Upgrade Study Support: Prospective Students
These pages contain information and guidance for prospective students and their parents/guardians.
Upgrade Study Support teachers in College recognise that the priorities for most students are to do as well as they can in coursework and study effectively for exams as well as keep up their level of basic skills so that they can perform well in further study or at work. The work is demanding and if you have additional difficulties, almost impossible to achieve without additional study support.
How can Upgrade Study Support help you?
Firstly, you will be able to talk through any problems and possibly take special tests. This will give you a better understanding of why you find some areas of learning especially difficult and provide some options for improving your approach to these. Secondly, you will be offered extra teaching help to make sure that you produce work that reflects your real ability. Finally, it is possible that you may be offered help in exams such as extra time or help with reading and/or writing.
When you apply to study at The Henley College
Please note on the application form that you have a disability. When you do this a copy of your application form will automatically be sent to the Upgrade Study Support Department.
Some students will need support beyond one-to-one and exam access arrangements. For example, many prospective students with physical disabilities, and those on the Autistic Spectrum, make an appointment to discuss their requirements before applying. To make an appointment to see the Upgrade Study Support Learning Co-ordinator please ring 01491 634017.
Once term starts you will be given an appointment time to come for an assessment.
If you have been assessed before, please send a copy of your most recent assessment in with your application form. This will help our assessors and may mean you do not need to have a full assessment again.
If you have exam access arrangements due to medical reasons it may not be necessary for you to have an assessment –please telephone Upgrade Study Support on 01491 634016 or go to the office (D506) to discuss this.
Depending on the outcome and the course you are studying, you may be awarded exam access arrangements such as extra time, a separate room, use of a laptop or a reader/scribe. You will also complete your personal ‘recommendations for differentiation’ that go to your tutors so they can better support you in the classroom.
Whilst studying at The Henley College you can make a request for one-to-one learning. We have a team of specialist tutors who can guide you through your studies. If this is of interest to you please see Charlie Eckton, the Upgrade Study Suppor Co-ordinator, in D506.
Whatever your disability, visit the Upgrade Study Support Department so we can discuss and assess your needs and help that can be made available to ensure that your disability does not prevent you from learning.
Help could be in the form of special equipment, visual aids, advice or extra teaching or simply help in finding your way around College.
Students with physical or learning disabilities who decide to go to university may be eligible for the Disabled Student Allowance that gives the student access to financial aid for such things as specialist equipment. Evidence is required to access the DSA. Some universities accept the assessment done with our assessors as evidence. Others require a full DSA assessment.
Current students will be able to collect a copy of their report summary, or a letter from our assessors where a report was not produced, in the summer term by prior arrangement. Students who have left College can contact Helena Shiach, Admin Officer, on 01491 634016 for this facility. Please be aware this may take several working days to process.
If your prospective university requires a full DSA assessment we may be able to put you in contact with an assessor locally, offering competitive rates. Please call Charlie Eckton, the Upgrade Study Support Co-ordinator to discuss this.
It is the policy of the College that those with mobility problems should be able to access all areas relevant to their chosen course. Most issues are discussed and resolved at the initial interview stage or a separate appointment can be made with Charlie Eckton, Upgrade Study Support Co-ordinator.
You can ask at the Library desk if you want to borrow colour filters to change the background colour of printed material. Some dyslexics find print on coloured background easier to read. Your own filters can be bought from Reprographics (D508) for a few pence.
The Library also has A4 magnifying sheets that can be held 10cm from a printed page to enlarge the print.
The Library has a scanner attached to a computer with Cicero software. Cicero allows you to scan a printed page and magnify it. The software will also read the page to you.
The Library has a computer accessing Dragon Naturally Speaking software, a speech recognition package. Charlie Eckton, Upgrade Study Support Co-ordinator will arrange training for students where this facility is appropriate.
The Library has books about Dyslexia which students may find useful.
The Student Learning Centres and Library have large flat screen monitors that magnify text and special lower case and high contrast keyboards that can then help dyslexics.
The Library has a portable induction loop to assist communication with users with impaired hearing.
Your Network Settings
Tremors and bouncing characterise some physical disorders. Duplication of key repeats can be controlled with the accessibility options within Windows – slow keys, bounce keys, and repeat keys. You can make changes with these and save your settings for next time. Learn how to do it from the AbilityNet website’s ‘My Computer, My Way’ page. http://www.abilitynet.org.uk/myway/
The Student Learning Centre Managers can also help you with this.
Networked computers in classrooms, the Library and Student Learning Centres have access to Inspiration software that any student or staff member can use, but which many dyslexic students find particularly helpful. It is a mapping programme allowing you to create concept maps, idea maps and other graphic organisers to plan your projects or essays. You can then prioritise and rearrange your ideas. The Leeds University website gives a good explanation of what Inspiration lets you do. A tutorial providing a quickstart for using Inspiration is available.
There is also an interactive tutorial and guide to Inspiration including its uses for various subjects available on the College Network. For further information or help please contact Student Learning Centre Managers.
Spellzone is an Internet spelling program written especially for older students and adults. With Spellzone you can:
- Learn all the spelling rules
- Do interactive practice exercises, marked instantly online
- Find out how to learn and remember difficult words
- Work at different ability levels
- Tackle even those words a computer spell check will miss
You can access Spellzone on any of the College’s Internet connected computers.
Under the terms of our licence, all Henley College students can also use the same passwords to log in to Spellzone from their home computers.
Texthelp Read and Write
Another useful software package, available on one machine in each Student Learning Centre and in Upgrade Study Support is Texthelp Read and Write. It is text to speech software with word prediction. It has word order choices, spell checking based on phonic errors, a thesaurus and homophone checking with meanings. It reads your work to you and works with most Windows programmes using a floating menu bar. The voices, speed of speech and tones can all be altered.
Please ask the Student Learning Centre Manager if you wish to use this package.
Supanova Reader Magnifier combines magnification, speech and Braille output.
Dragon Naturally Speaking
Speech recognition software to help impaired students who find typing a struggle.
Customising Your Desktop
You can customise your desktop so that your computer is easier to use. Once you have done it, your settings will be saved for next time. Changing text and background colours; font size; spacing; text style can all make text easier to read in your Word documents or on websites. Learn how to do it from the AbilityNet website’s ‘My Computer, My Way’ page. The Student Learning Centre Managers can also help you with this.
The Library and Student Learning Centres have keyboards with key guards to help users with fine dexterity problems. These prevent the user from accidentally hitting keys adjacent to the one they intend to hit.
-have larger keys and can also help users with fine dexterity problems.
-for those with reduced hand/arm movements and reduced strength
-for wheelchair users or those who want to use the keyboard lower down (for reduced movement of arm/hand)
Gel wrist Pads
-for soft support.
-a type of mouse that helps those with gripping and fine dexterity problems with the use of a tracker ball. Moving the cursor is separated from button clicking.
-a pointing device demanding little movement and no gripping. A joystick helps users with only gross movement.
Other hardware includes:
- Traxys Joystick
- Kidtrack Trackball
- Expert Mouse