TMOxford, A day with Amjad at Cheney School
In order to make the big Cheney teach meet Amjad kindly offered to host me at his school for the day. I have to say Cheney School is truly impressive with several little touches around the school which are heart-warming to see, from pictures of departmental staff to an ice cream window for the tech service guys. The school has a real strength in supporting the development of students' resilience and respect for each other.
When observing @AstSupportAAli within English, the presentation and feedback skills were linked to a real life scenario, the pupils were extremely respectful of each other and felt comfortable no matter how nervous they were to present their writing on the Mount Everest mountaineers. More importantly though I was really impressed with how well the students gave and received constructive individual feedback to and from their peers. A very 'strong' lesson, no pun intended Amjad. The students at Cheney School are articulate and have a clear sense of moral understanding about them.
I came here with an aim to look at SEND provisions, practices and interventions. The school has adopted and tailored impressive literacy strategies and inclusions units, which have proven sustainable results. So where to start, the key thing to recognise is the connection and transition from primary to secondary. With primary schools helping to pre identify students who need nurture support (7*) and 1-1 provisions put in place. 16 hours of 1-1 literacy support at Cheney has equated to 20-40 months of development in reading age. This reading age often plateaus but it doesn't regress. A key piece of information that has come from today is that inclusion and nurture support helps those with cognition difficulties best not those with behavioural issues. Alongside this it was clearly recognisable that parental support of students with reading at home and continuation afterwards had a significant impact on the individual students’ success.
Following on from this literacy intervention we began to talk about how this intervention then impacts on a student’s day to day life within school. Impressive resources were shown to me, which had been made by @AstSupportAAli.
Students after receiving literacy intervention have been given their own personalised strategies to help them deal with different literacy based tasks. These strategies, instead of being lost in virtual world, are printed in a child friendly form and placed in the front of all the said students’ books. This provides them with a self-help crib sheet, to remind them of what they learnt during the intervention time.
Another resource which followed on was a simple rethink and display of SEND data in spreadsheet, however the main information within this spreadsheet was all of the SEND students individual teaching strategies. This is a nice quick check for staff and easy place to see any immediate changes needed within teaching styles. This information could then quickly been copy into any teachers "spot" files, (class information folders). This is to be used alongside other SEND information sheets.
Finally a great resource was given with many differentiation strategies on and the years SEND team CPD events. This was a nice refreshing way to keep the basics close to hand, as well as knowing the key dates. Many teachers in the school have these blue tacked to their computer screens. I've not done the resource full justice in this short paragraph, however for more information on differentiation bookmarks follow this link. www.cheneyagilitytoolkit.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/differentiation-bookmarks
In Summary, I had a great day at Cheney School and have taken many resources and tips away with me back to Teesside. If anyone isn't already following @AstSupportAAli then you should be. If you ever get the chance to visit Cheney School then I advise going, the warm welcome I received at the end of term made me feel at home even if my accent was picked on for the full day. I still profess it’s not me with the accent. I have taken away a lot of small simple strategies to implement within my classroom. Thank you very much for welcoming me today, and providing me with Christmas dinner.
On a side note #TMOxford was an amazing event, with an impressive field of contributors, such as @ActionJackson, @VicGoddard, @MaryMyatt, @BethLMYL, @ListerKev, @ICTEvangelist and @AstSupportAAli. It was really well organised and I would hasten to say a contender for teach meet of the year. I’m so glad I made the journey south and thank you for my prize of a kindle.