The Academic Support Programme

We are passionate about ensuring each and every student reaches their full potential.  Our ASP - Academic Support Programme supports students currently working under the National Curriculum average and provides individual and focused support on specific areas for improvement. It also supports students arriving in Doha whose first language is not English, no problem!  

We also support those children who excel academically; our gifted and talented programme will ensure these students are stretched and stimulated. 

Some of the highlights of the programme include:

  • The option of an intensive 6 week EAL (English as an additional language) course each term
  • Extra after school sessions 3 times a week
  • Option to opt out of core subjects to take extra lessons
  • Online support at home with ITutor and Education City
  • Gifted and talented students will be nurtured and stimulated with additional support and extra lessons

Once these students have achieved or exceeded the expected level, the programme can ensure they maintain their success.

The story so far

The Academic Support Programme was introduced in September 2014.  We initially employed 6 Learning Support Assistants (LSA) and had an enrollment of 60 students. Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils resulted in the programme expanding.  By January 2015 the programme had expanded to 67 students, 6 LSAs and a Gifted and Talented Coordinator.

The reputation and success of the programme continued to grow and in March 2015 PPS promoted the Gifted and Talented Coordinator to Academic Support Coordinator (previously known as the Enhanced Learning Programme Coordinator).  This enabled us to review the complete programme and implement improvements in delivery.

At this time due to the increasing numbers in the programme and continuing success in students’ academic progress, the decision was taken to invest heavily in a purpose-built unit.  In April we proudly opened our Academic Support Centre.  This facility enabled us to deliver individually tailored support in a positive learning environment.

The first year was a great success with 100% of students benefitting from the programme.  The average expected increase per school year is 2 sub-levels.  It should be noted that this is the expected increase for a native English speaker, who attends full-time education in a British UK school.  Following is the increase in sub-levels our Academic Support Programme (ASP) students achieved for the academic year 2014-2015.  The average increase in English per year was 4.9 sub-levels and the average increase in Maths per year was 3.3 sub-levels.  These are both substantially higher than the expected rate of progress. This clearly demonstrates that the students are benefitting from the programme.

Our commitment to this programme has resulted in our school being able to offer individual learning support to a larger number of students.  We currently have 121 students supported by 12 LSAs .

Our Students

There are different categories assisted by the ASP.  Typically they fall into the following sub-headings:

  • Students studying in English for the first time
  • Students who have negative experiences of schooling
  • Students who are making no progress
  • Students with specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia or ADHD
  • Students with little or no previous schooling.

The ASP offers academic support focusing on English and maths. This, however, is not the full extent of support given.  Many of the students above are severely lacking in confidence and have low self-esteem which often presents itself through disruptive behaviour.  By establishing a supportive relationship with their ASP Teacher and LSA students are not only helped academically, but socially and emotionally as well.  The result of this has been illustrated through the improved behaviour and community cohesion of our students.  This enables the students to fully engage in their learning which in turn leads to even greater progress being achieved.  For many students it is about bridging the gaps in their education.  Without support in bridging these gaps the student falls further behind and feels trapped in a hopeless situation. The ASP helps students break the failure cycle and start on a path to success.

Plans for the future

To build on the success that the programme has previously had we now aim to take it to the next level. 

This includes:

  • Assessing the student upon entry into the programme
  • Identifying learning targets for English and maths (in collaboration with the classroom teacher)
  • Delivering English and maths in small, focused groups of no more than 10 (number of sessions varies and sometimes the additional support will be given in the classroom)
  • Creating Individual Learning Plan (ILP)
  • Setting up a timetable for each student
  • Providing additional support in Read Write Inc.
  • Provide 1:1 support where possible
  • Carrying out assessments on work identified in ILPs
  • Providing additional on-line support at home - this is provided by i-Tutor and software such as IXL and Education City
  • Providing an EAL (English as an Additional Language) club weekly
  • Building student’s confidence and self-esteem through achievement and support
  • Meeting with parents approximately every six academic weeks to discuss the progress of the student, review the existing Individual Learning Plan and introduce the new plan
  • The option of an intensive 6 week EAL (English as an additional language) course each term
  • Extra after school sessions 3 times a week
  • Option to opt out of core subjects to take extra lessons
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