SEND Code of Practice – update

The new SEND Code of Practice reminds us

The bodies listed in paragraph iv. (see list below)  must have regard to the Code of Practice. This
means that whenever they are taking decisions they must give consideration to what
the Code says. They cannot ignore it. They must fulfil their statutory duties towards
children and young people with SEN or disabilities in the light of the guidance set out
in it. They must be able to demonstrate in their arrangements for children and young
people with SEN or disabilities that they are fulfilling their statutory duty to have
regard to the Code.

and that ‘Identifying and assessing SEN for children and young people whose first language is not English requires particular care’.

Something that I am particularly pleased to see addressed too often schools have stood behind ‘I only have one or two of those,’ whatever those are. I assume they are talking about those in the vulnerable category, and in my view rather than treating them with extra special care and interest they use it as a reason not to develop the child,  but subconsciously hope if they withdraw it/them in small groups then they disappear from the periphery.

All children are ‘entitled to a full and appropriate curriculum, whilst being challenged to move to the next level as soon as they are ready to do so.’

This does mean that teachers will find classes more challenging and that skills they had previously, no longer work in this new environment.

A practical guide to supporting EAL and SEN learners

As school managers and leaders we must be open to this and ensure staff are trained and/or supported whilst developing the child.  Added to this the new classification (under the new code of practice) from BESD to SEMH that stands for Social, Emotional and Mental health difficulties teachers need to be more aware.

Mental Health difficulties in a child and young person manifest differently … as it does in adults. Some become quiet, withdrawn others are loud and can be verbally adept, but once asked to put pen to paper there is a difference between their abilities. The wider it is the more the alarm bells should be ringing. If you are interested a good start can be found at http://www.youngminds.org.uk/  I will write more about mental health in future posts.

To buy A practical guide to supporting EAL and SEN visit the website here

SEND Code of Practice –  Who must have regard to this guidance?
iv. This Code of Practice is statutory guidance for the following organisations:
• local authorities (education, social care and relevant housing and employment
and other services)
• the governing bodies of schools, including non-maintained special schools
• the governing bodies of further education colleges and sixth form colleges
• the proprietors of academies (including free schools, University Technical
Colleges and Studio Schools)
• the management committees of pupil referral units
• independent schools and independent specialist providers approved under
section 41 of the Children and Families Act 2014
• all early years providers in the maintained, private, voluntary and independent
sectors that are funded by the local authority
• the National Health Service Commissioning Board
• clinical commissioning groups (CCGs)
• NHS Trusts
• NHS Foundation Trusts
• Local Health Boards
• Youth Offending Teams and relevant youth custodial establishments
• The First-tier Tribunal (Special Educational Needs and Disability) (see v.)

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Auditory Learners – What they are and how to teach them

Auditory (hearing) learners tend to show many of the following characteristics;

  • Likes to read to self out loud.
  • Is not afraid to speak in class.
  • Likes oral reports.
  • Is good at explaining.
  • Remembers names.
  • Notices sound effects in movies.
  • Enjoys music especially when relaxing
  • Is good at grammar and foreign language.
  • Reads slowly.

They also use words in sentences similar to ‘ that sounds right’ or ‘I hear what you are saying’

 

To keep an auditory learner engaged then the following are ideas to support the list above.

  • Hear a presentation or explanation
  • Encourage them to explain to another pupil (don’t forget some types of  assessment fit into this category)
  • allow them to read aloud to themselves or create a chant
  • make a video of key points to listen to
  • allow them to verbally summarise in their own words
  • allow them to practice e.g. spellings before trying to write it.
  • be aware that they may be using their own internal voice to verbalise what they are learning
  • Allow them to use a speech recognition tool

 

But be careful how you talk to them because … 

…Auditory learners have a knack for ascertaining the true meaning of someone’s words by listening to audible signals like changes in tone.

 

 

NEW SEN code of Practice

I am busily writing, writing and soon to be publishing an easy to read practical book about SEN (D) with the lovely and very knowledgeable Dr Rona  Tutt using this latest guidance as the starter. Our aim of the book was to firstly support all teachers in recognising when to consider SEN but also when EAL needs stop and SEN starts. It’s quite a blurry line and many teachers just do not know where to start so this news story #SEND: ow.ly/zI4FL is a great starting point to firstly find out about the changes but also to understand what the code is expecting of teachers.

I will be writing more about the book when it is ready to be published hopefully in the next month or two… so watch this space.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/send-code-of-practice-0-to-25  for the new code of practice

Year 8 – Creative writing – The granny project Example lesson plan

This lesson plan is for lower ability students.

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year 9 Set 3                                                             Date __20 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim. 

 

To develop writing in preparation for GCSEObjective for board:

Understand and use brain blooming and mind mapping

To write a brief for a publisher

Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will). 

