Showing Autistic Pupils that Learning Has Value: A Guide for Special Education Teachers Any new special education teacher faces the unique challenge of catering to the diverse needs of your students. I have spent my career supporting Autistic pupils who will require specialised approaches to learning. One of the most important tasks, and one that… Continue reading SEN Teacher: Proving The Value of Learning
Developing Teacher Expertise in Inclusive Education
The Importance of Inclusive Education In today's diverse classrooms, inclusive education has become a critical component of effective teaching. Inclusive practice refers to the educational strategies, interventions, and adaptations that enable all students, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, to actively participate and succeed in the learning environment. As educators, it is essential to develop… Continue reading Developing Teacher Expertise in Inclusive Education
How to Answer the Interview Question: Tell us about yourself?
This post forms part of our series on teacher recruitment. One of the questions you can almost guarantee being asked is a variation on "Tell us about yourself". In 2023 and 2024 schools are facing significant challenges in recruitment. However they are unlikely to be willing to reduce the standard of the teachers they will… Continue reading How to Answer the Interview Question: Tell us about yourself?
Best Practice for Communicating with Autistic Children
Best Practices for Communicating with Autistic Children for ECTS When it comes to education and early years development for children who have a diagnosis of autism, simple techniques and strategies can be the most effective. In fact, we often overlook the basics because we tend to overcomplicate things when communicating with autistic children. In this… Continue reading Best Practice for Communicating with Autistic Children
Early Learning Goals, Inclusion and Neurodiversity
This post will look at how we can create inclusive activities linked to the communication early learning goals (ELGs). As a passionate advocate for play, inclusion, and neurodiversity in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), I firmly believe that every child has the right to learn and develop in an environment that values unique strengths and… Continue reading Early Learning Goals, Inclusion and Neurodiversity
Heuristic Play: Enhancing Physical Development in the EYFS and beyond
Heuristic Play and EYFS The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework sets standards for the learning and development of children from birth to five in the United Kingdom. It aims to ensure that children receive high-quality education and care that helps them achieve their full potential. One of the key components of EYFS is play… Continue reading Heuristic Play: Enhancing Physical Development in the EYFS and beyond
Flow State: Applying the Theory in the SEN Classroom
What is Flow State? Flow state, as described by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, is a mental state of operation where a person is fully immersed in an activity, characterised by a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. During the state of flow, individuals experience a sense of control over… Continue reading Flow State: Applying the Theory in the SEN Classroom
Noise Sensitivity: Sound Reduction, Ear Defenders and Headphones
This post is a follow up to our bigger post on Noise Sensitivity. I work with many children who use some sort of ear defenders to reduce the noise in the school environment. There are two types of noise cancelling ear plugs: passive and active. Passive ear plugs block out sound by creating a physical… Continue reading Noise Sensitivity: Sound Reduction, Ear Defenders and Headphones
Sensory Processing: Noise Sensitivity, Causes and Solutions
What is Noise Sensitivity? Noise sensitivity is a common issue for many people. Studies suggest that anywhere from 30% to more than 90% of individuals with autism experience some form of sensory hypersensitivity or under-responsiveness, with sound sensitivity being one of the most prevalent. One of the most commonly reported sensory sensitivities is sensitivity to sounds… Continue reading Sensory Processing: Noise Sensitivity, Causes and Solutions
CPD for Better Student Outcomes: Why We Need to Prioritise Pedagogy and Address Barriers to Professional Development
This CPD focussed post is based on the recent DFE publication The Working Lives of Teachers and Leaders - Wave 1. This was published in April 2023. Satisfaction and Impact of CPD in Schools 2023 It's heartening to see that the majority of ECTs feel satisfied with their initial teacher training, but they do feel… Continue reading CPD for Better Student Outcomes: Why We Need to Prioritise Pedagogy and Address Barriers to Professional Development
3 Must-Read Leadership Books for School Leaders: Essential Takeaways
Applying Leadership Lessons to School Leadership On my leadership journey I have read various leadership books and the insights they provide for aspiring or existing school leaders. Leadership is a critical aspect of any school. School leaders play a vital role, and have accountability for ensuring that their schools are successful in achieving their goals.… Continue reading 3 Must-Read Leadership Books for School Leaders: Essential Takeaways
A Quick Guide to Completing a School Leadership Personal Statement
Writing a School Leadership Application that will get you an Interview Completing a school leadership personal statement and application form can be a daunting task. With time invested in preparation and attention to detail, you can increase your chances of being selected for the role. I recommend signing up to the Key for School Leaders… Continue reading A Quick Guide to Completing a School Leadership Personal Statement
Preparing for an Interview in a School
Preparing for an interview for a school can be a daunting experience, but by following these steps, you can ensure that you present yourself in the best possible light to secure the job you want. One of the things we are not good at in schools is facilitating candidates to give the best possible answers.… Continue reading Preparing for an Interview in a School
Play Your Way to Better Self-Regulation: Tips and Strategies
Teaching self-regulation skills to children with SEN is a vital part of their education. It also presents real challenges depending on the complexity of their needs. Pre-Verbal children or those with communication difficulties need our constant focus on this. Many of our children have disorganised nervous systems that are always seeking out sensory stimulation to… Continue reading Play Your Way to Better Self-Regulation: Tips and Strategies
Unlock the Potential of Play: Maximising Joy, Learning Outcomes & Play Types
What is Play? While there are various definitions of play, there is no consensus on its characteristics. Some commonly cited characteristics include enjoyment, focus on process over product, and freedom from external rules. However, even heavily theorized definitions can draw on completely different characteristics. The elusiveness of play's definition has been attributed to its ambiguity… Continue reading Unlock the Potential of Play: Maximising Joy, Learning Outcomes & Play Types
Adaptive Teaching In a Special School
What is Adaptive Teaching? Adaptive teaching is an approach that teachers use to meet the learning needs of all students, regardless of their background or learning ability. The goal is to respond to each student's strengths and weaknesses. A key element is to overcome any barriers to learning that may arise. I have seen the… Continue reading Adaptive Teaching In a Special School
Developing Communication Skills For Pupils in The Classroom
One of the most significant challenges for teachers supporting children with a diagnosis of Autism is the development of language skills. This is not necessarily verbal communication. As teachers we seek to develop communication to a point where the child can intentionally communicate with as wide a range of people as possible. Yes - this… Continue reading Developing Communication Skills For Pupils in The Classroom
How Can Being Part of a Community Improve Wellbeing?
Today, we're diving into the topic of why a special school is more than just an educational institution, but a vibrant and supportive community. At my school (SEN), we believe that fostering a sense of community is crucial in creating an inclusive and empowering environment for our students. It's important to first clarify the vision… Continue reading How Can Being Part of a Community Improve Wellbeing?
How can Teaching Assistants Boost Pupils Self Esteem?
How can teaching assistants boost pupils self-esteem? Teaching assistants can be especially important in supporting pupils' self-esteem because they often work closely with individual pupils or small groups. They provide them with additional support and attention. This close relationship with teaching assistants can help pupils to feel valued and supported. In turn this can boost… Continue reading How can Teaching Assistants Boost Pupils Self Esteem?
School Leadership Lessons from “Radical Candor”
"Radical Candor" is a management guidebook written by Kim Scott. The book focuses on the importance of developing strong relationships between bosses and employees, and how to communicate effectively to achieve success. The author introduces a framework for honest communication and feedback called "Radical Candor," which combines both caring personally and challenging directly. School Leadership… Continue reading School Leadership Lessons from “Radical Candor”
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