Additional Learning Support

Our Additional Learning Needs (ALN) Support Team provides support for students with learning difficulties or disabilities who may require specific provision, in addition to the universal support provided to all students.

We use a person-centred approach to work with students and their families to identify individual needs. We plan and implement a package of support which is personal to each student and is reviewed at least annually and shared with key staff involved in supporting you, including your course tutors.

We are ambitious for our students and dedicated to supporting them to ‘Be all that they can be.’ This includes supporting our students to become more independent, achieve excellent outcomes and develop skills to live fulfilled adult lives within the communities in which they live.

How we can support you

Support for students with Autism Spectrum Conditions

We support students with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC) in planning and managing their routines, with workload, managing sensory processing and improving confidence.

Group support is available, which includes social groups at lunchtimes to help you meet other students who have similar needs to you.

Our Autism Lead also provides one-to-one support for students who may require additional or extended transition into college and for ongoing regularly timetabled, bespoke support sessions. An Autism Hub is available for drop-in support within our Additional Support Centre in E Block on Bridgend Campus.

Our Additional Learning Support Centres at our Bridgend and Pencoed campuses have a quiet space for students who have Autism Spectrum Conditions or may be experiencing high levels of anxiety. These spaces can also be used during break and lunch times.

Communication support

We provide British Sign Language (BSL) communication support for BSL users, and support students with hearing impairments with translating, modification, proofreading, notetaking and recommendations. We have a portable induction hearing loop, along with a range of assistive technology to support students with communication support needs.

Assistive and adaptive technology

Assistive technology can help with accessing and completing tasks, enabling our learners to become more independent in your learning and daily life.

We have a range of software and hardware to support you such as voice typing, narration software, E-reader pens and other reading tools. We can also provide support with using tools to help with visual difficulties and/or hearing difficulties, as well as physical equipment to make using technology easier. Our Assistive Technology Lead will also be able to recommend apps and add-ons that may be helpful to you.

We have secure storage and recording systems for all essential student controlled medications. Staff trained in first aid and medication handling are able to provide support along with named individuals who are trained in specific care and support, including the administration of buccal and epilepsy medication. Support staff are also experienced in providing personal care.

Support with visual difficulties

A range of personalised support is available to students who need additional provision due to visual difficulties. This may include assistance from an allocated Learning Support Assistant, adapted learning resources, adaptations to the learning environment, support with using assistive technology recommended for you, onsite mobility support and training and a bespoke transition package. If you need additional learning provision, an Individual Development Plan will be developed, which is person-centred to meet your needs. We can also work closely with sensory teams and other visual impairment specialist organisations to provide the support you may need at college.

Specific Learning Disability (SpLD) support

Specialist tutors are able to offer you advice and support if you have Dyslexia, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)/Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD or visual difficulties.

Our SpLD tutors can provide specialist one-to-one and drop-in group support, screening for dyslexia, assessments for exam access arrangements and reasonable adjustments and screening for visual stress.

Supporting students with exam access provision

If you would benefit from exam access arrangements, your Course Tutor will be able to refer you for an assessment. They will work with you to identify any areas that you may be having difficulties with and identify any adjustments which can be made as part of your normal way of working.

Once a referral has been submitted, one of our specialist tutors will contact you to arrange an assessment in the areas identified. If you are awarded access arrangements in line with JCQ guidelines, this information is shared with our exams team and added to your learning record so that you and your Course Tutors know what you need to have in place. This might be extra time, a separate room, access to a scribe, a reader, a prompter, use of a computer, other recommended adjustments or a combination of these.

Once awarded, your access arrangements will remain in place for 2 years and can be reviewed and renewed if necessary after this time.

Transition support

We can help make sure your transition to college is a positive experience for you by supporting you with:

  • Attending school annual reviews of Individual Development Plans (IDP) if you are considering applying to college
  • Supporting you with applying for a course, when attending open events, keeping in touch days and during your enrolment
  • Arranging personalised visits to college and transition activities, including during the summer holidays before you start your course
  • Providing travel training if required to improve your skills and confidence to travel independently to college
  • Updating your Individual Development Plan / Support Plan ready for you to start your course and reviewing your plan at least annually
  • Working with parents / carers, Careers Wales and other agencies who support you
  • Communicating with other teams across the college to ensure people know how best to support you to achieve your aspirations and outcomes
  • Meeting with you regularly, if needed, to check you are settling well into college and that you are making progress

Once we have your consent for your school and other relevant agencies to share relevant information with us (as part of your application), we will request any medical or learning support evidence that we may need to be able to provide the most appropriate support for you in college.

Support for higher education, work-based learning and apprenticeships

Support in higher education is available through the Disabled Students Allowance (DSA). If you are a student with a learning difficulty, health problem or disability, you may be eligible for equipment and support funded through the DSA to help with your academic studies in higher education. This includes:

  • Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia (DCD), or ADHD
  • Autism
  • Long-term health conditions
  • Physical / sensory impairments
  • Mental health conditions

For more information visit www.studentfinancewales.co.uk

If you are eligible, support may be in the form of:

  • One-to-one specialist teaching
  • British Sign Language interpreter
  • Specialist equipment
  • Assistive technology, including software
  • Examination access arrangements, for example, additional time
Applying for Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)

You can apply before the start of your course, or we can support you through the process. You would need to fill in a DSA 1 application form and submit it with evidence of the disability/condition.

Once your DSA application has been approved, you will be asked to attend a Needs Assessment to identify the specific requirements of your support.

Work-based learning and apprenticeships

Our support is available to those students who are studying for work-based learning qualifications or apprenticeships. Reasonable adjustments and one-to-one support can be tailored to meet your individual needs and timetables.

Students can self-refer directly to the ALN department, or can be referred by their assessors. Following referral, a conversation will take place between the student and a member of the ALN support team to identify any additional requirements. This initial assessment will enable recommendations of appropriate ongoing support, guidance or assistive technology.

Our Facilities and how to contact us

Bridgend Campus and Pencoed Campus
As well as providing a base for many of our specialist support staff, we have a dedicated quiet room complete with sensory lighting and tactile objects, magazines, drawing materials, comfortable seating and the option of a low light environment. The quiet room is available to students who may experience high levels of anxiety in busy, noisy environments and may prefer to access this space at break times or to manage any time of sensory overload and or high anxiety.It can also be used for learners who require additional sensory stimulus.

Our Learning Lounges are  supervised and accessible study, group and social spaces for any student with an additional learning need, to complement other shared spaces throughout our campuses. The Learning Lounges contain the base room for assistive technology assessments.

Bridgend Campus Additional Learning Support Centre also has an additional quiet room with hearing induction loop for support for students with hearing impairments and for learners accessing one to one support from our Autism Lead.

Queens Road Campus
Specialist support and learning support assistance can be provided by our Additional Learning Support team to meet the needs of our learners.

Contact our Additional Learning Support team

You can contact us on 01656 302 302 ext 335 or 664, email aln@bridgend.ac.uk or by complete the form below:

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