The Optimus blog

The blog that inspires leaders in the UK education sector

Inclusive learning

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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Gareth D Morewood

Maintaining an inclusive curriculum offer is more important than ever

A personalised approach and an inclusive curriculum with a broad range of subjects is essential to ensure all pupils have the chance to succeed, says Gareth D Morewood. This week I have met with the parents/carers of 22 Year 9 students. Every year I like to have a separate discussion confirming KS4...
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Gareth D Morewood

School-led SEND provision: educational psychology

Gareth D Morewood clarifies how a trainee educational psychologist can bring inclusion and positive change to SEND provision. In previous blogs we have discussed specific psychodynamic approaches to educational psychology (EP) and I have written about the role of our trainee educational...
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Gareth D Morewood

Are we becoming a truly un-inclusive society?

Including disabled children in everyday activities is essential for an inclusive school. Gareth D Morewood examines the Play Inclusion Project to highlight what schools need to do. Over the last few months I have become acutely aware of the pressures on families, schools and young people as...
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Gareth D Morewood

Autism and education: key points and resources

When providing the best provision for pupils with autism there are many aspects and people to consider. Gareth D Morewood collates why we know what we know. I have written quite a lot about autism and education, indeed it is possibly the area I have most involvement with as a SENCo, researcher and...
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Gareth D Morewood

Girls and autism: what we need to know

The growing awareness of girls with autism needs to continue. Gareth D Morewood examines what this understanding means for schools. Increasing research into autism will evidently lead to more awareness and a better understanding of pupils’ needs (see References below for a list of current research...
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Gareth D Morewood

School-led SEND provision: speech and language therapy

Speech and language therapy can have a significant impact on the children and young people in our schools. It’s a lot more than just being able to speak and communicate. With diminishing external services the pressure on schools is increasing; it is often up to schools to secure appropriate...
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Gareth D Morewood

Making the festivities fun for pupils with ASC

While Christmas can be a time of great excitement, it is important to remember that this time of year adds additional challenges to young people and families with SEND. The last week of term Young people on the autistic spectrum can find the last few days of the Christmas term very challenging –...
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