All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will  write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content. 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

Brain blooming/ storming – generate a list of ideas that could be an inspiration for a story – eg famous people, acts of heroism etc                                                                                                  10 Mins

Introduce mind mapping and its conceptual use.                5 mins

Use mind mapping to generate story ideas and plots        30 Mins

Discuss genres

Mind map descriptive words

Place

Feelings

Characters

Interaction

Create a brief for a publisher                                                10 mins

The brief should include: The target audience, brief outline of story, interesting points eg local history, factual content etc

 

Differentiation  Introduce scaffolding, differentiation by negotiation and outcome 
 Extension Work.

 

 Connectives for complex sentences

 

 Plenary

 

 Discuss and share ideas                                                         5 Mins
  Interactive whiteboard, examples of mind maps, colouring pencils
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). No present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Mind mapping, audience, brief, publisher
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
  

Date Due

H/W  Research two different characters from two novels.  Write a description of them and their background. 1 A4 sheet minimumMonday the 24th of May

Lesson Plan Example 2 – Year 9 Set 2 Creative writing

A SCHOOL                        SCHOOL LOGO

 

Group Year9/ Set3                                                                  Date __17 May __________

 

 

Unit Of Work.  Creative Writing
Teaching Aim.   To develop writing in preparation for GCSE Objective for board:  To respond to the marking in your books, to understand GCSE requirements for higher tier, To begin preparation for Original writing coursework and be aware of the need to write to a certain audience.
Learning Outcomes.  (Differentiate learning outcomes  into All pupils will, Most pupils will and Some pupils will).All pupils will attempt the tasks

Most pupils will develop a style of writing that is appropriate

Some pupils will write accurately and with imagination

Lesson Content.  

 

Main Activity(ies)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Differentiation

 

 

 

Read the comments re. My Marking and respond.         Give out books and folders.  Write date, title, C/W and objective.

Students put names on.                                                      10 mins

 Write a review about reading week. 2 paragraphs min   15 mins

 

Read GCSE Guidance sheets.                                             10 mins

Begin GCSE coursework – Original writing

Think about books previously read in primary school Name them, author and genre.  Why was it good ?   At least 3              10 mins

Begin preparation for Original writing Talk about what they learnt from having an author in school

Who is his audience? What kind of audience does he write for?

Who will you write for?                                                         10 mins

 

 

Some of the class will need ideas to start their writing

 

 

 

Extension Work.  Brain bloom ideas for audience
Plenary  

 

Review GCSE requirements.  Give examples of audiences. 5 mins
  Paper, folders, books, Tony Buzan example of Mind Maps
LSA (How do LSA’s contribute to the learning process). None present
Assessment (What strategies are you using to assess learning). GCSE criteria 
Key words  Audience
Basic Skills.Literacy, numeracy ICT. W 7 Sn2, 5 Wr 5
 Date Due None set  

Student Participation

Encouraging the best from our young people in classroom situations can be daunting for new teachers, but the example below shows the benefit of well planned whole class teaching on full participation of the students.

In years gone by the stereotype for the classroom are groups of children with their hands up. This was usually the result of the teacher making a  statement e.g. We have been looking at structures and then asking for a response i.e. Put up your hands if you can think of any shell structures.

Despite the stereotypical media classrooms view that everyone ahs their hand up in reality;

  • Only a few will volunteer the information by putting their hands up
  • The teacher usually thanks or praises them
  • To check the rest of the class another few people will be asked and praised re. their contribution
  • This leaves a whole band of students who have said nothing and may know the answer but have not received praise.

Now we will look at a different way of answering the same question but achieving a result that means every students has had a voice. As currently snow and ice is the topic of weather conversation due to the Winter Olympics I suggest we call this idea snowballing.

The question is asked again but this time instead of hands up do the following;

  • Ask each class member to use a whiteboard or post it note to write down one idea
  • In pairs students share their ideas and come up with a  third idea ( 2 minutes is maximum time needed)
  • Join with another pair (creating  group of four) or collaborate as a table, exchange the examples and then think of a few more
  • Finally ask each group to feedback – or alternatively ask each member of the class to report back one idea from their group

This should make each child feel that they have participated and been heard and most if not all should receive praise.

There are many influences to the approach any teacher will use depending on a variety of circumstances and the topic, curriculum concept that has to be taught. Here are some examples;

  1. The motivation and behaviour of the students
  2. The complexity of the knowledge needed to be learnt
  3. The ethos developed by the teacher for that classroom i.e. is it more inquiry and thinking led or passive hands up?
  4. Cultural differences
  5. Class size
  6. Academic  and general language skills

 

 

Is the new OFSTED criteria and lesson observations creating even more mental health problems in schools?

The news story below hit a chord with me not only on a personal teacher level, but also as a consultant having worked in schools where not only one person lesson was judged inadequate, but the whole school. When schools are judged to be inadequate this same reaction holds true for the teacher in questions, the teachers as a whole, the auxiliary staff, the parents and the community.

