TEACHERS AND TUTORS AND THERAPISTS
The heart of CAEA is, of course, the teaching and tutorial staff. All our teachers are highly experienced and superbly qualified. Most importantly, all have made the professional decision to commit themselves to the teaching of students who face learning challenges. It is essential to understand that our teachers know their students very well—not only their personalities but also their learning styles and the individual challenges that each may represent.
It is this knowledge and these insights that govern much of what will ensue in a particular class—for example, in a class of five students, it is commonplace for each student to receive a work sheet or assignment that is individualised for him/her. As noted previously, one size does not fit all, and this is very much on display in each class.
Our teachers are assisted by principles that are key to effective teaching and learning. Thus, we have a 1:4 teacher-to-student ratio. In addition to the teaching staff, we have a number of reading and other specialists, all of whom work on a 1:1 basis with those students who will benefit from additional support.
All CAEA students have a Tutor, that is, a teacher who is responsible on a daily basis for the student’s overall work and progress, both academically and socially. Students in both the Junior and Senior schools belong to a Tutoring group—usually four or five students—and meet with their Tutors each day at least once and usually more than once. In addition to the support that Tutors provide to each student, they also have a close relationship with each student’s parents, and their insights are very much a part of all termly and annual reports. They are, of course, happy to meet with parents at any time.
Our Tutors also help coordinate the support provided to each student through their interaction with our coterie of therapists, all of whom are highly experienced and fully qualified. We offer therapeutic support in Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy.
Our therapies are organised by the school’s SENCo (the Special Needs Coordinator), who is responsible for ensuring that students receive therapeutic support in all areas that have been stipulated by an EHC Plan, or by an educational psychologist. The Tutor works in close harmony with the SENCo, and the individual programmes are further co-ordinated with the Head of School. All therapies are conducted on a one-to-one basis.
Throughout the school, our emphasis is on literacy and numeracy, with other elements of the broad curriculum brought into play as the student progresses. All of our students have individual education plans (IEPs), which are continually reviewed and revised.
We use small group, subject specific instruction; our teaching methods involve multi-sensory approaches with attention paid to visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic elements. Our students are also assessed annually on reading, spelling, math and cognitive ability.