St Matthew’s Academy has a team of 6 Principal Teachers of Guidance whose key role is to ensure that the needs of every pupil are met. This will involve a number of important tasks including developing close links with P7 pupils and teachers, interviewing all pupils at least once a year, preparing pupils to make appropriate choices and monitoring academic progress, attendance and behaviour. Every effort is made to ensure that pupils entering St Matthew’s from primary school will have the same guidance teacher as any older brothers or sisters. Every pupil receives a weekly period of personal and social education (P.S.E.) through which their personal development is enhanced. The P.S.E. programme includes information on lifestyle, sexual health and relationships, careers, further & higher education and employment & training.

In parallel with the personal support for pupils provided by the Guidance Team, St Matthew’s Academy has a Pupil Support department under the direction of a Curriculum Leader. It is acknowledged that any pupil may need additional support at some time in their school career and so Pupil Support staff work across the curriculum at all stages to ensure that all pupils are able to learn effectively and progress appropriately. This will involve a range of strategies under the general heading of support for learning and behaviour including individual/small group work, cooperative teaching and the establishment of reading programmes. Pupil Support staff also work with departments to develop courses and materials appropriate for the wide range of pupils within the school. Parents will be kept informed as key partners in the process. A Parental Information leaflet on Pupil Support is issued each year as part of a set of such leaflets on key aspects of the school’s provision.

Close links are maintained with the associated primary schools and Guidance and Pupil Support staff are involved in gathering relevant information from primaries and in ensuring that needs are met on arrival in St Matthew’s. Where there are specific needs, St Matthew’s support staff play an important role in transition reviews. For parents requiring additional information on matters relating to additional support for learning, there is an information leaflet included at the back of this handbook.