Supporting pupil and parent voice in Statutory Annual Reviews : #SEND Reforms


The pupils are firmly at the heart of Camberwell Park School and having established ways of including pupil voice in all aspects of our work is something already embedded into the school.

We already had a ‘pupil voice’ booklet as part of the statutory annual review process. This included sections about what the pupils like, dislike about school, their achievements, what helps them to learn and what they have to look forward to in the future. The booklets were completed in the classroom supported by a member of the pupils’ class team prior to the review using symbols and other total communication strategies to ensure meaningful access where necessary. Where ever we have felt it appropriate and possible the pupils have attended part of their annual review meeting to present their report and their report has always been included as part of the annual review minutes. Considering how we could…

View original post 1,181 more words

The future’s special

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

There are times when I am really proud of my kids.  A lot of the time I am exasperated by them (particularly when they are refusing to eat my lovingly prepared lasagne) , or exhausted by them (early mornings, anyone?), or nothing-much-at-all-they-are-just-there-cluttering-up-the-house-with-their-shoes by them (that’s a good one, that is), but sometimes, every so often, I am proud of them.  It doesn’t tend to happen upon receipt of school report/at parents’ evening (certainly not enough to make me want to publish it on Facebook), neither do I feel it especially much when they take to the stage, although those moments are nice (well, my children on the stage, that is); no, I feel it most when I see them around people with disabilities.  That’s when I feel most proud of them.  That’s when I feel that in some way I might actually be doing a reasonable job at this mothering…

View original post 738 more words

#SENexchange discussion topics. Your suggestions so far


photo SEN exchange

We are very much looking forward to starting our weekly discussions with you each Wednesday, 7.30 – 8 pm from 15th April. As in our initial blog our idea is for the weekly discussion to be the start of a ‘themed’ week where contributors could continue to share ideas, thoughts, resources etc. on the topic discussed.

We have been really pleased that many of you have already suggested ideas for discussion which we have been collating. The suggestions so far are listed below.

Please continue to tell us your thoughts about discussion topic ideas and we will make sure they are considered. You might favour a topic already on the list or have thoughts about another area for discussion? You can tell us your thoughts by commenting on this blog or by tweeting us @SENexchange.

It would be really nice to broaden some of our discussion questions to more…

View original post 253 more words

SEN Information and resources: Let the #SENexchange begin! A collection of websites, charities, bloggers and tweeters


A very warm welcome to all our readers.

For this post we thought it would be useful to share a range of information relevant to the SEND community. We are aware that these lists are by no means exhaustive but this post is designed as a starting point to collate some useful information. Please feel free to suggest additions to the existing lists in the comments section of this post or tweet them to us @SENexchange and we may add it to this post. If there are other lists you think may also be useful to add – let us know your thoughts on that too.

Useful charities and websites:

– National Autistic Society  (NAS) : Leading UK charity for people with Autism (@autism)

– Scope: A charity focussing needs associated with Cerebral Palsy and all disabilities ( @scope)

-British Dyslexia Association ( @BDAdyslexia)

– The Muscular Dystrophy Association

– The Down’s…

View original post 385 more words

Manifesto for change


Just before the half-term break I was fortunate enough to attend the Educational Rights Alliance ‘un-conference’ on inclusion, supported by Irwin Mitchell, and was lucky to meet Polly Sweeney the co-author of the excellent set of resources compiled of factsheets and template letters.

The event was a gathering of parents/carers, SENCos, academics, lawyers, headteachers and deputies and one young man, Nye, who started the proceedings with his views on what school is like for a child with autism.  This was quite a unique event; motivated by a shared desire for change.  And, I have to say, it was a privilege to attend.

ERA Photo

I was there nice and early and took the opportunity for some ‘therapeutic chair arranging’ (see picture!) It was nice to chat with people as they arrived and take the time to stop and think – having time to pause is a luxury that the SENCo…

View original post 584 more words

Are you really inclusive?


I have been ready many tweets/blog posts about Inclusion and inclusive practice for the last couple of months.

I have written something a little while back about what Inclusion means to me which you can read here

along with a more recent post about whether we are intact all teachers of SEND here.

Most recently I found an image by The Inclusive Class which I liked very much. However, it contained many american words and I felt was missing a little. Therefore, using some help from others such as @SimonKnight100, @NancyGedge and @JulesDaulby to mention a few I have rewritten it slightly.

View original post 307 more words

Is it worth the time… by @ASTSupportAAli


I have been battling with myself as to whether spending time preparing a ‘snazzy’ PowerPoint and the accompanying resources is simply worth it? I guess, with my role, I don’t know if I can justify spending time doing this… BUT

I have been considering:
  • Does it make a difference to the actual learning?
  • Does it show I have made an effort and I expect that from my students?
  • Does it make no difference what so ever, and therefore a waste of time?
  • Does it raise engagement with the lesson as a stimulus?
  • Does it create a personal element to the lessons?
  • Visuals are clearly necessary for SEN/D students or in MFL for example.
  • Is less more?

I guess, what I mean by snazzy isn’t an overload of animations and transitions. It is not an abundance of colour and busyness of slides.

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 19.22.35

(I am fully aware of the difficulties some students…

View original post 228 more words

Beyond Special Education


Beyond Special Education

By Simon Knight

As part of a panel at the London Festival of Education I had the opportunity to discuss the nature of transition beyond special schools for young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This addressed not just the pragmatics of a person with complex and highly individualised needs moving from one education setting to another, but also the broader issues around the opportunities available beyond education.

A statistic which I mentioned as part of the discussion was that, according to the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities (2011), 65% of those with a learning disability would like to be employed and yet only 6.8% (Department of Health 2014) are. It made me think about how much effort and financial support is being given to addressing social mobility for those from challenging economic backgrounds, through organisations such as the Sutton Trust and the Education Endowment…

View original post 815 more words

World Book day. Teaching ‘Classics’ to Children with SEND


Yesterday I was contacted by @GuardianTeach and invited to share my favourite story for children with special educational needs ahead of World Book Day tomorrow. I gave this some thought. Of course I want to contribute, I always have something to say! On deeper thought, it isn’t quite that simple. It has to be age appropriate and also on the cognitive level of the children. I decided to recount one of my favourite sessions with my Key stage 3 class.

One of the most challenging things I do in literacy is to share the Classics with the children. They are entitled to the wonderful stories written by Shakespeare and William Golding in the same way that all children are. I have fond memories of acting out the balcony scene with KS3 a few years ago. Although the children had many additional needs, both medical and learning difficulties, they still enjoyed…

View original post 522 more words