Who else helps us learn at Walgrave School?
We use many different staff to support learning at Walgrave Primary School and the Governors and I are committed to applying the maximum funding possible into putting people in to school to work directly with children. However, some of the terms and different levels of Learning Support staff can be confusing!
Either full time or part time teachers staff all of our classes. We do not use unqualified teachers and always seek to appoint the best people possible when vacancies arise, taking into account the needs of the school and the unique nature of Walgrave Primary. Teachers are responsible for planning, assessing and delivering learning. Almost all of them also take on additional responsibilities across the school coordinating subjects and leading school events. Teachers are busy people!
Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA)
A Higher Level Teaching Assistant – or HLTA as we know them – is a teaching assistant who has achieved a high status within their role. This can come either by extensive experience or through achieving qualifications that will provide the required level of expertise. Whilst it is possible to train as an HLTA however, there is no formal qualification for the role. HLTAs often take classes when teachers are released and work closely alongside teachers. They may also plan and assess some work and take groups of children for specific focussed activities.
Teaching Assistants (TA)
Teaching Assistants are a vital part of the lifeblood of our school. They work mainly in classes with groups of children and support the teacher with the day-to-day work of the class. We employ a lot of TAs and every class receives at least 12 hours per week TA support. Many of the TAs also take individual children out for their Pupil Premium time each week, this allows the children who qualify for Pupil Premium to make accelerated progress.
Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistants (SENTA)
SEN Teaching Assistants work alongside specific children who have an identified Special Educational Need, most of this time is spent doing one-to-one support but sometimes they will work with small groups of children.
We are proud that so many people are willing to give up their free time to support the work of the school. All of our volunteers who help around school have undertaken the same Disclosure and Baring checks that employed staff have been subject to. Usually our volunteers will work with classes supporting reading development or helping with group work under the direction of teachers in the classes. In addition to this, some volunteers run after school clubs, helping to broaden the children’s understanding of the world and developing their personal interests. Sometimes volunteers come in to support projects where they have specific expertise.
Governors are volunteers to help to ensure the school is being run well and to challenge the work of the Headteacher. They are often seen as the ‘Guardians of the Vision’ and although they don’t often work directly alongside children they are regularly involved in learning walks and support teachers in a number of different ways. The Governors also run the annual Apprentices small business project with our Year 6 children.
Peripatetic teachers and coaches
We employ a number of expert staff to take lessons that are beyond the normal scope of class teachers. Usually these are related to music, including piano, guitars and recorders. We also employ coaches for specific sports who work with children before and after the school day and support the development of sports as part of our curriculum.Of course these are just the staff who directly support learning in the classroom or in groups. All of the staff at Walgrave are committed to the ethos of the school and helping our children to reach their potential and beyond. It is a deeply caring team of staff and one I am incredibly proud to lead, having achieved an enormous amount over the past years.