regarding the information we need to gather in order to carry out these annual reviews

Thank you

2. LET'S LEARN ABOUT LEARNING DIFFICULTIES

In this monthly newsletter we will be focusing on Depression, a Mental Health Condition.


We all feel fed up, miserable or sad at times. These feelings don't usually last longer than a week or two, and they don't interfere too much with our lives.

However, in depression: these feelings don't lift after a few days – they carry on for weeks or months and they are so bad that they interfere with your life.

Signs

  • Feeling of being unhappy most of the time

  • Loss if interest in life, school work, social events and inability to enjoy them

  • Being unable to cope with the things that a person used to deal with before

  • Feeling restless and/or tired and/or agitated

  • Loss of appetite/weight

  • Loss of self confidence

  • Feeling worthless, unhappy, inadequate, irritable or hopeless

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Avoiding other people

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How can we help?

  • Listen. If depression has been brought on by a particular problem, you may be able to help find a solution or at least a way of tackling the difficulty.

  • Reassure a person that it can get better and he/she can find help.

  • Encourage them to stay away from alcohol/drugs.

  • If they are getting worse and start to talk of not wanting to live or even hinting at harming themselves, take them seriously. Report it to relevant people.

  • Encourage them to accept help.

    Please remember that in case of a young learner (below 18) anyone can make a referral to CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services)

Some useful videos, websites, books and article links:

Bollywood Actor Deepika Padukone - Depression Interview With NDTV

In this video, there are some interesting facts derived from a WHO study. e.g. Indians are the most depressed people in the world. Nearly 36% of Indians have suffered from a Major Depression; Women more prone to depression than men.

All information in this video regarding Depression is generic and holds true here in the UK or in any other part of the world.
Actor Deepika Padukone - Depression Interview With NDTV
An interesting 51 minutes YouTube video that explain Deepika’s story (Deepika breaks silence & stigma around depression)

3. ASSISTIVE LEARNING TECHNOLOGIES (AT)

Why do you want to use Google Chrome Web Store Extension SpeakIt!

  • SpeakIt! is an excellent web tool for learners and staff to read the text online.
  • It is useful for learners with dyslexia and reading difficulties.
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SpeakIt! is very simple and easy to use and set up; please use the following steps to set up the Google Chrome extension.


  • Start Google Chrome browser.
  • Type in the search bar ‘Google Chrome Web Store’ and from the drop-down menu click on the ‘Google Chrome Web Store’ – it will open a new window.
  • Then type in the search box ‘SpeakIt!’ and press enter.
  • From the list of extensions, please select SpeakIt! as shown in the image above. And click ‘ADD TO CHROME’ – then click ‘Add Extension’ and new window will open where you have to setup the Voice/Speed and test it before closing the window.
  • The Speak command will appear on the right hand side of the browser window.
  • To test if it is working, open any webpage and highlight the text and click on the Speak command, it will read the text for you.

4. DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THESE FAMOUS CELEBRATIES WHO SUFFERED FROM DEPRESSION?

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5. UPCOMING NEWS/EVENTS/FESTIVALS & TRAINING

Next month's topic is Bipolar Disorder.

6. FEEDBACK FOR SUPPORTED LEARNING NEWSLETTER

Please leave your feedback here. Thank you.

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Responsible For Layout & Coordination

Nosheen Ashraf

Assistive Technology Coordinator - Learning Support

Nosheen.Ashraf@barnetsouthgate.ac.uk

Phone: 0203 7644347