Photography GCSE

After a few months of teaching Photography GCSE I suddenly realised yesterday ……I know I am dull …. I have always taken photographs mainly landscapes and flowers and have such a huge catalogue. Not sure what I am going to do with them all. It was whilst looking for something for this weeks lessons that the pictures albums revealed themselves son all my hard drives going back years….so many photos. What was great though was the realisation that some are actually better than what I thought at the time. I wonder how many other shave found that???

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Autism practical support

SSAT – Autism   Not sure if this is useful.

I liked it because there are some practical aspects for it rather than just rhetoric.

https://www.ssatuk.co.uk/programme-to-support-students-with-autism/

Ginny d’Orico, AHT (autism), and Natalie Henry, head of middle school, at times vociferously aided by nine ASD students, gave this presentation on supporting students with autism.

The presenters came from Oak Lodge, a mixed 11-19 special school and specialist cognition and learning college in Barnet. Some of the tips they revealed could be useful to teachers in mainstream in helping their ASD students.

Autism is a condition that makes it difficult for the individual to predict other people’s actions, explained Ginny d’Orico. For example, when talking to someone, people with autism tend to look at the mouth, not the eyes, so missing many cues relating to social information.

“These differences are important for us as teachers: if I’m gesturing to a chair, for example, it’s not obvious to them what I want them to do. A corollary of this is that it is difficult for them to recognise that we are a reliable source of support. This is why group work with ASD students can be difficult.”

Tackling anxiety among students with ASD

She pointed to research in neurology, such as that by Yale University and others, which has shown that it is this difficulty in information processing that leads to raised anxiety, which affects social communication and emotional regulation. So one key element in working with these young people is clear scaffolding in their environment.

The SCERTS programme (Social communication/ emotional regulation/ transactional support) provides the structure for Oak Lodge’s work to enhance engagement and learning among these students.

The teacher gently instructed the group: “hands on knees. Close your eyes. Deep breaths. Imaging sitting on a beach, listening to the waves, feeling warm. You feel calm and relaxed… Now open your eyes. Everyone feel calm and relaxed?”

Practical exercises

It appeared so. The students settled down to an exercise on completing achievement statements. Each student in turn completed sentences such as: “I am better at… using my words”; “I felt proud when… I did something different by coming to the Arsenal stadium”; “Now I can… listen in lessons and not shout out when the teacher is talking.”

The Oak Lodge team uses practical exercises to improve four aspects of SCERTS:

  • Task engagement and functional communications – visual charts attached to key rings and flagging tasks red (to do) and green (done) help here
  • Emotional expression – understanding their emotions and what to do about them
  • Transitions, both between and within activities
  • Interactions: developing a more adult style.

Visual-spatial processing is often a strength among these students, which can be used to help them learn. And students’ special interests can also help functional communication: for example, an illustration of a dinosaur with a speech bubble passing on the message.

In conclusion, Ginny d’Orico suggested four tips for teachers to make clear their intentions and enable students to achieve:

  • Provide visual support
  • Ensure a calm, productive class environment
  • Help students to predict what is expected of them
  • “But don’t say the same thing over and over!”

 

 

 

SOLD OUT

Thank you to everyone who has bought the paperback version of A Practical Guide to Supporting EAL and SEN Learners.

Sadly we are sold out ………. However there are lots of digital versions available for £15.00.

Just pay via paypal and it will be sent by return.

 

 

Starting Afresh

Education has certainly changed since my last blog and thoughts. I have also changed, had some edges rubbed off me by the ever changing tide.

I was recently taken back to remembering my NQT year as a mature student. The school where I was working was training students all fresh faces, with excitement in the explanations and reasons for teaching. Watching them over the few weeks of their placement was a reminder of just how hard we worked, how interested  we were in our subject, how we wanted to change young peoples lives.

Everything they did helped me put back into perspective what I do daily and why. It suddenly dawned on me that the NQT is still inside, but changes to policies, head teachers with differing focusses, practice, theory being rewritten and technological developments have made me try and become the perfect textbook teacher (isn’t that what  OFSTED,ESTYN, Performance Management are really about)? What I had lost was the spontaneity with a  group, sharing my own passion for designing and making, and starting debates that may lead nowhere, but at least we have thought about the question posed. That is why with my current year 10 I have a plastic bag and weekly I go shopping. the first week they were quite bored, with comments like do you really like shopping at the 99p shop? However as the weeks have gone on, I noticed recently that some heads were actually turning the whole way around to see what was in there before I got the item out. Last week I was poorly and  didn’t do it and there were murmurs of “where’s your shopping, miss”.

