5 Ways To Support SEN Students In The Classroom

Approximately 1.5 million pupils in the U.K. have special educational needs (SEN) according to a report from the Department of Education. Year after year, this number continues to increase. Supporting children with SEN is becoming a priority not just for schools that specialize in teaching students with SEN but also for mainstream schools. Teachers have a huge influence on social and educational outcomes for children with SEN and for this reason, it is essential for teachers to be equipped with the tools, strategies, and skill sets to help. 

5 Ways To Support SEN Students In The Classroom

In this article, we’ll be exploring five different ways you can support SEN students in the classroom.

1. Create a Positive and Supportive Environment:

All students need to be surrounded by a positive and supportive environment in order to flourish in their education. It’s a requirement for students especially those with SEN to enjoy their education and engage with their learning material. Teachers should be proactive in building positive relationships with students, you can do this by actively giving support and reinforcement as well as showing a genuine interest in students’ lives. 

You should promote healthy conversations between peers to create an inviting classroom atmosphere and offer support. These healthy relationships promote good conversations which help to nurture social skills which can be particularly tricky for SEN students.

2. Incorporate Small Groups or 1:1 Interventions:

High-quality support should be offered to students with special educational needs in small groups or one-to-one. These sessions should be well structured and tailored to each person’s specific characteristics, they should have a schedule to stick by to make it easier for students who work best with routines and timeframes. 

Your students should be made aware of what they are doing and when, this will help them process the work more easily and efficiently. In some instances, teachers could collaborate with other educational professionals and parents. Together, you can carefully create implementations that will enable students to complete work and learn in a way that is most effective for them. 

You should make sure the students feel valued and respected in the classroom even when they are receiving additional support. SEN students can have lower self-esteem than other students or their peers. These sessions and other positive reinforcements empower the students to understand the work better and have it in a format further tailored to their needs. The more confident the student becomes the more they will begin participating in class.

This can be mirrored in their social life and it may make it easier for them to work on their social and behavioral skills outside of the classroom. This would benefit both the student and the teacher in all aspects of the SEN students’ education.

3. A Strategy for Praise:

It is essential for teachers to praise students for their efforts and achievements both inside and outside the classroom, particularly for SEN students. This positive feedback can boost confidence, and make children feel valued who may have personal morale issues when compared with their peers. These words motivate them to engage and learn. This encourages them to want to take part in classroom activities and to enjoy learning the material. 

Being specific when giving praise allows the students to understand exactly what they did correctly and highlight why it helped and why it was good. This will help empower the student and uplift their confidence, furthering their personal development, in and out of the classroom.

4. Continual Evaluation:

Gathering a comprehensive and complete understanding of a student’s needs can support teaching professionals to discover the best way in which to teach them. These evaluations should happen regularly to be able to fully understand the student and their needs inside the classroom. They should be evaluated to see what strategies work the best and which ones may not work for them, and help them see the next steps for moving forward.

Children’s needs change from term to term and the strategy that worked historically may not be as effective now. This is why you should evaluate the needs of your students at regular intervals, identifying what does or does not work for the individual. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that children’s needs do change over time. Some students may begin their educational careers with additional needs that are no longer prevalent at the end of their studies. Others may start without learning complexities, but develop them as they get older. These students should be treated exactly the same as the other students and should be given the support and help they need to succeed.

5. Understand your pupils:

Teachers need to be constantly evaluating the students to make sure their actions are still producing positive outcomes even after the review stage. Assessments should happen on a regular basis. This makes sure information is current and updated on the best styles and strategies for teaching SEN students in their classrooms. You should get insight from parents and the students themselves into what they would like to see in the classroom to get a wider picture of progress.

Gathering a full and comprehensive review of students will give you the empowerment to know they are providing the most in-depth and full education to their students. It is also important to remember that students benefit from change and some students may enter the class dealing with SEN and later realize they no longer need the extra support ad vice versa.

Bonus: Work Effectively With Teaching Assistants

Teaching assistants (TAs) have an essential role in supporting students to reach their full potential. They are a crucial part of the classroom both helping the teacher throughout the lesson and being able to provide small groups or 1 to 1 teaching. Teachers should be sure to pay attention to the roles of TAs and the positive impact they can have on children with SEN. TAs should not only be used for informal teaching for low-achieving students but also to help students develop independent learning skills. TAs need to be well-prepared for their role in the classroom and can be used to lead high-quality small group/one-to-one interventions. Collaboration between the teacher and TA can provide a more comprehensive approach to support the student.

In conclusion, supporting SEN students in the classroom requires a tailored approach. These approaches need to be evaluated to find the most suitable approach as this can potentially change from term to term. Because of this reason students must be monitored and tracked to find positive areas and those work on next term. 

The schedules should be rigid and detailed to allow the students to know what they are doing at all points of the day/week. By creating a positive and supportive environment, incorporating small groups or 1:1 interventions, having a strategy for praise, continual evaluation and effectively working with teaching assistants you can create a positive working environment in order to gain the best results and allow the students to feel most comfortable when learning. These results will be shown in the results and esteem of the students.

Teaching Assistant Jobs in Derby

LTF Recruitment is an education recruitment company that can help you find Teaching jobs in Derby and across the UK. They provide a teacher training program such as the Flying High Trust’s OFSTED-graded ‘Outstanding’ teacher training program. This program can equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to support SEN students in the classroom. 

You will develop a skill set that you can carry with you into the rest of your career, this skill set is priceless in the industry and would massively benefit your chances of landing a TA job in the competitive market. 

The Trust has an outstanding record of securing their trainees’ permanent jobs at the end of the training. As part of this program, you will be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS) at the end of the year. 

In addition to the teacher training, the trusts are also able to offer paid placements for some candidates in the run-up to the beginning of teacher training. Their learning programs ensure that you stay up to date with the latest teaching techniques and strategies to allow you to land your dream job in a much more efficient way. To find out more about their services, visit the LTF Recruitment website to find all the information you need to get started today.

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