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Essential SENCO reources advice!

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by Hoekman, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Hoekman

    Hoekman New commenter

    Hi all, I am an experienced secondary teacher about to embark on my first role as SENCO in an international primary school in Holland. We will be using IPC and British curriculum. I have been asked what I want in terms of resources and would appreciate advice on the following:

    - recommended literacy and numeracy tests for primary

    - the best resources for interventions in maths/literacy/communication (e.g. Numicon etc)

    - any admin tips - is a planner/Mark book still useful?

    Lastly any other tips you might have for a starting up SENCO - school is brand new so I have the opportunity to set things up from scratch in the best way possible!

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2017
  2. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    I am not Primary but I am sure colleagues will help re suitable resources, that said your curriculum should be ' needs led ' and to that end your ' list ' should address this. I think you need to ensure that you have good policy docs in situ which are reflected in practice and that crucially your identification of children with SEND is clear and transparent to all stakeholders.You want to develop staff who are sensitive to the SEND agenda and confident in delivering to a range of learners so it would make sense to audit their skills and invest in a CPD programme early on.You will need to think carefully about your assessment procedures ( up to schools to decide how best to approach ) and AFL. My initial reaction to a mark book is no - what would you write 5/10 - me as nothing .... new school will have strong online facilities for assessment, reporting and recording .Perhaps your contribution to this would be to produce a SEND Handbook so staff can be informed, empowered and proactive ? I read recently that Dutch children are the ' happiest ' in the world because of the culture / ways that schools work which is very encouraging .....
    Dodros likes this.
  3. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    Minnie me has said it all and I'd just like to stress that your quintessential resources are human, not material. A SENCO can only be as effective as the people around them, whether classroom assistants, teaching staff, school leadership, outside agencies (Educational psychologist? Speech and languagte therapist? Occupational therapist? Audiologist? Visual impairment service?) and the parents of the children with learning difficulties. You particularly need to encourage the teaching staff and the classroom assistants to be your eyes and ears, passing on their concerns in the knowledge that you will act upon them and that your door is always open.

    If you are subject to UK SEND legislation, don't forget the "D" for disability, which means you must ensure that the school is accessible and inclusive towards everybody, not just the students, but also adult staff and visitors, and as well as installing the proverbial ramp for wheelchair users you need to address the invisible barriers, e.g. supplying information in a variety of formats, ensuring your school website is accessible to all.

    On the subject of SEN provision in the Netherlands, I maintain a bibliography of modern foreign languages and special educational needs on my website and quite a few of the over 2000 references are in Dutch. One of my favourite pieces is an article entitled "Downsyndroom en vreemde taalverwerving" about children with Down syndrome learning a foreign language. The original article can be found online in the journal issue at http://www.downsyndroom.nl/download/down+up/2008/DU84.pdf. It doesn't ignore the hurdles to be surmounted in SEN provision but it also leaves the reader with the message that anything is possible if the will is there. The major categories of SEN (MLD, SpLD, SLCN, SEMH, PD, HI, VI) are all covered in the Dutch professional literature on SEN, with the possible exception of autistic spectrum conditions, which have a much higher profile here in the English educational system than they do in the schools of continental Europe. I don't know whether there might be cultural factors at play here.
    minnie me likes this.

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