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Support and Wellbeing Centre (Girvan Academy)


The Support & Wellbeing Department is part of the wider Care and Wellbeing Team and is responsible for supporting young people across the whole school.  These supports pertain to both learning and wellbeing in-line with the school ethos that pupils must be both healthy and happy in order to achieve.

SWB Staff

Staff Member


Alex Scott

Depute/SLT Link

Alan Muir

Principal Teacher

Trish Newmarch

Pupil Support Teacher (Cluster)

Tracy Dawson

Pupil Support Teacher

Jackie Alcroft

Pupil Support Teacher

Sheona Johnson

Pupil Support Teacher

Lorna McNicol

Pupil Support Teacher (Cluster)

Christine Robertson

Pupil Support Teacher (Cluster)

Catriona Foster

Pupil Support Assistant

Julia McCulloch

Pupil Support Assistant

Gill McElnea

Pupil Support Assistant

Kerry Erskine

Pupil Support Assistant

Claire Erskine

Pupil Support Assistant

Dawn Clark

Pupil Support Assistant

Lindsay Flynn

Pupil Support Assistant

Michelle Scobie

Pupil Support Assistant

Cassie McGrouther

Pupil Support Assistant

Kate Wilson

Pupil Support Assistant

Grace Newmarch

Pupil Support Assistant

Elaine Gaff

Pupil Support Assistant

Alison McNeill

Pupil Support Assistant

Annette Gade

Pupil Support Assistant

Supporting Learners

Skills for Learning, Life and Work

Learning & Teaching - Stage 4

Support and Wellbeing staff plan, teach and assess a differentiated curriculum for pupils with stage 4 learning needs.  Pupils at stage 4 receive part of their curriculum in a small class setting in the Support and Wellbeing department.  A small number of pupils who, for a range of reasons, find the larger school environment difficult to manage, receive their entire curriculum in the department.

At stage 4 the department is responsible for running courses that fulfil the broad general education's curriculum entitlement and SQA awards.

BGE Courses

English & Literacy

Maths & Numeracy

Social Subjects: History; Geography; Modern Studies

Religious Education


IDL: Cultural Studies

IDL: Outdoor Studies

IDL: Life skills

IDL: Expressive Arts

IDL courses are designed to demonstrate links across the curriculum and to fulfil curriculum entitlement for pupils who access the department for their full curriculum.


SQA Awards



Classical Studies

Personal Development



Uniformed & Emergency Services

Practical Cookery

Health & Food

Cycle Maintenance (Unit Award)

The department operates an inclusive policy and identified pupils, who are not designated stage 4, access classes at both BGE levels and for SQA courses.

Learning & Teaching - The Inclusion HUB

The department also operates the Inclusion HUB.  This is a short-term intervention that provides additional support for learners who have been extracted from their mainstream class for a variety of reasons.  Pupils complete classwork with additional support; engage in literacy and numeracy interventions; and take part in health and wellbeing activities.  The specific programme of work is tailored to each pupil's specific need.

Learning & Teaching - The Mainstream School

Support and Wellbeing staff work co-operatively with mainstream class teachers to support pupil learning.  This may be through:

  • PSA classroom support
  • co-operative teaching
  • advice and support on the differentiation of materials
  • individual and small group extraction to deliver targeted curriculum intervention
  • advice and support around the social, emotional, behavioural and learning needs of individual pupils
  • Advise of appropriate resources, curriculum, support strategies and management techniques to meet the needs of pupils.

Identification, Assessment & Intervention

Working alongside colleagues the Support and Wellbeing department ensures the early identification and assessment of support needs.  This may then lead to interventions and monitoring.  This includes:

Assessment & Identification

  • Dyslexia and dyscalculia assessment using the South Ayrshire Framework
  • S1 Screening Tests
  • Wellbeing Assessment using Strengths & Difficulties Questionnaire
  • Referrals to the Educational Psychologist for further assessment
  • Referrals to school counsellors


  • GIRFEC Literacy Intervention for dyslexic pupils
  • Literacy Intervention Group
  • Numeracy Intervention Group

Multi-Agency Working

Support & Wellbeing staff work in partnership with specialist services and agencies to ensure a child-centred holistic approach to meeting the needs of pupils.  Key partners include:

  • Social Work
  • Health
  • Police
  • Psychological Services
  • Community Learning Development
  • Community Safety
  • Children First
  • Home link
  • Girvan Youth Trust

Professional Development

Support and Wellbeing staff contribute to staff development across the school.  This takes the form of delivering training sessions around aspects of support and wellbeing including:

  • Dyslexia
  • Autism
  • Nurture & Attachment

Supporting Wellbeing

Healthy, Happy, Achieving

Pupils who require access to wellbeing supports are identified through the Care and Wellbeing Team meetings.

Nurture Groups

Marjory Boxall gave the following description of a Nurture Group: "The emphasis within a nurture group is on emotional growth, focusing on offering broad-based experiences in an environment that promotes security, routines, clear boundaries and carefully planned, repetitive learning opportunities. The aim of the nurture group is to create the world of earliest childhood, build in the basic and essential learning experiences normally gained in the first three years of life and enable learners and young people to fully meet their potential in mainstream schools." (Boxall, 2002 13)

The department run nurture programmes for targeted pupils based on the nurture principles:

  • Children's learning is understood developmentally.
  • The classroom offers a safe base.
  • The importance of nurture for the development of wellbeing.
  • Language is a vital means of communication.
  • All behaviour is communication.
  • The importance of transition in children's lives.
  • Identified pupils support requirements are assessed using The Boxall Profile for Young People.

Health & Wellbeing Groups

The department runs targeted health and wellbeing groups to support pupils who require support with aspects of emotional literacy:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Social skills
  • Motivation
  • Self-Regulation
  • Empathy

Pupil support needs and impact of support are measured using the GL Assessment.

The department also runs a Girls' Group and Boys' Groupfor targeted individuals focussing on:

  • Social Media
  • Feminine/Male Hygiene
  • Sexual Health
  • Relationships

Safe Space

Safe spaces are provided in the Support & Wellbeing department to offer privacy and support for pupils who require this.  They may be used by pupils who are in crisis and require immediate de-escalation or emotional support.

The HUB is also a safe space used for pupils who are struggling in a class setting and require a quieter environment in order to meet their learning and/or wellbeing needs.