The demotivating effect was instantaneous. I was so upset that I couldn’t go back into the classroom that afternoon. Instead, I went home and proceeded to do absolutely zero planning for the next day. For the rest of the week, my teaching was somewhat lacklustre because I was so wrung out by the distress of the observation. I felt ashamed of myself and unworthy of the responsibility of teaching a class of children. I started to feel overwhelmed by the possibility that I might be letting my students down. By the weekend, I was experiencing symptoms of anxiety.

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/feb/15/secret-teacher-outstanding-inadequate-lesson-observations?CMP=new_54

This teacher was lucky as was I when a very similar incident happened to me. Thankfully a headteacher who knows the staff and school can make much better judgements.

At the time of my incident not only was I marked down by the lesson observer but was told to take a leaf out of one of my colleagues books. I was in disbelief, did he really mean the same colleague who before this planned pre-OFSTED observation had not planned but got myself and the head of department to do it for him, had the worst results of all of us and had the least respect of the students?

As you can imagine I did the same withdrew and wondered what to do, after a four page A4 handwritten letter to the headteacher and a subsequent interview I began to feel better, but all the time could not believe the system had let me and the school down so badly.

I keep reminding myself that, at the end of the day, I’m only in my second year of teaching. I will make mistakes in the classroom, miss things I should have picked up on and pitch the odd activity wrongly. But as long as my students are learning what they need to (and they are), my classroom is safe (and it is), and I am providing appropriate interventions for those children whose progress is less than ideal (which I am), then I know that I am doing my job – and doing it very well. Secret Teacher, Guardian

In my case I kept going for the students as for me that was why I was there, I believed in them and though sometimes I did things that were different (being the first female in the school teaching DT Resistant materials I had to sometimes), it was always about getting the best from my youngsters.

At the end of the year I was vindicated as my classes results were the best in the LA. To this day I have had no apology like the data protection act – everyone stood behind – it was what he saw in that 30 minute lesson! My classes results were also a shock in the wider area as we had many selective schools within our group, this gave me back my confidence.

Hence when this happened again a second time,  as before I had been observed by an external assessor as excellent then the next lesson observation made (by a consultant)  was equally as negative as the first about all aspects of the lesson, I could have been left thinking I was useless. What was equally interesting was the same lesson was observed weeks later by another teacher who didn’t change anything and they received a 1.  I realised the one thing that both the teachers who did really well had, that I didn’t, (and still don’t) is the gift of the gab. It was therefore at this point that I decided it was not worth worrying about as I knew my classes results were always the best, or in the top and that was my job.

Later on my confidence and experiences meant that I looked past lesson observation and looked for other things like genuine planning, understanding of curriculum areas, the rapport of the children and the work achieved to date, as well as observing over a period of time what is really happening in classrooms. In my consultants role to schools in Special Measures, serious weaknesses or needing improvement, I was always sad when the LA did not support the head, but used them as a scapegoat by sacking them. In my view this created even more confusion for everyone involved, it lowered the self-esteem of the whole building and anyone associated with it. It was like a fog over the whole area of the town.

Maybe this story will make people realise that one just one observation  can crush the very people we want to inspire and be role models to our learners, our parents and our communities. Using just one lesson observation as a yardstick for everything else is very dangerous. Having targets and expectations are great, but remember when writing or delivering any policy at the end of it there is a child or teacher doing their utmost.

As I go around schools now delivering EAL support I am very concerned that the new guidelines by OFSTED  (September  update) means that most schools will naturally fall by one grade due to the criteria. Where will it leave them?

These schools are doing the same as they always did, but suddenly they will find as it unravels that they are not at the top or are very close to needing some intervention. The only reason being because the criteria has changed, surely this isn’t a good enough reason to put more lives at risk of feeling inadequate, and all those mental health problem that then start feed into this system i.e. people with stress related illnesses, children self harming etc.

Only last week I was out with a group of people (supporting the national issue Time to change, Time to Talk). I began talking to one person who was at the time on their way to an appointment to their child’s school, they had been told their child will be excluded because they do not do failure. I was really surprised and ask for more detail but was then  horrified that  the school knew the child was self harming but their 99% pass rate was more important than the child just in case they had an OFSTED visit. Surely this is all the wrong way around, we have a duty to our children so lets start doing it.

What do you think?

Leaders 3 -Leading and Managing Staff

So you have made it to leading your own team or have being doing so far a while and want to check what you have forgotten.  (I often did that remembered 5/6 things and the sixth would just be waylaid so I had to keep refreshing myself).

