Within my final placement, I worked with a child with special educational needs. There were a wide range of different strategies that had been put into place within in the classroom to support his needs, including a work station and a behaviour chart. During my time working with this class, the class teacher had a meeting with the SENCO, where they invited me to listen to and input on the target setting for this child.
During the meeting they reviewed previous targets set to support this child. They identified how strategies had been used to promote his progression within class. Next they discussed his physical, social and intellectual development. This child found it difficult to take turns with other within class, and was isolated socially. Although this did not effect the child currently, it was an issue the SENCO was concerned would effect him in the future.
In order to support this, I implemented ideas to support this. We devised a strategy where this child was to listen to others read during morning registration. He was able to chose who he wanted to read with; this supported his relationships with his peers in the classroom.
As I was able to work with child after the target had been set, I was able to see the positive effects that were drawn from this strategy. Once he began building relationships with the other children in his class, it was evident that these children wanted to spend time with him outside the classroom, as well as being his partner within classroom activities. This experience allowed me to understand the importance of setting targets for all children to meet their individual needs, and support pupils progression. From this experience, I will ensure that incorporate target setting to monitor progression of all pupils within the class.
Upon teaching within a mixed Key Stage 1 class, I devised a weekly plan for phonics with the class teacher. The plan involved a variety of different activities to support children knowledge and acquisition of graphemes and phonemes. Questioning is implemented into the lesson, to aid children’s understanding of the sounds they were learning.
The structure of the plan allowed children to recall prior knowledge and links to be made upon what they currently knew, and the information they were going to learn. Once this was completed, the activities supported the application of new sounds. Assessment opportunities were stated at the end of each session.
This planning was effective for the application of new sounds and supporting children’s knowledge of these phonics. The planning was structured well clearly setting out each stage of the process for acquiring new sounds, including the stages: revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. Furthermore, the assessment opportunities allowed for an understanding of pupil progression and attainment. Developing upon this, I would ensure that differentiation for different abilities was implemented. Also, I would adapt the assessment for each day, adjusting the different strategies to suit for the best possible assessment opportunity.
Whilst carrying out teaching practice, during my second year placement I taught a mathematics lesson based upon fractions. The children engaged with a starter activity, and returned to the carpet for the input of their main activity. Once we had discussed the approach as a class and identified the strategy they were to use, children returned to their tables to carry out their activity.
Through supporting the class, I wondered around the room working with different groups of pupils. I had noticed that the middle ability group had began to complete their task, however, had incorrectly used the strategy. I stopped the two groups for this ability for a mini plenary, asking them to explain to me how it was they should use the strategy. Once I was re-insured they knew what to do, I allowed the children to continue their work. Moving around the class again, and returning to this group, I identified that they had still not understand how the approach they were using, worked. I pulled this group of pupils back to the carpet, and used a different method to explain what they had to do.
In order to ensure they had all understood they strategy after the final explanation, I implemented it as their starter for the following day.
Demonstrating the ability to draw mini-plenaries and stop children to re-enforce learning is an essential skill. This showed that I had a secure understanding of the subject knowledge for the lesson I was teaching, in order to present the strategy to the children in a different way. Implementing this supported children learning and progression, as I was able to identify the children who had misunderstandings about this area of Maths. Drawing on this, I will ensure that I continue to pull children aside if they had developed misconceptions of certain areas, making sure I address misunderstandings as soon as possible. Moreover, this will be used to inform future planning.
During my final placement I worked with a child who had Special Educational Needs (SEN). It was evident this child had difficulty concentrating for long periods of time and presented challenging behaviour when given an activity the child did not wish to participate in.
Lessons I had planned catered for this child and as they had one-to-one support, the support staff was deployed well. However, an effective strategy was introduced by the SENCO at the school, called a ‘task slicer’. The image below shows the basic design of the slicer. It was laminated, and there were various different ‘task cards’ made for the slicer.
The task cards would be put onto the slicer using velcro, and set up the activities the child with SEN would carry out in the day. These activities were short, and still included tasks with the other children. For example, in the morning the child would pratise spelling whilst the other children were completing a starter for their lesson. Once the child had completed their spellings, they would join the rest of the class to participate in the lesson, for example English. The task slicer would show this activity, so the child was aware of what was expected of them. Once this child had completed the expected amount for that lesson, they would use their task slicer to see that they would have a 5 minute ‘play card’, where they were able to play with something of their choice.
