Success for all Students in Inclusion Classes
On average a mainstream school can have up to 30 students in any given class. This can make it difficult for teachers to provide the additional support that students with preferred learning styles may need. Within my environment providing this support is much easier as the classes are considerably smaller. Staff from all departments make it their business to know every child in the school by name and are mostly able to build professional and positive relationships with each of the students. Rewarding success and showing students that you care (within the constraints of your setting), conversing with them and demonstrating a genuine interest in who your students are as people, not only builds rapport but embeds a feeling of safety, respect, trust and reinforces positive expectations around the students learning and behaviour.
Teaching a class that contains students with mixed abilities and styles means that I have to use teaching methods and techniques that will allow me to set achievable outcomes for the students and in turn allowing them to gain a successful and enjoyable experience in class.
This might mean that;
• Some students will need me to provide them with examples on a topic that they can identify with. For example, teaching students about Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but modernizing it and applying the story to two teenagers that live in postcodes that don’t get on.
• Some students may need me to allow them additional time to analyze the learning before they can feedback and demonstrate their understanding.
• I may need to provide some of the students with a variation of the resources that are being used during a lesson.
• Some students may need me to model an answer before they understand what it is that I am asking them to do.
• Some students may need to see a demonstration of what they are supposed to be doing (woodwork, cooking etc.) in order to understand and complete the task.
It is important that the students know that I am there to provide support wherever it is needed. Additionally, it is also important that I observe my students and be aware of a change of learning styles, students that are finding it difficult to grasp concepts and may need additional support and provide a platform for all students to have a voice in class.
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Every student should be given fair and equal opportunities to learn, be assessed and provide feedback. For example, due to the additional educational needs of some of the students at Westside, I provide ongoing assessments to ensure that they have an understanding of the subject that I am teaching. I may require a written assessment for students that are of a higher ability and provide a questioning assessment for those that do not respond well to writing for long periods of time. Questioning assessments allow the student to verbalize their responses.
In order to use this types of assessment, a teacher must ensure that the work provided is differentiated to meet the needs of the students learning ability and style.
At Westside the students are assessed by the SEN Officer, using VAK (Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic). Using this system the students learning style can be included in the student’s individual learning plan.