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Discussion in 'Primary' started by harsh-but-fair, Apr 14, 2012.
Welcome to TES, daywalker.
I have a TA for a few hours a week. I share her with 3 other classes. I use her in a variety of ways, not always with SEN children.
At least once a week, she takes the majority of the class for a pre planned ICT session while I take an intervention group. It is a much better use our time if I do the teaching and she does the supervising. She is more than happy with this arrangement. I will ask her to have a focus group in a lesson, as I will have a focus group. She will be very clear on the objectives and outcomes of these lessons. Sometimes I will ask her to take intervention groups out. I will usually give her time to plan this, and organise resources. I see a TA as a valuable person to aid the children's learning, and not just someone to sit with the 'bottom group'.
We have to show in our weekly timetables how the TAs are being deployed for every minute of their day!
Work with groups/individuals in lesson time, directed by teachers
Run withdrawal/catch-up/intervention groups, directed by teachers
Prepare resources/photocopy etc
Mount work, prepare and put up displays (not all displays in school, some are done by teachers - the TAs tend to do the whole school / corridor ones rather than the class ones)
Do break duty
Some work as lunchtime supervisors
Some do PPA cover, planned by the teacher
Do first aid duty
Collect and record money (not dinner money)
Cover lessons at short notice, with or without teacher planning
Probably loads more, too, but I can't think of anything else at the moment.
Should have said: each class has a full time TA.
Whilst they are very valuable in lots of different ways, none of our TAs have any specialised qualifiations and a couple need very, very clear explanations throughout lesson time to make sure they understand what they are being asked to do.
One way I'm sure we could improve how we use TAs is to pay them for an hour or so more each week so they have time to meet with the class teacher before/after school to discuss the week. The TA I usually have in my class is fab, but she arrives with the children and leaves just before them. She does 3 break duties per week and every lunchtime, so I have literally <u>no</u> time to talk to her or plan with her outside lesson time.
elizabeth 1972 I totally agree, that would make such a huge difference to my day, even just 20 mins before and after school, or 1 hour each week for a planning meeting would be sooo valuable
Thank you everyone - it's nice to also know I'm not the only one on TES on a Saturday night; the last one before our return to work too!!
My school is fairly lucky. TAs start 15 min before the children come in , so that planning can be shared with them / they help to prepare resources. They also work for an hour after school. Once a week they run an after school club for the children but the rest of the time they help with displays, making resources, sticking in sheets etc. It then means in the school day they can actually be used to work with children all of the time. I guess as a school we are lucky to have this and sometimes take it a little for granted
That sounds like the findings of the DISS (Deployment and Impact of Support Staff) project run by the Institute of Education. Very interesting findings but can be misinterpreted to say that LSAs have no effect - we all know they do but they need to be deployed effectively in order to do this. Basically the findings were that lots of LSAs work with the SEN group on a daily basis and these children make slower progress than others, or no progress at all. They also found that LSAs were simply supporting a group to complete a task rather than actively teaching them. Well that fault lies with the teachers not the LSA in my opinion.
We teach through differentiated guided groups with very little whole class teaching. LSAs follow plans written by teachers and deliver the teaching input for the ability group they are working with. They then assess and feedback at the end of the session by annotating plans. Crucially they work with the full ability range - not just the lower ability. They are able to do this through the planning from the teachers. Teachers are expected to work with the lower ability more often than the LSAs do.
They also run the Wave 3 programmes outside of the Literacy and Numeracy sessions. We are not overly blessed with LSA hours but we work hard to deploy them for maximum effect. We do not have them in foundation subjects for example.
Their contracts start from 9 so potentially there is an issue if they are not clear on the plans but this is rare.
They are a fantastic resource but are all too commonly under used.
That's more or less what we do as well. Works well for us.
I only have a TA in the mornings though, so it doesn't always work perfectly.