Below are two examples of activities.
This strategy was effective for many reasons. It support the learning and individual needs of the child, as it gave them a structure to their day. They were able to see what they were expected to do, and how much work or time they would have to take part in until their next task. Furthermore, this was beneficial to the other members in the class, as this child often became disruptive when they were presented with the same activity for a long period of time. Activities shown on the slicer were adjustable so they could be changed in order to suit the plans for that day within school. I will take this strategy into my teaching practice, and ensure that it is use effectively if required. As a target for this, I would ensure the child who the task slicer is created for, has an input into the planning and activities they will take part in within the day.
During my second professional practice I developed my understanding of how to appropriately detail mark children’s work to support learning and progression. When marking the piece of work, I had to identify one positive aspect that could be shown in their work. Next, spellings that would be expected to have been spelled correct were noted. Finally, a gap task was created with regard to the activity the children had been completing. This is a task which supports the development of their learning about the focus topic for that lesson; specifically focusing upon an area they had struggled with or made a slight error.
Often gap tasks created required children to note where they had made mistakes, therefore they had to reflect upon their own learning and show independence.
This strategy for supporting learning was effective as it allowed children to be praised for the positive areas of their work. Children responded well to gap task; this activity supported independence and allowed children to re-visit a topic that they had learnt about within that lesson. It addressed misconceptions children had within the lesson. Furthermore, it is a useful strategy to make assessments of children’s progression and identify where they need extra support. Also, detailed marking should inform future planning for the subject. This is an area that will be implemented into future practice.
As a part of an English assessment, I had to annotate and assess a child’s work using the National Curriculum framework as an assessment tool. I had to address the areas of achievement, and where improvement could be made. During the assessment process I considered the pupils ability in both reading and writing.
It is essential for practitioners to be able to use summative assessment within English in order to support children’s learning. This is important as teachers need to have a firm understanding of the level children are working at to support their knowledge and understanding.
Within the image below, the child’s work is show, including assessments I made addressing their strengths within Literacy. These included the ability to use pronouns, understanding of different homophones, paragraphs arranged by themes and suffixes. The weaknesses identified included: incorrect use of capital letters, and spelling – homophones were incorrectly used.
The evidence demonstrates my ability to use summative assessment to assess pupils progress in English. Through assessing this work, I have developed my understanding of the English curriculum. Furthermore, I have developed and understanding of the importance of use of summative assessment in order to support pupils progression. I have identified and become aware of other approaches to support summative assessment, including using the National Curriculum as an assessment strategy. I will use these skills within future practice. From this, I would incorporate summative assessment to inform future planning to ensure pupils progression towards attaining high levels of written English.
During both my second and third professional practice placements I was able to participate within a school residential with a year four, year group.
The first trip took place at Wide Horizons Bryntysilio Centre, Wales; and the second was Mount Cook Adventure Centre, Derbyshire. During both trips I undertook a wide range of responsibility. I lead my own group of children alongside an instructor from the centre. We completed a range of team building activities, engaging and involving all children within the tasks. Responsibilities also involved building relationships with the pupils, however remaining professional throughout the trip. Alongside other members of staff from school, we had to ensure all children were settled and sleeping well.
The activities that the children engaged with supported their knowledge of various subjects. Children completed a diary entry each night about the activities they had taken part in throughout the day. This allowed children to continue literacy skills whilst on the school trip. This was then taken back to school and reflected upon through literacy lessons. Many children, who were low ability within many subjects at school, showed many other important skills during activities such as perseverance.
This experience enabled me to build strong relationships with children within this year group, as well as the members of staff from the school; an important aspect for TS8. I was able to get to know the children, building trust and relationships between myself and the pupils. Taking the lead of a group showed responsibility and allowed me to improve my confidence with the role of being the teacher. Learning was able to be carried out within the activities, and questioning from myself scaffolded the development of their knowledge. This opportunity brought out a different side to many pupils who were low attainers withing the core subjects at school; this provided ideas to be implemented into the classroom upon return to school.
Within my NQT year I would like to engage with further residential trips and will be willing to promote the idea within schools. Futhermore, as this experience has shown evidence of the importance for Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC), i will ensure LOtC lesson are conducted within my practice.