Special education by @stam_liz

Name: Liz
Twitter name: @stam_liz
Sector: Secondary,Special school
Subject taught (if applicable): Maths
Position: Teacher
What is your advice about? Special education

  1. Smile and take time to know your students.
  2. Overplan – lots of different activities but don’t rush them so you don’t run out of things to do.
  3. Don’t get stuck on the diagnosis – each child is an individual who HAS a special need but they are far more than that. Use it to inform.
  4. Give the children time to process your instructions – some might need a few seconds to carry out what you ask.
  5. Don’t talk too much – words can get in the way so use symbols, clear language and different activities to get your point across.

Teaching Students with SEN by @JulesDaulby

Name: Jules Daulby
Twitter:  @JulesDaulby
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: English
Position: Literacy and Language Coordinator
5 Bits of Advice About: Teaching students with SEN

  1. Make sure students know you care.
  2. Have high expectations – stretch and challenge.
  3. Look after your students with SEN and it will benefit all.
  4. Know your students and give them a safe environment to take risks, to fail and ultimately to learn.
  5. Identify the need and put strategy in place.

Colour Blindness by @Sue_Cowley

Name: Sue Cowley
Twitter: @Sue_Cowley
Sector:  Secondary
Subject: All
Position: Parent of child who is colour blind
5 Bits of Advice About: Colour Blindness

  1. Colour blindness affects 1 in 12 boys and 1 in 200 girls so there is likely to be a child with colour blindness in your class.
  2. Don’t assume that the parents or the child will be aware that they are colour blind. The check is no longer a statutory part of the NHS test.
  3. Use symbols alongside labels, particularly for younger children. For instance, a ‘red’ ‘fire engine’ to show the ‘red level’ reading books.
  4. Consider how the resources you create may impact on children who have CVD. Red/green colour blindness is the most common form.
  5. Follow @colourblindorg on Twitter. See also the Oct 2015 edition of ATL magazine.

SEN at Secondary by @JAMingay

Name: Josie Mingay
Twitter name: @JAMingay
Sector: Secondary, Special School
Subject taught (if applicable): English and Literacy
Position: Literacy leader / Lead learner (research)
What is your advice about? SEN at Secondary

1: No SEN label should cause you to lower your expectations of students. Do all you can to remove specific obstacles to learning in order for students to reach ambitious goals.

2: Be explicit about praising students for effort and hard work, rather than achievement. Students with SEN need to see that the journey to the destination is rewarded too.

3: Make use of your SENCo/Learning Support dept – a great resource, often with a wealth of knowledge. Utilise their expertise to aid your planning/teaching.

4: Talk to your students! More than any official document listing suggested strategies, students usually know their obstacles best and can tell you what support they need.

5: Model using metacognitive strategies. One of the best tools for students with SEN is the ability to think about their learning and select strategies to apply to given tasks.

Inclusion by @NDempseyDTA

Name: Nicole Dempsey
Twitter name: @NDempseyDTA
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Geography
Position: INCo
What is your advice about? Inclusion

1: Get to know the students with additional needs in your classes. Speak to them, the SENCo, their parents…

2: Take ownership of every child you teach. Don’t expect a TA or hope for a withdrawal intervention to affect your lesson.

3: Have high expectations for your additional needs students; the biggest barrier to their success is low expectation. The world isn’t ready for them, they need you behind them.

4: Be firm, but fair.

5: Be kind – it’s the only rule.

Supporting a Child With Cognition and Learning Difficulties in Your Class by @Mishwood1

Name: Mary Isherwood
Twitter name: @Mishwood1
Sector: Special school
Subject taught (if applicable): All subjects
Position: Headteacher
What is your advice about? Supporting a child with Cognition and Learning difficulties in your class

1: Consider use of visual prompts to support routines and understanding. Examples are visual timetables; visual equipment mats showing resources for lessons.

2: Labelling of cupboards for resources including photos / symbols where appropriate can support with making resources accessible and promoting independence.

3: Use of minimal language focussing on key words / concepts can support a child’s understanding of information or instructions.

4: Finding motivators appropriate to each child can help with engaging them in their learning  – find a reward to work towards and break learning down into manageable chunks.

5: Remember a lot of good practice for supporting pupils with learning difficulties is good practice for all of your pupils.

Going on a Special School ITT Placement by @simonknight100

Name: Simon Knight
Twitter: @simonknight100
Sector:  Special School
Subject: All subjects
Position: Deputy Headteacher
5 Bits of Advice About: Going on a special school ITT placement

  1. Try and visit your class in advance of the start of the placement. Address any concerns with your class teacher or tutor before you start.
  2. Read the behaviour policy and make sure you stick to it, seeking guidance from the classroom staff where necessary.
  3. Don’t make presumptions about the pupils, particularly regarding diagnostic labels. They are all individuals and should be treated as such.
  4. Don’t expect to be as competent in Special as you are in Mainstream straight away. This can be frustrating but is completely normal. You will pick it up quickly.
  5. It can seem very different at times, so if you are concerned about something, don’t go home without talking it though. We were all new to it once.