Quality and inclusive teaching environment

Following this initial course I was asked by the Headteacher to chair the next staff meeting, giving a presentation on provision mapping. I prepared a PowerPoint presentation for the meeting (a good example of a PowerPoint presentation for the use in staff meetings on the subject of provision mapping can be found at: I also prepared a folder for each member of staff containing a handout (see appendix (ii)) and examples of provision maps taken from the: http://www.eriding.

net/inclusion/provision_mapping.shtml website. I also downloaded some staff meeting consultation sheets from the above website (see appendix (iii)).After the PowerPoint presentation, there was a short question and answer session, where I was able to answer the staff’s queries on the provision mapping process. I then asked them to fill in the staff consultation sheets.

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These I used to inform my planning when drafting up the provision map. The sheets are used to flag up any concerns that a teacher may have regarding particular pupils that the SENCO may be unaware of. Fortunately, because we are such a small school, we are in a position to know all of our pupils very well, there were no surprises flagged up on our consultation forms.I feel that the staff meeting went very well, especially considering it was the first that I had ever chaired and my state of nervousness. I was able to answer all the staff’s questions confidently. The Headteacher was very pleased with how it went and commented on and how well prepared I was and how good the presentation and the resources I used were.

 The next step was for me to produce a provision list. This was a list of all the SEN resources, provisions and interventions that we currently have in school. I then went through the list and deleted all the out of date resources and things that we no longer use (a copy of this list can be seen in appendix (iv)). I then physically threw away any out of date materials and things that we never use. I made the list in the hope that it would flag up any gaps in provision.It was successful in doing this as it showed that we had more literacy resources that numeracy. I was then faced with the task of sourcing possible numeracy interventions to compensate for this.

To address this I contacted the Lexia group who has supplied us with a literacy software package to trial. They were very helpful and agreed to also let us trial their numeracy software, ‘Symphony’. I also contacted RMmaths, who have been less helpful.

Apparently they don’t send out free trials, you’re expected to spend over a thousand pounds for a software package that you have no personal experience of, but that they say works! I’m currently still chasing the latter and trying to convince then to let us trial it fro free.When I had completed the provision list I made this into my first provision map (appendix (v). This is what I took with me to my next provision map meeting/course. At this session we all looked at each other’s maps. It was quite extraordinary how they all differentiated from one another so much. I found this very interesting as it showed me where to go with our map next. In my next SEN time at work I made a more personalised provision map (appendix (vi)).

This I intend to review termly. I showed this to the Headteacher who was very impressed. He was so impressed with it that he asked me to work with him in developing an action plan for his next meeting with the School Improvement Partner (SIP), John Heap. He was surprised with how well it linked into the school’s personalisation programme, which everyone seems to be talking about at the moment.

Personalised learning is an area that our school is very eager to expand on and exploit to the advantage of our pupil’s with SEN. However, I feel that this is not a new initiative but one that has been the backbone of education for many years, the 1944 Education Act urges schools to provide children with “an education appropriate to the abilities, aptitudes and needs” of every pupil. Surely this is what personalisation is all about, high-quality teaching that is based on what we know about our children’s needs. I feel that ‘personalised learning’ is the latest educational whim currently being pushed to the forefront of educational practices.Not so long ago the ‘buzz phrase’ was VAK (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic) learning, and categorising children into these three groups.

It wasn’t long before people such as Baroness Greenfield began to disagree with this and dismiss them as a waste of time (Henry,2007). I think that we need to recognise the various fads that enter the world of education. From these it is important to then be able to recognise which ones are worth grabbing onto and putting into practice.

I do feel that personalised learning, if implemented effectively, is a good practice to adopt. This may be easier for smaller settings. Teachers who have to contend with large class sizes may be unable to give pupils one to one time. There are possible ways forward in these scenarios such as smaller groups supported by teaching assistants, but ideally the size of the classes needs to be addressed and reduced.Personalised learning is also linked to the ECM agenda, by focusing on children achieving the best that they can.

 The Primary National Strategy (PNS) developed the ‘waves’ model to represent how various levels of intervention can best be understood and implemented in and organised manner. The above model of intervention originates from the hypothesis that Wave 1 is the effective inclusion of all children in excellent learning and teaching. The model should enable settings to plan provision systematically and it can be a starting point for any setting wishing to review their provision. The Waves are a way of classifying provision, not categorising children. The ‘Waves of Support’ correspond with the graduated move towards meeting children’s needs as set out in the SEN Code of Practice.Wave 1 takes into account the learning needs of all the children in the classroom, in a quality and inclusive teaching environment.

 Wave 2 is used to describe additional and time-limited interventions that are provided for some children who need assistance to facilitate their progress, to enable them to work at or above age-related expectations.Wave 3 describes very specific targeted provision that is needed by a minority of children where it is necessary to provide highly personalised intervention to accelerate progress or enable children to fulfil their potential. This may involve the child having one-to-one support or specialist interventions. I feel that the personalised, highly tailored strategies that children should receive through Wave 3 interventions would be beneficial for all children on the SEN register, ranging from those who are entered at ‘Cause for Concern’ level right through to those who have a statement attached.

This is something that the government’s SEN strategy Removing Barriers to Achievement (RBA) is also keen to expand on.