Developing pupil motivation using 10 evidence based strategies. Teaching Assistants (TAs) play a vital role in supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in the classroom. One of the most important aspects of their work is to help these pupils develop a strong motivation to learn. This is crucial because pupils with SEN may face… Continue reading How can teachers and teaching assistants motivate pupils to learn?
Here are 10 interview questions that you may be asked when interviewing to become a teaching assistant (TA)/learning support assistant (LSA). I have also added a potential answer to a couple of the questions. Generic answers are good for ticking boxes but to really impress the interviewer you need examples from your previous experience. If… Continue reading Interview Questions and Answers for Teaching Assistants.
Who doesn't love sensory play to keep their children occupied, off screens and having fun? We have been trying out a range of sensory play activities this year as with 5 children in the house days out can quickly get expensive. This year we have had a few behavioural challenges that we felt were driven… Continue reading Sensory Play With Gelli Bath
A Spooky Sensory Experience. Are You A Monster? Halloween Sensory Story is similar to Are You An Elf? and Am I a Pirate? These are "Dressing Up" Sensory Stories. The idea is that each element of the story will be revealed from a bag or box and worn by the learner, this means these sensory… Continue reading Halloween Sensory Story: Are You A Monster?
This post is based on "Leading a Team" training I delivered to colleagues in Kent special schools. It is aimed at ECTs, Teachers, and HLTAs. Anyone stepping up to lead a class in a special school becomes a leader of a team. This is usually of a team of Teaching or Learning Support Assistants (TA/LSA).… Continue reading Leading A Team For SEN Teachers/ECTs
When Mark Zuckerberg announced Facebook's rebranding into Meta in October 2021 the word Metaverse spread throughout the world. To see the potential benefits and pitfalls of this for education we need to look beyond the publicity and hype. The vast majority of people are detached from the tech-rabbit hole of blockchain, crypto and AI. What… Continue reading Education and the Metaverse
This is a record of the #SENexchange discussion from 2nd February 2022. We based the chat on the article: The tip of the iceberg: SEND, masking and multiple needs written by regular discussion contributor Sara Alston. I have edited some responses for clarity. A Discussion on Masking and Learning Needs at School and Home. How… Continue reading Masking, Behaviour, and Learning Needs.
This is a record of the January 2022 #SENexchange discussion of themes from this brand new free document. A beginners guide to Ableism tapestry.info/a-beginners-gu… This topic is so important. Emily Lees, an autistic speech and Language Therapist wrote the guide. This should be read by everyone who works in the field of SEN. Our write-ups… Continue reading Discussing A Beginners Guide To Ableism
How doesn't love a chance to dress up! This pirate themed sensory story is a little different to our others. I have tried to make it accessible to learners who need minimal language and repetition. I have tried to write for the earlier stages of our sensory story progression stages. Pirate Themed Sensory Story This… Continue reading Am I a Pirate? Sensory Story
Individual interaction styles can have a huge impact on learning. When working with young people with SEN there are many different strategies and approaches to engage them in learning. What is often overlooked is the adult's interaction style. This can influence not only engagement but behaviour, wellbeing and, well all outcomes really. I would like… Continue reading Develop Authentic Interaction Styles To Improve Learning
A Reformed Functionalist. Acting in a certain way to get out of something is commonplace for many children and young people. And adults come to that. If you have attended a PBS (positive behaviour support) course or any behaviour training you may have heard the term functions of behaviour. Attempts to get away from, out… Continue reading Functions of Behaviour: Fear and Escape
This is a record of an #SENexchange online discussion on Making Schools Listen: Amplifying Parent Voice in Education. This aligns with value 5 of the School of Joy Approach - community and coproduction. A few years ago I co-wrote a post with Claire Ryan on school/parent partnership. I wrote it from the perspective of the… Continue reading Making Schools Listen: Amplifying Parent Voice In Education
The Town and Country Sensory Story was written for the cornerstones industrial revolution topic. This was designed to be meaningful for PMLD learners as well as their peers so they can all take something away from the shared experience of multi-sensory storytelling. If you are interested in finding out more about sensory stories have a… Continue reading Town and Country Sensory Story
It is not uncommon to see EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plans) targets linked to Social Skills, Play and Peer Interactions However these often present unique challenges to children with SEND and especially autistic children. These challenges go beyond “they don’t know how”. It is much more complex than that. When designing interventions to meet… Continue reading Peer Interactions, Social Skills, and Play: EHCP Targets
Why should you give children breaks to help them learn? This post was inspired by an overheard conversation and links two issues. Access to planned interventions and the provision of learning breaks throughout the day. A parent of an autistic child was questioning whether a school should have stopped their child from attending their sensory… Continue reading Using Breaks To Enhance Learning
Our Charles Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle multi-sensory story was Written for a Key Stage 4 class. To link with the cornerstones topic “Darwin’s Delight”. There is some quite complex vocabulary so this story fits into our stage 5 immersive storytelling band. I wrote this more for SLD pupils than PMLD but you can adapt… Continue reading Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle Multi-Sensory Story
Our recruitment and interview process posts are very popular. However we haven't talked about the teaching interview activity. One of the questions we get asked is around the teaching side of the interview process. Candidates for teaching positions almost always have to demonstrate their teaching skills through an observed teaching activity. During the interview process… Continue reading The SEND Interview Teaching Activity
If your child has a disability or issues with mobility, it's important to make the home environment comfortable, safe and accessible. The traditional home layout will not always work. Especially if your child uses a wheelchair. When it comes to modifying the home it's important to create a space where your child isn't just safe… Continue reading Ways of Making Our Homes Comfortable for Children with Disabilities
In this post, we will look at two great resources to buy and two free to make maths manipulatives. As an SEN teacher, you will be used to making the most of what you have. Specialist sensory toys, resources, and equipment are usually very expensive. This means the SEN teacher needs to get creative when… Continue reading Make Your Own Maths Manipulatives
Why Developing Child Voice in SEND is a safeguarding priority it is essential you ensure child voice is a top priority in the inclusive classroom. You cannot overstate the importance of providing children with opportunities to demonstrate choices throughout their education. In early years education, this is acknowledged through EYFS documents (Early Years Foundation Stage).… Continue reading Child Voice, AAC, and Safeguarding