What was inside my bag?  Nothing special, just items that either r allowed me to talk about design or our current topic,  biomimicry. My current favourite are the cactus inspired erasers, whereas the young people preferred the shark ruler, possibly because they were researching sharks themselves, their way it allowed their minds to think differently.

What shall I take this week? I am not sure but it is sure to be Easter inspired. Off to the shops I go…..

2014 in review – Thanks to all my readers.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Main changes and summary of 2014 SEN Code of Practice

Just as an update and reminder.  Here are the changes from the SEN Code of Practice (2001)
The main changes from the SEN Code of Practice (2001) reflect the changes
introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014. These are:14
• The Code of Practice (2014) covers the 0-25 age range and includes
guidance relating to disabled children and young people as well as those with
SEN
• There is a clearer focus on the participation of children and young people and
parents in decision-making at individual and strategic levels
• There is a stronger focus on high aspirations and on improving outcomes for
children and young people
• It includes guidance on the joint planning and commissioning of services to
ensure close co-operation between education, health and social care
• It includes guidance on publishing a Local Offer of support for children and
young people with SEN or disabilities
• There is new guidance for education and training settings on taking a
graduated approach to identifying and supporting pupils and students with
SEN (to replace School Action and School Action Plus)• For children and young people with more complex needs a co-ordinated
assessment process and the new 0-25 Education, Health and Care plan (EHC
plan) replace statements and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDAs)
• There is a greater focus on support that enables those with SEN to succeed in
their education and make a successful transition to adulthood
• Information is provided on relevant duties under the Equality Act 2010
• Information is provided on relevant provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Related guidance that organisations may find it helpful to consider are: The Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice: Protecting the vulnerable
(2005) or the summarised version

Mental Capacity Act 2005 – summary from Department of Health

  • Last modified date:
    8 February 2007

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (c.9) received Royal Assent on 7 April 2005

Introduction

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a statutory framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who are not able to make their own decisions. It makes it clear who can take decisions, in which situations, and how they should go about this. It enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose capacity.

Guidance on the Act will be provided in a Code of Practice. People who are placed under a duty to have regard to the Code include those working in a professional capacity e.g. doctors and social workers. A draft was made available to assist Parliamentary consideration of the Bill and is available on the DCA website (under “Mental Capacity Bill and supporting documents”).

The whole Act is underpinned by a set of five key principles stated at Section 1:

  • A presumption of capacity – every adult has the right to make his or her own decisions and must be assumed to have capacity to do so unless it is proved otherwise;
  • The right for individuals to be supported to make their own decisions – people must be given all appropriate help before anyone concludes that they cannot make their own decisions;
  • That individuals must retain the right to make what might be seen as eccentric or unwise decisions;
  • Best interests – anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity must be in their best interests; and
  • Least restrictive intervention – anything done for or on behalf of people without capacity should be the least restrictive of their basic rights and freedoms.

What does the Act do?

The Act enshrines in statute current best practice and common law principles concerning people who lack mental capacity and those who take decisions on their behalf. It replaces current statutory schemes for enduring powers of attorney and Court of Protection receivers with reformed and updated schemes.

The Act deals with the assessment of a person’s capacity and acts by carers of those who lack capacity

  • Assessing lack of capacity – The Act sets out a single clear test for assessing whether a person lacks capacity to take a particular decision at a particular time. It is a “decision-specific” test. No one can be labelled ‘incapable’ as a result of a particular medical condition or diagnosis. Section 2 of the Act makes it clear that a lack of capacity cannot be established merely by reference to a person’s age, appearance, or any condition or aspect of a person’s behaviour which might lead others to make unjustified assumptions about capacity.
  • Best Interests – Everything that is done for or on behalf of a person who lacks capacity must be in that person’s best interests. The Act provides a checklist of factors that decision-makers must work through in deciding what is in a person’s best interests. A person can put his/her wishes and feelings into a written statement if they so wish, which the person making the determination must consider. Also, carers and family members gain a right to be consulted.
  • Acts in connection with care or treatment – Section 5 clarifies that, where a person is providing care or treatment for someone who lacks capacity, then the person can provide the care without incurring legal liability. The key will be proper assessment of capacity and best interests. This will cover actions that would otherwise result in a civil wrong or crime if someone has to interfere with the person’s body or property in the ordinary course of caring. For example, by giving an injection or by using the person’s money to buy items for them.
  • Restraint/deprivation of liberty. Section 6 of the Act defines restraint as the use or threat of force where an incapacitated person resists, and any restriction of liberty or movement whether or not the person resists. Restraint is only permitted if the person using it reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent harm to the incapacitated person, and if the restraint used is proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of the harm.
  • Section 6(5) makes it clear that an act depriving a person of his or her liberty within the meaning of Article 5(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights cannot be an act to which section 5 provides any protection.
  • The Department of Health and National Assembly for Wales have each issued interim advice to the NHS and local authorities on the implications of the European Court of Human Rights judgment in HL v United Kingdom (the “Bournewood” case), pending the development of proposals for new procedural safeguards for the protection of those people falling within the “Bournewood gap”.

