Helpful tips and time management strategies for SENCOs Find out how to sort out your paperwork and manage your time as our expert tries to save a SENCO drowning in a sea of paperwork.
In SENCO Sue Pilfold’s office there is barely a patch of floor space or desk space visible that isn’t piled high with files, reports and papers.
To get to her desk Sue has to step over carrier bags and boxes packed full of extra work projects to take home to work on or to fit in when she can to meet the requirements of her multiple roles within the school.
Sue has been the SENCO at Benfield Junior School in Portslade for the last 6 years. The school has over 30% special needs which is above the national average. She is responsible for 10 TA’s, works with multiple agencies and has multiple-roles.
Unfortunately there are no short-cuts to doing paperwork but there are better ways to manage time spent on tasks, Time Management expert John Seaman will show Sue the art of task juggling and organisation.
How a special and mainstream school work together creatively Take two schools, one a special school for children with complex, severe and profound learning difficulties, the other, a mainstream primary with 66 pupils on the SEN register. How do they work together to benefit both staff and pupils? This film looks at the work of 2 schools in the South West who have developed extensive programme of outreach and TA swapping to support their Special Needs pupils.
Advice on communicating with parents of SEN children Meetings with parents, and particularly those who have children with special educational needs, can often involve dealing with tricky issues and emotions. Through a course run by Kent LEA’s Partnership with Parents, this programme provides a range of practical advice to help develop the necessary communication skills. These include active listening, body language, and handling objections. The strategies are explained and demonstrated through roleplay, and are useful for all staff who have interaction with parents.
Can special school strategies be utilised in the mainstream? Can special school strategies for working with emotional and behavioural difficulties be utilised in the mainstream? The emphasis is on whole school practice with a positive approach.
SENCO Penny Nice, from St Leonards CE Primary School, Hastings, East Sussex, observes the work of Special School teachers at Gibbs Green School, West London, to see what new ideas she can learn. She discusses with the teachers how she can incorporate these ideas into the teaching practice at her own school.
A special school teacher observes mainstream strategies What strategies can an EBD special school teacher observe in the mainstream to help children with emotional and behavioural difficulties? And what tips can she offer to improve these strategies?
Sally Cranney, a teacher from Gibbs Green Special School in West London, joins Penny Nice, SENCO, and Sarah Corrigan, a Year 3 teacher, at St Leonards CE Primary, near Hastings, East Sussex to find out. They share ideas on how to work with pupils with behavioural and emotional difficulties in the mainstream, with an emphasis on building self-esteem, confidence and social skills.
A look at the importance of handwriting skills for SEN pupils Headteacher Katy Brierley confesses that dyslexia caused her to endure rather than enjoy her own school days. But it also gave her a passion for handwriting which she has now translated into an effective whole-school policy for ensuring that all pupils are intensively coached in handwriting skills.
Dr Mary Howard of the National Handwriting Association points out that handwriting skills are of particular importance for special educational needs pupils as it’s sometimes one of the few means of communication at their disposal. The programme highlights how the head and class teachers at Northowram Primary School, near Halifax, lead a policy based on three main planks. Pupils are taught to write in a cursive script, they are taught in short ten minute blocks daily, and teachers use multi-sensory and other fun techniques to embed the learning.
A look at one teacher’s innovative methods of using ICT for SEN Yvonne Seymour from Cape Primary School is a self-confessed ICT novice. It was a subject she struggled with during teacher training and a subject in which she seriously lacked confidence. Yet one of her ideas on how to use ICT for special educational needs pupils within a mixed ability class is now hailed as an excellent example of good practice.
This programme looks at her idea, how she developed it and how any teacher with even the most basic of ICT skills could use it. Yvonne’s Year 3s are taught to produce their own e-book, or electronic storybook, using very basic presentational software. They can adapt various techniques, like typing, recording sound, selecting pictures and scanning to their own abilities.
They can also work in pairs or mixed ability groups where the more able can support the less able. Producing an e-book allows every child in the class to participate in ICT and the fact that they become authors and illustrators promotes real ownership of their work.
A look at a new system of measuring special needs attainment It’s likely that from 2007 teachers working with special needs pupils will need a working knowledge of a new system of measuring attainment called P-Scales. Imported from special schools to mainstream schools, the system allows a far more detailed analysis of levels of attainment for pupils working below National Curriculum Level One. Previously these pupils may have been classified as W, often repeatedly. The new system allows a much more accurate and sophisticated measurement.
Teaching staff and a SENCO at Kingston Park Primary School in Newcastle have decided to bring in the system early and talk frankly about how it works in a mainstream school, focussing on a Year 2 pupil called Kamelia. Teachers describe how P-Scales work alongside IEPs and give helpful hints about how to get the best from working with the new system.
Practical steps to include and help special needs pupils perform This programme shows the practical steps taken by teachers and staff at Kingston Park Primary School in Newcastle to ensure that special needs pupils are not only included but also perform to the best of their abilities. In their pursuit of inclusion staff take great care over their own vocabulary, avoiding terms like ‘unit’ or ‘special needs rooms’. Attention is paid to pupil grouping and pairing, with special needs pupils matched with other pupils in class to their mutual benefit. The school has also pioneered a smart system of planning, involving splitting pupils into three broad bands with an extra column on the planning sheet for pupils with special needs.
Teachers and support staff spell out how these strategies have been developed and how they are put into operation. The programme features a literacy lesson which demonstrates many of the techniques used.
Inclusion methods for the hearing impaired How do you meet the needs of a deaf child in your class?
Rosie attends Willingdon Primary in Eastbourne, a mainstream school with a Hearing Support Facility attached. The facility offers sign communication using a Total Communication Approach. That is to say a variety of communication methods encompassing oralism, lip reading, and British Sign Language.
Willingdon works hard to include Rosie in every aspect of school life. Rosie’s class teacher, an NQT has recently completed a deaf awareness course and is still learning how to accommodate a deaf child in his classroom, he moves around the class too much and sometimes forgets to keep his radio aid switched on.
Without her signing TA, one of three who support children with a hearing impairment in the school, Rosie would be lost.
This film actively explores the process of full inclusion for a hearing impaired child, and through Rosie’s eyes, we get a clear insight into the teaching methods and support that help her to learn.