Sir Henry Fermor's student population is more diverse than ever. Teaching inclusively enables all students, whatever their circumstances, to enjoy the fullest possible learning experience. It benefits all students because it values their individual strengths and contributions and makes the learning experience richer and more diverse for everyone.
From the moment children join us we are assessing them: not through tests but through observations and questioning. All children have different starting points, different experiences and different responses to teaching and learning. Our first principle is ‘quality first teaching’: this means that the class teacher has a responsibility to ensure that all members of the class, irrespective of needs, feel included, can access work at the right level and achieve.This will involve teachers considering groupings; planning work in different ways and at different levels. This is known as differentiation. Teachers differentiate through:
- How much adult guidance is given – e.g an adult may work alongside the child;
- Giving each child careful feedback about each piece of work, and probing understanding with questions and prompts;
- How much scaffolding is given – e.g. there may be prompts for each paragraph of writing;
- How much is expected – e.g. asking the child to complete 5 calculations rather than 10;
- How much repetition there is e.g. understanding that some children need to repeat tasks many times to secure understanding;
- How much time is given e.g. allowing more time to complete a task;
- The level of challenge in the set task and how much independence is expected e,g, setting different tasks with different degrees of challenge
We know that when teachers get this right, all children experience success and achieve good progress.
How do we make sure that all teachers teach in the inclusive way we aspire to?
We know that high quality teaching and skilful support makes a big difference to the progress of children with SEND. Making sure that this happens in all our classrooms is one of the most important things that we as school leaders do.
Sir Henry Fermor's Leadership Team works constantly with teachers and support staff to develop effective teaching and support for all children including those with SEND . Teachers are observed, observe, team teach and attend regular staff meetings which focus on:
- carefully differentiated planning, which ensures that all children are able to make good progress;
- using a wide variety of teaching approaches, including guiding learning through demonstration;
- providing a stimulating, rich and interactive classroom environment;
- using regular, clear and rigorous assessments that help teachers to plan next steps and to track pupils’ progress and identify gaps in their understanding;
- helping all children to develop their skills as learners – and to persevere when they find learning difficult.
You can read more about how we support good learning in our whole school Teaching and Learning Policy
Do staff understand special needs?
All staff have a good core awareness of Special Needs. We also have regular training and guidance to meet the needs of our children. This is often provided by outside professionals supporting children in our school e.g. recent training on ‘working memory’ from our Educational Psychologist, developing communication skills through the use of video from our Language and Communication Therapist and most recently, support staff training on managing distractions from our Occupational Therapist.
We provide/access specialist training for Teachers and Teaching Assistants as relevant for those who support children with the most complex needs – for example a Specific Learning Difficulty, a Visual Impairment, or Autism.
All staff new to the school have an induction programme which includes detailed information about the range of pupils in her/his class, personal support and detailed guidance on how to provide high quality teaching and support. We use the knowledge of parents/carers to do this.
As soon as we know that a child is coming to our school with particular needs, we review our provision and provide relevant on-going training. In particular, we will provide relevant training and guidance for your child’s teacher on meeting any specific needs.