It is crucial that you develop a team spirit where everyone helps everyone else to make it right that definitely doesn’t mean blaming anyone. Those working in schools with high blame culture ethos’s eventually start to fail as people are fearful of getting things wrong and let’s be fair in a day many things change and different decision have to be made out of the hundreds of different unexpected decisions that you make over a week if one is wrong then hey ho.  The only thing I would say is that if that person genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and their rationale is believable then its a mistake so we all help to solve it, if not then we are looking to another route i.e. competency but this will be no surprise as you will have already noticed other things that seem out-of-place.

Here are some questions to guide you as you think about your position and leader and manager of your team.

1. How will you help to achieve constructive working relationships with pupils and staff?

2. How ill you sustain your own motivation as well as those of others?

3. How will you sue performance management to improve the effectiveness of all of your team?

4. How will you manage and co-ordinate professional development or new teacher development via INSET, mentoring, coaching, workshops and lesson observation?

5. How will you work with the SEND and or EAL coordinators?

6. What reports do you need to send to Head teacher, Senior Team, Governors, Parents, Pupils about your subjects policies, plan and priorities, subject targets and professional development plans?

Leaders 1 – Teaching your subject

As managers of subject areas the following are things to think about to ensure effective teaching and learning.

  1. How will you (as a manager)  ensure curriculum coverage for your learners?
  2. How will you ensure that teachers are clear about the sequence of teaching in the subject and objectives of individual lessons?
  3. How will you provide guidance on choice of appropriate teaching and learning methods?
  4. How will you ensure that there is effective development in all current strategies including literacy, numeracy and technological skills?
  5. How will you establish and implement policies and practices for assessment, recording and reporting learners achievement including target setting?
  6. How will you set targets for a) learners and b) teachers in relation to standards of pupil achievement and quality of teaching?
  7. How will you evaluate the quality of teaching and then how would you use this good practice to improve teaching in your department?
  8. How will you establish a partnership with parents, community and businesses?

Positive learning ethos

For new Pastoral leaders September is a time for change so maybe this is a good time to write about what a pastoral leader should be about.  Those who have done it for  along while it may be a time to reflect and ask whether some things that they sued to do would be a good idea to bring back.  You know your children so what is right for them?

the object of the pastoral system is to give support and guidance in various measures depending on the situation occasionally there will be a need to be objective and influence to ensure both the students and the staffs needs are met. This is what makes it tricky when staff member A comes and says child X is making my life hell…you listen and respond supportively then talk to child X. That’s if child X hasn’t already reached your door saying staff member A is a (expletive).  Again listen and respond supportively negotiate and influence better behaviour and learning. Then go back to staff member A without going into too much detail explain you have talked to child X and again negotiate a way forward without them losing self-respect or their authority but make sure that learning on their next lesson together occurs. NB know your staff and children then it is far easier to referee.

Our role is to nurture and support i.e. we must constantly strive to foster personal development through providing our students with counselling and guidance. They must always be given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions, to make decisions based on knowing the implications of choice. Self respect and respect for others must be key. Unacceptable action can be challenged  but not the individual or their background. As teachers we must work towards the students developing self discipline and understanding responsibility for actions. Ultimately we want students to behave responsibly because they feel it is important.

Suggestions for a referral system for challenging behaviour or under achievement in a secondary setting could be;

Tutor                 or/and                    Subject Teacher

to                                                                 to

Head of Year        or/and              Head of Department               or/and       Head of curriculum Area

to                                                                   to

School Attainment Officer / Learning Leader

to

Deputy Headteacher (Attainment or behaviour)

to

Head teacher

One of the best ways to ensure the students and staff (from a managers point of view) are all aware of the system is to be clear what the behaviour policy, attainment policy and marks scheme is.  Clarity from these adhered to by all ensures a more successful school.

Most schools have a clear marking scheme but if you are new to the job of coordinating or leading this maybe a good starting point. What makes this good is a child could have put E top effort in but got 1 for understanding making them feel their effort has been recognised. Whilst just on this subject it is also good to let parents and students know how you will be marking i.e. over a term you may mark 1/3 in-depth, 1/3 impressionistic and 1/3 self assessment.

In depth means marking to curriculum and subject/exam expectations of understanding and feeding back relevant information to help them develop their work to the next level or grade boundary.

It is also worth mixing things up a bit and also change seating so that students gain many experiences  and also develop their own learning strategies. once you are settled into school use a mix of 1/3 friendship grouping, 1/3 boy/girl seating and 1/3 teacher defined pairs (based on ability etc.)

EFFORT

PERFORMANCE

(Understanding/Knowledge/Skills)

Excellent Effort E 5 You really understand this work
Commendable effort G 4 You have a good understanding of this part of the work but with a   little more effort you will understand it better.
Satisfactory effort S 3 You seem to understand it but you need further work to understand it   better.
Unsatisfactory effort P 2 You don’t seem to have understood all of it, ask me for help.
No effort made C 1 You haven’t understood this. Please ask for help.