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SEN in the Mainstream Classroom: Important Skills for the Teacher

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Marie Velasco

on 7 January 2016

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Transcript of SEN in the Mainstream Classroom: Important Skills for the Teacher

Special Educational
Needs: The Role of
the Mainstream

Gráinne Boyle
MA: Educational Psychology

Planning for SEN in your new classroom

'Red Flagged'

Children that already access learning support
Handover with another teacher
Academic history
Parent report


Entrance exam results
Diagnostic assessments
Assessment of learning
Assessment for learning
Qualitative Observations

Does the child prefer some subjects and avoid others
Does their academic ability match their verbal ability
Have they regressed during the summer period
Have they found a social group and interact with other children
Do they take longer than other children to settle - continued anxiety or behaviour diffiulties
What are SENs?

Every child will have an SEN at some point
of their educational career

DSIB Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEN) Educational needs that are different from those of the majority of students. They include those who need additional support or challenge in their learning.

1. Behavioural, Social, Emotional
2. Sensory and Physical
3. Medical Conditions or Health Related Disability
4. Communication and Interaction: This does not include students with additional language needs.
5. Learning
6. Gifted and Talented
7. Disabled
Communication with parents is paramount to the success of an intervention
Dos and Don't for communicating with parents regarding their child with SEN

Always abide by the school policy for communication with parents
Don't use diagnostic language
Say what you see: Use examples and refer to previous documented communication and interventions.
Use the sandwich approach
End on a positive note: Give options
Dos and Don'ts continued ......

Cc senior staff or relevant learning support professionals in important communication
Before meetings set an agenda so parents know what to expect
Provide documents in advance - Be mindful that parents may have learning difficulties/language difficulties themselves
Follow up meetings with a quick re-cap on what and why things were decided
A word on IEPs

Short and to the point
Children, parents, classroom teachers and learning support teachers should be part of the process and know their goals
Consider all the resources
Send a copy of the IEP to all relevant professionals
Track and record all progress on the IEP document
Don't take responses personally
Accommodating the child with SEN in the classroom:

Patience and understanding
Differentiation: Including homework
Gráinne Boyle
Educational Psychologist
License number:CDA-PL-0001049 grainneedpsych@gmail.com
When is a problem a problem?

Every child will have a special educational need a some point of their academic career - strengths, weaknesses, illnesses, accidents, emotional trauma

No need to label in the early days

Always important to intervene as early as the problem is noted.
Reports are confidential - Store them in a locked cupboard
When communication with parents and professionals, share information across parties. For example, share a communication book across settings or cc everyone in emails.
Always make a date for follow up meetings.
Ask everyone to share their goals across settings, and likewise, share IEP goals.
Build relationships

Get to know the child
Offer the parents appropriate lines of communication
Be flexible with outside professionals
Make time for IEP meetings
Children spend 190 days in
school each year (UK)

The school as a focal point for
the community and family

Mainstream class teacher is one
of the best placed professionals
to identify and highlight need.

Co-ordinate efforts towards an intervention for the child.
Choosing appropriate times for intervention
Tier 1: Initial Intervention

Differentiated Teaching:
Different goals
Different methods

Extra Input:
Extra practice
Extra homework

More detailed explanation

Tier 2: School Support

When classroom support hasn't had the desired affect
Referral to the learning support department
Could be: In-class support from a learning support teacher OR withdrawal
More specialised intervention - May include an evidenced based programme
Tier 3: School Support Plus

Child needs supplemental support

Educational Psychology
Occupational Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy
Teacher continues to be involved and the role changes
Accommodations for SEN
Physical & Environmental Accommodations

Handouts on cream paper
Prime seat
Grips for pencils
Bigger print
Slanted desk
Exam board accommodations

Vary depending on curriculum

Must be applied for ahead of time

Must be normal practice

Usually require Psychologist or SEN specialist testing

Welcome to the can of worms!
Learning about special educational needs is a journey.
I am looking forward to learning with you!
Full transcript