Principal Teacher – Ms Papworth
Who are we?
The ASLN team is made up of teachers and learning assistants who all work together to support pupils to overcome obstacles and meet their potential in school.
What do you we do?
We work with subject teachers to help all pupils cope with school work and other aspects of school life. We aim to develop pupils’ potential, so that they do as well as possible in school, and to increase their confidence and self-esteem.
We teach classes in F4 to allow pupils to gain qualifications, develop skills and prepare for leaving school.
Some of the qualifications we have taught in F4 are: Maths, English, Independent Living, Road Safety, Life Skills, Cooking, First Aid, Social Subjects, Enterprise, Managing Money, Healthy Living, Team-work Skills, Customer Service, Animal Care and Gardening amongst many others.
Although we often teach in the base, a large percentage of the school role have additional support needs and so we work with pupils and parents to help assess any difficulties, offer referrals to partner agencies and suggest strategies.
We are also in charge of additional arrangements for SQA exams with the aim of ensuring equity amongst all pupils.
S5 pupil: The staff and teachers are nice and polite, they always support me in the nicest way. I like how they help me out with my work and sometimes they help me figure out difficult tasks. I think the Dumfries Academy staff support me because they always help me out in mainstream classes.
F4 is a lovely place to be in, it’s a quiet space for break and lunch but sometimes it may be loud because we have lots of people that access the base. During classes it is quiet when needed but discussions and time to talk are encouraged!
I liked S1 at the beginning when all my subjects were a bit easier but then they started to get harder as I went through the years into S3. When I came into S4, I went into base classes which made it a bit easier and helped my understanding of my subjects.
S6 pupil: The staff at Dumfries Academy support me when I need help in my classes and they are nice because if I have any questions they help me find the answer.
They support me when I am in my mainstream class because if I need help writing things down they will help me. Sometimes I know what I mean but can struggle to put it in a sentence and staff support me getting the answer written down.
During classes we have discussions about different subjects and work in smaller groups which means everyone has more of a chance to say what they think and contribute than in bigger groups.
I like being in F4 because it is a quiet place but it can get loud during discussions. During class it tends to be a quieter place for work to get done and everyone gets a chance to speak in a more controlled way that lets us contribute equally.
Break time and lunch is a time for everyone to catch up, chat or sit quietly to themselves for a while so it can get a bit louder but there is a room that tends to be quieter so there is usually still a chance for some quiet.
My experience in F4 and Mainstream means I get the best of both worlds because I get time to speak to friends and experience mainstream qualifications which I am interested in and get to spend time in F4 gaining core qualifications such as English and Maths. Working in a small group in F4 with support has meant we have gained qualifications in areas such as independent living, enterprise and employability so we have the maximum number of qualifications and experience when leaving school.