St Giles’ C.E. Primary School is a mixed primary school with approximately 400 pupils in Walsall, West Midlands. The school has an above average number of SEND pupils and around a quarter of pupils speak English as a second language. Simrat Mavi, Deputy Headteacher at the school, talks us through their priorities for all pupils.
In our school, SEND pupils have needs that are centred around communication and language so we need tools that help them grow their vocabulary each day. For us, it’s crucial that we differentiate to each student’s level of ability but it’s just as important that we don’t make any child feel singled out. With this in mind, having a resource that talks to you, and grows your vocabulary daily, like EducationCity, has been really powerful for our pupils. It’s also a fantastic resource for addressing learning and cognition needs.
Strategies for SEMH needs
In addition to those with communication needs, we also have a very small percentage of children with social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs. For these students, one of the strategies we use is ensuring access to digital learning. The colourful graphics, avatars and sounds, along with the curriculum-aligned content, has proved to be a great way of capturing and maintaining the engagement of these students. What’s more, we’ve also found that differentiating learning resources have allowed the students to take ownership of their educational experience while also extending the classroom to their homes as they access content remotely. For us, this level of engagement and passion for learning is inspiring.
Comprehensive resources like these are crucial for our SEND pupils as it supports their academic attainment by developing softer skills like self-esteem, confidence and even the ability to work collaboratively by sitting with a peer and attempting some questions together. Building these skills has been a huge success for our students and has greatly impacted their performance in subjects across the board. Additionally, we’re also reflecting on our revision strategies and pathways for our Year 2 and Year 6 pupils and have seen great progress through self-monitoring and self-assessment which has also been fantastic for encouraging ownership.
Inclusivity boosts SEND pupils' wellbeing
We've recently been visited by Ofsted and were praised for our provision for our SEND pupils – an achievement that is in large part thanks to the personalised and inclusive approach that lies at the heart of our school ethos. This has also been reflected in the learning opportunities we provide our pupils through resources that have created room for differentiation without making the child feel like they’re failing thus ensuring positive outcomes and wellbeing of every child from their unique starting point!