EAL or SEN? You decide

At last Rona and I have completed our handy practical guide to help and support you as teachers through the … are they just EAL or SEN or both? minefield.

Bang up to date with the curriculum and SEN changes for the 2014/15 academic year which sees the age range higher and the introduction of a new acronym SEMH which we will all have to be familiar with not just the SENCO or EAL TA.



A practical guide to supporting EAL and SEN learners

A practical guide to supporting EAL and SEN learners

Structured around current legislation it gives practical support to support you in your decision making as to whether they are naughty children just trying it on or have a need that is currently not supported.

Great for new teachers or experienced alike.

Contents page EAL SEN

Contents page EAL SEN


For a full copy of the SEND code go to –


For a copy of the e book priced at £15.00 (not including p and p) contact lsbooksinfo@gmail.com. Printed copies available soon.

back cover


My Teaching To-Do List.

good prompt for experienced teachers as well as a reminder for new colleagues.


Screen shot 2014-09-21 at 20.39.08 My early priorities for my Year 8 class.

These are the things I’m thinking about planning lessons with my new Year 8 science class. I realise that this is a bit of ‘sucking eggs’ so please forgive me for stating the obvious if that’s how this reads. My experience is that it’s worth re-stating basic principles over and over again. To myself.

1. Knowing the students. I need to work on learning names really well, using a seating plan and photos. I’ll be going back to the data on SIMS to cross-reference the numbers with the people I’m getting to know. I’ve found some interesting CATS data for some of mine – very high scores suggesting ability in areas that I wouldn’t have guessed. This is going to inform the planning. I’m also going to find out if one boy is having difficulty with other subjects because he’s certainly struggling…

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Kinaesthetic learners

Now term has really started I thought we would look at our more practical – touch, feel, do learners. They have a rather long name and are called Kinaesthetic learners.  I think I must be predominantly this type as anything practical attracts me first. Probably why my subject is Design technology, resistant materials, graphic, control technology and textiles as they are all things that you do!.

For Kinaesthetic learners generally they enjoy learning that involves physical experience – touching, feeling, holding, doing, practical hands-on experiences.

The base of the word comes from the Greek  kineo, meaning move, and aisthesis, meaning sensation Hence the name Kinaesthetic describes the sense of using muscular movement so for us teachers that means we need to look at teaching/learning experiences that include within the term some work that involves the stimulation of nerves in the body’s muscles, joints and tendons.  For Design Technology, PE, Music it is commonplace to find this type of activity, but how do you ensure those with this type of learning experience it at least a  few times per term in Maths for example? This is the conundrum for all of these styles how do you ensure you reach your learners and support them with their style of learning. For me having a  check list per activity when planning means that over each half term I have a general idea of which style I have used mostly in order that I can change the balance over the next term or if revising a fact/ module of work find another way of demonstrating it i.e.. if It was mainly visual learning first time then revise with the visual reminder but back up with a  practical (kinaesthetic) activity.

If you are unsure which type you are then you can find out using the link below.

or try the free test on – http://www.businessballs.com/vaklearningstylestest.htm

Visual learners

Visual learning style involves the use of seen or observed things, including pictures, diagrams, demonstrations, displays, handouts, films, flip-chart, etc.

If your students prefer the visual style, they prefer using images, pictures, colours, and maps to organize information and communicate with others. They prefer to visualize objects, plans and outcomes in their mind’s eye. They also have a good spatial sense, which makes for a good sense of direction. They can easily find their  way around using maps, and rarely get lost.

The whiteboard is a best friend because they love drawing, scribbling and doodling, especially with colours.

Common pursuits and phrases

Some pursuits that make the most use of the visual style are visual art, architecture, photography, video or film, design, planning (especially strategic), and navigation.

They may tend to use phrases like these:

  • Let’s look at it differently.
  • See how this works for you.
  • I can’t quite picture it.
  • Let’s draw a diagram or map.
  • I’d like to get a different perspective.
  • I never forget a face.

Learning and techniques

If you are or have visual learners in your class visual use images, pictures, colour and other visual media to help the learning process. Incorporate much imagery into visualizations.

They may find that visualization comes easily.

  • Use colour, layout, and spatial organization in associations, and use many ‘visual words’ in assertions. Examples include see, picture, perspective, visual, and map.
  • Use mind maps. Use color and pictures in place of text, wherever possible. If you don’t use the computer, make sure you have at least four different color pens.
  • Systems diagrams can help visualize the links between parts of a system, for example major engine parts or the principle of sailing in equilibrium. Replace words with pictures, and use colour to highlight major and minor links.
  • The visual journey or story technique helps them memorise content that isn’t easy to ‘see.’ The visual story approach for memorising procedures is a good example of this.

Visual learners are good at:

  • Giving presentations
  • Seeing in 3D
  • Designing spaces
  • Seeing the big picture
  • Watching and copying
  • Using maps
  • Estimating distances

Hope this helps!

Every child still matters; Communities still need cohesion

It really is essential we remember the child when there are so many other pressures on us as teachers, but the child should be at the start and end of all decisions made.


Colorful  solidarity design tree Every Child Still Matters; The Community Still Needs Cohesion

As most readers will know, until Michael Gove came along, government policy was to make schools more explicitly responsible for tackling a range of social issues under the two umbrella strategies of Every Child Matters and Community Cohesion.

As a reminder, the five strands of Every Child Matters were:

Be healthy; Stay safe; Enjoy and achieve; Make a positive contribution; Achieve economic well-being

This was a policy that aimed to co-ordinate activities across all the relevant services to prevent cases such as the Victoria Climbié case in 2000. It forced schools to initiate a range of activities and generate channels of communication to tackle each strand in partnership with local agencies.

In parallel with ECM, the Community Cohesion agenda was also developed.  OfSTED had a responsibility to inspect schools on:

the extent to which the school has developed an understanding…

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