Abi Henry, Mathematics School Direct PGCE trainee, reflects on our recent SEND Conference.

The day started with an informative session from Newcastle School Improvement Services about the massive legislative changes that have taken place within SEN from September 2014 as part of the Children’s and Families Act 2014.  This clearly laid out the responsibilities and expectations on teachers to support all children.  It is good to understand the framework in which the profession we are training for sits.


This was followed by 4 workshops to explore differing needs and how best to differentiate a lesson to ensure the needs of all pupils can be met.  The sessions were varied in their content but also their delivery which would have suited most learners.


The speakers were well informed and generous with their time and knowledge.  They used good techniques to make us consider how if feels to be a child with SEN and what measures we can take to alleviate the daily stresses they may feel.  We all have a  responsibility to make sure school is a positive and pleasurable opportunity for young people who are far more likely to learn if they are happy.


In terms of what I will take away and plan to try out over the coming weeks:

  • Plan your lesson for the children and then add the subject specific information to the lesson
  • Have ‘Secret Heros’ – when on yard duty give a child what appears to be a random fact to a question you will ask in a later lesson – it allows all children to succeed and build confidence answering questions in the classroom.
  • If a child needs a worksheet printed in a certain colour just print them all in that colour; don’t single them out.
  • Use word to check the readability of the work you produce (the +5 rule).

Thank you to everyone for organising!

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