Introduction to key people
There are a number of different people who work at The Downs School who you are likely to see during your first few days and weeks with us. So that you are able to put names to faces, please read on to find a little more about these people and how they are able to help you.
Mrs Clark, SENCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)
My name is Mrs Clark and I am the special education needs coordinator (SENCo) at The Downs School. I am responsible for providing support to students with additional needs. This support may start before you start your time at The Downs School and could be additional transition visits to familiarise yourself with the school site or meetings to meet key members of staff you will work with in September. I also form part of the team who create the tutor groups you will be part of.
When you arrive at the school other support I provide can include literacy intervention lessons, spelling lessons, mentoring sessions or Teaching Assistant support in lessons.
Mrs Jones, Year 7 Student Manager
Hello, my name is Mrs Jones and I am the Year 7 Student Manager. My role is to help all of the students in Year 7 with any problems, worries or challenges that they may have in life; there is no problem too big or too small that we can’t work out together. I can help with things like friendship issues; settling into to secondary school issues; worries about things going on at home. I work very closely with the Head of Year and the tutors to make sure that everybody is supported as necessary at The Downs. I am also one of the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Leads at the school. I am not a teacher and so you can usually find me in the Student Support Centre if you ever need my help.
At the bottom of this page you will find a video I have put together which will give you more information.
Mrs Alexander, Student Manager
I am one of the Student Managers at The Downs and I work in The Student Support Centre with the other Student Managers (including Mrs Jones) and Heads of Year. I am responsible for all students and families that are in receipt of the Pupil Premium - a grant given by the government to schools in England to decrease the attainment gap for the most disadvantaged children, whether by income or by family upheaval.
I help students with lots of different things from sorting out lost or missing equipment, to supporting with homework and classwork, looking after students who are upset or anxious about something, or coming into classes to sit alongside students and support them with their learning. I also organise and run a variety of different interventions and extra-curricular activities such as Cookery School, Oracy Group and various school trips. I work closely with the families of all the students I support and I am the first point of contact for all queries regarding the Pupil Premium and Service Pupil Premium.
Ms Rawlings, Inclusion Manager and ELSA Support
My name is Mrs Rawlings and I am the school’s Inclusion Manager and also provide ELSA Support.The Inclusion room is located in the Student Support Centre (SSC) and is a room where we work closely with students who need additional support for any reason, whether that be academic, social, emotional or with regards to communication. We are also open to any students who want to talk to someone if they have any worries, questions or concerns.
We also provide ELSA support which stands for Emotional Literacy Support Assistant, a project designed to build the capacity of schools to support students’ emotional needs, recognising that children and young people are generally happier in school if their emotional needs are addressed.
The inclusion room is a very welcoming and supportive environment and I enjoy working there. I have a lot of experience in helping our students with building their resilience to ensure that school is a positive experience for them and to support them with their wellbeing. Outside of school, I am Mum to four children and have five grandchildren. I look forward to meeting you.
Mrs Silverthorne, Admissions Administrator
My name is Mrs Silverthorne and I have three main roles in school. I am Administrator to the Deputy Head in Charge of Pastoral Care, the Pastoral Care Team Administrator and the Admissions Administrator for Year 7 to 11, which is where you are most likely to have contact with me.
A large part of my Admissions Administrator role involves working with the Transition Team to ensure the smooth transition of our Rising Year 7 students from their primary schools. In the run up to the secondary school application deadline I organise tours of the school and take part in the Open Evening and Morning events. I am The Downs School’s main link to West Berkshire’s Admissions’ Department and, as such, liaise with them about our Rising Year 7 allocation and waiting list. I also deal with any queries parents may have about the admissions process and the waiting list. In addition, I co-ordinate all of the Rising Year 7 admissions paperwork, which comes into school both from parents/carers and the primary schools.
I work with the Transition Team in the organisation of the transition events, such as the Small Schools’ Open Morning, the Rising Year 7 Induction Days and New Parents’ Information Evening. I also participate in these events. In addition, I provide the Transition Leader, Head of Year 7 and Assistant Headteacher in charge of KS3 with any administrative support they need for their roles in the transition process. I look forward to meeting you.
Mrs Moss,Teaching Assistant, Midday Supervisor, ELSA Support
I have a number of roles at the school and you will very likely see me at some point during your day. I will be the first person you see when you get off of the bus, and will help check uniform and make sure you know where to go.
I am also a teaching assistant, ELSA support and a lunchtime supervisor.