The Learner Support Unit is comprised of therapists and other professionals, whose goals are to assist learners with their barriers to learning. Barriers to learning can be described as any factor (physical, cognitive or emotional) that stops learners from reaching their full potential. The Learner Support Unit works in a collaborative way with therapists, parents, and educators to ensure that each learner is helped holistically. The unit is made up of the following departments:
Speech therapy assists learners who have difficulty in producing or understanding language. Additionally, learners with hearing difficulties are helped by speech therapists who are also trained audiologists. Given that language is a critical medium of instruction in a school environment, fun games and activities (individual and group) are used to help these learners become more functional with their language.
Occupational therapy assists learners with a wide range of difficulties — from fine and gross motor problems, to attention and social reasoning problems. Occupational therapy makes use of numerous activities that are both entertaining and stimulating to learners. The skills that are improved through occupational therapy (such as fine motor and attention skills) are needed for effective learning in a classroom environment.
Therapy is offered to all learners with emotional needs that may be impacting on their school functioning or their general emotional state. Psychotherapy can be conducted individually or in groups, and offers the learners the space to deal with any emotional issues. The psychologists at the schools assess all learners — in so doing, they can identify learners that may require any additional assistance in class, as well as track learner performance. Assessment reports are written when necessary; helping parents and educators to assist learners and make appropriate decisions for their futures.
Social work also offers individual and group therapy, as well as assisting in cases where abuse or neglect may be suspected. The social worker can intervene by notifying other agencies working with the family of specific learners, and thus ensure the best outcome for the entire family is reached. When needed, reports are compiled for legal and therapeutic purposes.
Remedial therapy centres on the core subjects of English and Mathematics. She uses state-of-the-art remedial centres equipped with computers, smart boards and learning tools to ensure that each learning obstacle or learning task is overcome. Classroom interventions, and training with staff at each school ensure that remediation happens at all levels.
Pastoral counselling helps learners struggling with issues related to their faith. Pastoral counselling utilises both therapy and scripture to help learners navigate life’s difficulties.