Communication for inclusion. Language strategies that help insecurely attached pupils succeed in school

Developments in neuroscience mean that the impact of loss and trauma on early brain development is widely understood. However, Louise Bomber’s Inside I’m Hurting (2007) contends that education has not kept up with other fields in relation to the development of specific practical strategies to support the inclusion of children with attachment needs. Her book isContinue reading “Communication for inclusion. Language strategies that help insecurely attached pupils succeed in school”

What an extraordinary privilege, to be a teacher who can do this for another human being. #attachmentaware

Attachment theory in a nutshell John Bowlby describes attachment as a ‘lasting psychological connectedness between human beings’ (1988). He explains how a child’s initial dependence on a caregiver for protection creates, when needs are sensitively and reliably met, the ability to regulate emotions, reduce fear, attune to others, develop empathy, self awareness and moral understanding.Continue reading “What an extraordinary privilege, to be a teacher who can do this for another human being. #attachmentaware”

If homework’s a battle, let’s call a truce. #inclusion

The single most important thing you can do as a SENCO is invite parents in for progress reviews and really listen to what they tell you. The first time I did this, the message I heard about homework was so resounding, so emphatic and heartfelt, that I took a proposal for a change of policyContinue reading “If homework’s a battle, let’s call a truce. #inclusion”

‘He Picks and Chooses’

Of all teacher-speak, this is the phrase that perplexes me most. I heard it often as a SENCo, spoken as a kind of judgement against children whose SEMH or neurodevelopmental needs made for irratic and sometimes challenging behaviour. The phrase may comprise just four words, but it manages to pack an awful lot of discountingContinue reading “‘He Picks and Chooses’”

A Special Challenge – Inclusion and Behavioural Difficulty

Published in 2011, Mainstream Inclusion, Special Challenges: Strategies for Children with BESD predates SEND reform, hence the BESD categorisation, but its recommendations remain as relevant today as they were at the time of writing. With a deeply concerning Jospeph Rowntree Foundation report this week confirming that seven in every ten pupils permanently excluded from English schools have SENContinue reading “A Special Challenge – Inclusion and Behavioural Difficulty”

Poem’s title as mnemonic – a closed book conditions life-saver? Memory Strategy 6.

This is the last post in my series on memory-friendly anthology teaching and it moves onto that old favourite, the mnemonic. Many web-pages, such as 9 Types of mnemonics for better memory, are devoted to describing these strategies so I’m not going to rehash any of that information here. Most of what I want to suggest is actually exemplified in the pics at theContinue reading “Poem’s title as mnemonic – a closed book conditions life-saver? Memory Strategy 6.”

Why students should map the GCSE poetry anthology, and how. Memory Strategy 5 in series.

Mind-mapping was popularised by Tony Buzan, a psychologist and brain scientist, as a technique that engages both sides of the brain to increase memory retention and productivity, (Buzan, 1976; Buzan, 1993). Naturally, it has its critics, especially since the demise of learning styles and the debunking of the idea that individuals rely on left or right hemisphere. However, thereContinue reading “Why students should map the GCSE poetry anthology, and how. Memory Strategy 5 in series.”

Visualising poetry for memory. Strategy 4(c) in anthology series.

Pictures are remembered better than words. Infinitely better. That is simply a fact. Personal experience – remembering a face but forgetting a name – tells us this, but there is no shortage of irrefutable research evidence either. Strategies like visualisation, exemplified in the clip below, will therefore be important to us as we prepare studentsContinue reading “Visualising poetry for memory. Strategy 4(c) in anthology series.”

Retrieval doesn’t always have to mean a test.

Flashcard activities may challenge the busy teacher’s capacity for forward planning; they may be a faff to count out and then to count back in again; they may even test our good relations with colleagues in repro. BUT, they are worth the hassle. That’s one of the takeaway messages from Benedict Carey’s excellent How WeContinue reading “Retrieval doesn’t always have to mean a test.”