Suppporting Literacy with MS Word

A group of Support for Learning Teachers has created pupil friendly guidance sheets on using MS Word to access the curriculum, ‘Suppporting Literacy with MS Word’.

Check them out in the ASN Glow Group or in the Support for Learners folder in Education Exchange.

With acknowledgement to the work of the CALL Centre and Books for All: meeting the needs of ALL learners.

Books for All is about creating and providing access to learning materials in accessible, alternative formats. Do check out the website or enter through Glow.

Review of Teacher Education with reference to learners with difficulties

Graham Donaldson launched the report of his Review of Teacher Education last week, which he was asked to undertake by the Scottish Government. Here is a link to the Press release.

The following extracts are of particular interest:

1. Teachers should be confident in understanding and addressing the consequences of various barriers to children’s learning and their needs for additional support.

To address the serious weaknesses in literacy and numeracy, for example, all teachers need an understanding of how children, including those with additional support needs such as dyslexia, acquire and continue to develop vital skills in these fundamentals of learning throughout their schooling.”(page 19)

2. All new teachers in Scotland should be aware of the key challenges we collectively face, such as improving standards of literacy and numeracy and doing more to overcome the effects of disadvantage and deprivation on educational outcomes, and contribute personally to addressing these.

In addition to developing their subject and pedagogical knowledge and skills, therefore, all new teachers should be confident in their ability to: teach the essential skills of literacy and numeracy; address additional support needs (particularly dyslexia and autistic spectrum disorders). (page 36)

3. it is important to be explicit about the core knowledge, skills and competences that all teachers will continually refresh and improve as they move through their career and consistent in addressing them… currently they could include the following: supporting learners, including the latest legislative and research-based advice on meeting the needs of all learners including those with additional support needs such as dyslexia or autism (page 67)

The Scottish Government intends to discuss the recommendations with key partners including Dyslexia Scotland, local authorities, Schools and universities, before the Government responds.

‘Absences leave holes in learning’

“Most school systems are based on the assumption that learning is sequential and successful outcomes are the result of regular attendance.”  John Howson in TES (14/01/11)

The disruptions in attendance experienced by teachers and pupils due to the recent weather and now flu viral outbreaks have brought this home only too well. The coming months will demonstrate how well  teachers and pupils are able to bridge the holes.

Howson’s analysis of available data suggests that “the percentage of special educational needs (SEN) pupils who are classified as persistent absentees is always higher than the average for all pupils.”

“..for those who want to come to school but cannot do so, often for reasons of illness, we need to find a way of ensuring technology can help.”

Not every home is equipped with the technology to ensure all young people are included even when they are ill but many do. School edubuzz blogs had some lovely suggestions for activities during the snow closures. Teachers and pupils can keep others informed and included while they are absent with illness through the use of imaginative Apps/ photos /videos,etc. Try www.wallwisher.com ; www.glogster.com. Any other ideas?

Grid 2 Training opportunity

There are a few available places on a training course to learn about Grid 2 software.  The Grid 2 allows people with limited or unclear speech to use a computer as a voice ouput communication aid, using symbols or text to build sentences. In addition to this, you can send and receive email and sms messages, browse the web, listen to music and more.  The Grid 2 is accessible to everybody, accepting input from switches, headpointer, touchscreen, mouse, and other options too such as Eye Gaze.

Training is being held at Musselburgh Grammar on Friday 21 January starting at 9:30.  Please contact me if you are interested in attending or have questions about the software.  slawson@eastlothian.gov.uk

Using IEP formats within SEEMIS – pilot update

 

  Since 2002,  East Lothian schools have recorded IEPs targets for pupils with additional support needs on formats developed by North Ayrshire Council.  These documents are  ‘stand alone’ and do not link to our management information system.  The North Ayrshire format is also not aligned with educational targets within Curriculum for Excellence.

Following extensive research and consultation, a number of schools in East Lothian have been asked to pilot the use of  SEEMIS Pupil Plans as an alternative IEP format.  The SEEMIS Pupil Plan has been developed by City of Edinburgh Council in collaboration with SEEMIS and the Scottish Government and is now used in an increasing number of Scottish  authorities.

A decision will be taken later this session as to whether all  East Lothian schools will use this format in the future.

Schools will be kept informed of any further developments.  However if you would like further information about the pilot, please get in touch with Linda Gaughan at lgaughan@eastlothian.gov.uk

Latest on the Scottish Autism Bill

Hugh O’Donnell, MSP’s Scottish Autism Bill has now reached its most crucial and important stage- its first parliamentary vote this month. The Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee has decided not to support the Bill, believing that sufficient legislaion already exists.

For details about the latest on this bill have a look here

ASN CfE support on Glow

https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/cfechalkfaceblog/

Practitioners like to talk to other practitioners and they do this with increased confidence when what they are discussing is based on successful real life experience. To this end, a new blog is now available to support CfE in primary, ASN and early years settings. It has been set up for people who are working at the ‘chalk face’. Visit the blog to hear what other practitioners have been doing and see the links to other related support and guidance on the LTS website. The blog will be looking at ‘what could I do now and how might I do it’ in a range of areas including:

  • Experiences and Outcomes
  • Tracking and Progression
  • Assessment
  • Reporting
  • Transitions
  • Building Your Curriculum.

Sharing news and ideas

Happy New Year to all!

Another year starts and information overload will continue.  We need to find a way to access the valuable stuff and share it with all interested parties.  Is it going to be this blog or on Glow?  Or both? 

Subscribe to this blog by adding your email address to the box on the right hand side of page.  You will receive an email alert when a new post is added, saving you time and reminding you that the Support for All blog exists and that you too can share news here.  

Obviously you can’t subscribe to the email feed if you don’t get this far and are reading this post so please pass on the information to anyone who is involved with pupils with additional needs. Thanks!