The Act deals with two situations where a designated decision-maker can act on behalf of someone who lacks capacity

  • Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) – The Act allows a person to appoint an attorney to act on their behalf if they should lose capacity in the future. This is like the current Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), but the Act also allows people to let an attorney make health and welfare decisions.
  • Court appointed deputies – The Act provides for a system of court appointed deputies to replace the current system of receivership in the Court of Protection. Deputies will be able to take decisions on welfare, healthcare and financial matters as authorised by the Court but will not be able to refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment. They will only be appointed if the Court cannot make a one-off decision to resolve the issues.

The Act creates two new public bodies to support the statutory framework, both of which will be designed around the needs of those who lack capacity

  • A new Court of Protection – The new Court will have jurisdiction relating to the whole Act and will be the final arbiter for capacity matters. It will have its own procedures and nominated judges.
  • A new Public Guardian – The Public Guardian and his/her staff will be the registering authority for LPAs and deputies. They will supervise deputies appointed by the Court and provide information to help the Court make decisions. They will also work together with other agencies, such as the police and social services, to respond to any concerns raised about the way in which an attorney or deputy is operating. A Public Guardian Board will be appointed to scrutinise and review the way in which the Public Guardian discharges his/her functions. The Public Guardian will be required to produce an Annual Report about the discharge of his/her functions.

The Act also includes three further key provisions to protect vulnerable people

  • Independent Mental Capacity Advocate (IMCA) An IMCA is someone appointed to support a person who lacks capacity but has no one to speak for them. The IMCA makes representations about the person’s wishes, feelings, beliefs and values, at the same time as bringing to the attention of the decision-maker all factors that are relevant to the decision. The IMCA can challenge the decision-maker on behalf of the person lacking capacity if necessary.
  • Advance decisions to refuse treatment – Statutory rules with clear safeguards confirm that people may make a decision in advance to refuse treatment if they should lose capacity in the future. It is made clear in the Act that an advance decision will have no application to any treatment which a doctor considers necessary to sustain life unless strict formalities have been complied with. These formalities are that the decision must be in writing, signed and witnessed. In addition, there must be an express statement that the decision stands “even if life is at risk”.
  • A criminal offence – The Bill introduces a new criminal offence of ill treatment or neglect of a person who lacks capacity. A person found guilty of such an offence may be liable to imprisonment for a term of up to five years.

The Act also sets out clear parameters for research

  • Research involving, or in relation to, a person lacking capacity may be lawfully carried out if an “appropriate body” (normally a Research Ethics Committee) agrees that the research is safe, relates to the person’s condition and cannot be done as effectively using people who have mental capacity. The research must produce a benefit to the person that outweighs any risk or burden. Alternatively, if it is to derive new scientific knowledge it must be of minimal risk to the person and be carried out with minimal intrusion or interference with their rights.
  • Carers or nominated third parties must be consulted and agree that the person would want to join an approved research project. If the person shows any signs of resistance or indicates in any way that he or she does not wish to take part, the person must be withdrawn from the project immediately. Transitional regulations will cover research started before the Act where the person originally had capacity to consent, but later lost capacity before the end of the project.

My Teaching To-Do List.

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

teacherhead

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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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.

teacherhead

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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It’s National Lighthouse Day!

I think we should also have national beach hut day.

Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

I can think of no other edifice constructed by man as altruistic as a lighthouse.

They were built only to serve. They weren’t built for any other purpose…

~ George Bernard Shaw

~~~~~

Inside the Light Station Inside the Lighthouse

It’s not at all a scary climb in this historic lighthouse!

The View from Yaquina Bay Lighthouse Yaquina Bay Lighthouse View

Here’s a look at the lovely view from the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse to the sandy beaches below.

“A piece of Oregon history sits atop a bluff at the mouth of the Yaquina River. It is the Historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, built in 1871 and decommissioned in 1874. It was officially restored as a privately maintained aid to navigation on December 7, 1996. It is believed to be the oldest structure in Newport. It is also the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing.” Source: Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses

Helpful…

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