The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Inclusive learning

Gareth D Morewood

Disablist bullying has no place in our schools, so why is it on the rise?

We have a duty to ensure that all pupils can learn without prejudice, but recent statistics prove that there's still work to be done. A few years ago we took part in a project co-led by the Anti-Bullying Alliance and World of Inclusion to challenge disablist bullying in schools. In all my time...
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Joanna Grace

Pupils with SEND are just the tip of the iceberg

The mark of true inclusion is that all pupils benefit, not just those with SEND. Joanna Grace explains why it's important to see the bigger picture. In my work at The Sensory Projects , I provide training to settings and organisations looking to better understand the sensory world. One day I could...
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Gareth D Morewood

Supporting positive paths to adulthood

Offering a variety of subjects to Year 9 pupils, going beyond the core allocation, is integral to our support for the next generation of successful adults. I have written previously about the importance of an inclusive curriculum and how we define success ; never has this been a more vital element...
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Gareth D Morewood

How to develop a whole-school approach to literacy

There are several ways for SENCOs to develop a 'core offer' of inclusive literacy support. Many schools will have their own approaches, but here are some tried and tested suggestions. Many SENCOs have a range of responsibilities in their schools. Previously, I had been charged with developing a...
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Sofia Correia A...

Make peer-to-peer support and inclusion legendary at your school

Find out how personalised inclusion strategies and peer-to-peer support can help pupils with autism overcome barriers they may face in the classroom. Focusing on needs In order to have an effective inclusive environment, strategies to help children with autism communicate their wants and needs...
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Evie Prysor-Jones

Simple strategies to achieve assessment basics

Learn practical strategies to help pupils with SEN get the basics of test vocabulary, spelling and times tables. It's unlikely any pupil enjoys the exam period, but for pupils with SEN, even the ethos surrounding tests can be enough to provoke stress and self-doubt. As Jean Gross points out in her...
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Simon Yates

SEND assessment: giving up control of lesson observations

Lessons at a special school can involve at least 7 activities happening at once. Simon Yates explains why this has encouraged Chailey Heritage Foundation to change how they monitor the quality of teaching. In my previous blogs on SEND assessment, measuring our progress, not the pupil’s and facing...
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Simon Yates

SEND assessment: measuring our progress, not the pupil’s

A learner driven, fluid and inclusive assessment model: is such a thing possible? Simon Yates, headteacher at the Chailey Heritage Foundation thinks it is. I am headteacher of a charity-run special school for children and young people with severe and complex medical, physical difficulties, with a...
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Gareth D Morewood

How inclusive is assessment?

With the exam season in full swing, Gareth Morewood explores the changes to assessment that SENCOs need to be aware of. A few weeks ago in SENCology we considered how important an inclusive curriculum is, and prior to that, access arrangements and GCSE exams . Over the last few months one thing...
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Gareth D Morewood

Peer support for autistic pupils: Bobby’s story

There are a few simple strategies to encourage peer support for pupils with SEND. Gareth Morewood explains. I have previously stressed the importance of peer education as part of being an inclusive school, particularly with regard to autistic students . To further understand how peer support works...
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