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Top 10 tips for an inclusive classroom – what can teachers do to support all learners especially those with SEND?

Lorraine Petersen, SEN Consultant and former Chief Executive of nasen

Take complete ownership of your classroom and be responsible and accountable for all pupils in your class wherever or with whoever the pupils are working.

Have consistently high expectations of pupils and develop excellent subject knowledge to plan and set challenging tasks based on the accurate assessment of pupils’ prior skills, knowledge and understanding.

Use additional adults in your classroom in a very effective way and regularly monitor those pupils receiving support and the impact it is having. The additional adults should not always work with the less-able pupils, as a teacher you need to give equality of time to all.

Ensure that all your teaching enables pupils to develop skills in reading, writing, communication and mathematics. It is really important that literacy is taught across the curriculum especially for those with speech, language and communication difficulties and those who are not confident with reading and writing.

Develop a learning environment that is accessible for all your pupils. Ensure that the environment is safe, that all equipment and resources are easily accessed and that the room is supporting the knowledge and skills you want the pupils to learn, e.g. word lists, mathematical language, topic information as well as examples of pupils’ work. Don’t forget that you may need a quite area with no stimuli for those who may find their senses overloaded by too much activity.

Have a clear understanding of what the barriers to learning are for your pupils and establish routines and strategies and offer tools to help support the removal of the barriers.

Ensure that you develop a curriculum that meets the needs of all pupils, differentiating and personalising for all those you may need additional and/or different support.

Use both summative and formative assessment to inform your teaching. For pupils with SEND it may be necessary to carry out formative assessment to ascertain where the difficulties may lie but ongoing formative teacher assessment is vital to ensure that a pupil is gaining the knowledge, skills and understanding required at each step of learning.

Implement quickly any interventions necessary to support a pupil who is not making progress, ensure intervention approaches that you use are evidence-based and monitor closely to ensure they are having a positive impact on pupil progress.

Reflect on your teaching style and adapt to ensure all pupils are engaged in every lesson.  Do you speak clearly, not too quickly and use short sentences? Do you use open questions and give time for responses?  Do you use visual cues to support written communication? Do you break down learning tasks into smaller steps and allow a break between each one? Do you check understanding by asking the pupil to repeat what they have been asked to do? Do you give pupils sufficient thinking time to process information?

 

Follow Lorraine on Twitter @lorrainep1957


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