SEN – The golden thread

The Golden Thread? Well, as they say, what works for boys works for girls, and in my opinion, what works for children with SEN works for all – albeit with differentiation!

So, what do we as teachers “do” and how does this “thread” fit in?

  1. Assess
  2. Plan whole class teaching and learning
  3. Plan questioning
  4. Plan key vocab to teach
  5. Plan tasks that encourage independent learning
  6. Make displays to enthuse and enhance learning
  7. Plan interventions
  8. Mark
  9. Feedback
  10. Assess…and so it goes on

SEN should be the thread that runs through the above ten activities. It’s just good, well thought through planning and differentiation, ensuring all learners are supported and included by whatever resources e.g. visual, concrete, human etc.

The job of the SENCo is to support teachers with ideas of how to make this happen. For example when teaching narrative writing, linked to the Stone Age, use images and key question words to aid story planning:

Woolly mammoth scene

Who?

What?

Where?

What doing?

What happened?

Other  pictures could be used to stimulate ideas and this approach could be used across the class, but would be especially helpful for children working at P scales or the old Level 1. Pictures / key words could be drawn/ written to help answer each “W” question. Then a recordable device could be used to enable the child to tell their story. If appropriate, the child could then be supported in transcribing it.

This would support the following for writing:

P8 – joins in group story writing, dictates extended text for a picture

1C – uses pictures to plan story events / writes simple sentences sometimes using punctuation

Hopefully, by breaking the story writing task down like this, supporting with visuals and key question words, working memory will be freed up, enabling the child to just focus on one element at a time,  not be overwhelmed and be successful!

Image credit – Image made with Widgit – Communicate in Print

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