S2 Promote good progress and outcomes by pupils & S5 Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils.

Training on Inclusion and Autism

On 13.10.17 I had some valuable training around Inclusion and Autism. The training day was split into two halves, the first, on Inclusion and Special Educational Needs (SEN), whilst the second focussed on Autism. Both sessions were taken by extremely knowledgeable professionals who had many years of experience in their field. I was able to draw upon a huge amount of knowledge and teaching strategies that have enabled me to understand how pupils learn and how to adapt my lessons to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils.

A useful element of the first half of training, was that, I was able to discuss with other trainees around the issue of inclusion and how important it is to have an understanding of inclusion in the modern day classroom. As a trainee, and in my future career as a teacher, I will need to accommodate all the children in my care and tailor their education to meet their needs. We discussed how it is the teacher’s responsibility to make reasonable adjustments to the learning environment, so that all children have a fair and equal chance of reaching their potential. In terms of children and young people with disabilities, we discussed what adjustments might need to be made to prevent their disadvantage. Initially, I felt my knowledge around Inclusion and SEN was limited, due to lack of training and experience in working with children who have additional needs. However, after this training, and my one week placement in a SEN School, I now feel confident to teach children who have additional needs. (TS 5.4 Have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.)

The training was timely in exploring issues that affect my everyday practice as a trainee teacher. We explored the definition of SEN and I learnt that pupils with SEN call for special educational provision, which is either different from or additional to that normally available to pupils of the same age (DfE, 2015:16). Children who make slow progress and have low attainment may not necessarily have SEN, but this may indicate that they have a learning difficulty or other disability (TS 2.4 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this impacts on teaching). Some common signs to look out for in mainstream education are children who appear to be frustrated or dissatisfied and have emotional or behavioural difficulties. The graduated approach is a four stage approach to supporting SEN in schools. It is a cycle of review where previous provision is reviewed and adapted to meet the needs of the pupil. In school, the approach is reviewed three times a year, and if appropriate, children who have more complex needs may be referred to a specialist. Every school has a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENco) whose role is to co-ordinate the provision for pupils with SEN. The class teacher is supported by the SENco, who will help to set targets and strategies for the pupils. The class teacher is accountable for the progress and development of the pupils, even if they access support from teaching assistants/specialist staff. (TS 5.1 know when and how to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable pupils to be taught effectively.)

The training on Autism was taken by the Autism Educational Trust, a schools programme, which is funded and supported by the Department for Education (DfE). This training was particularly special because I received a certificate of attendance on: Making sense of autism, raising awareness. The programme provided a range of materials designed to enhance my understanding and awareness of autism and the way it affects pupils. I learnt that each pupil on the autism spectrum will have a range of abilities within four key areas: Interacting, Processing Information, Sensory Processing and Communication. Having identified the areas of difference that need to be taken into account, we explored four themes: The individual pupil; Building relationships; Curriculum and learning; and Enabling environments. I have learnt some common classroom support strategies for children who are autistic. For me, some of the main strategies include;

  • Routines and familiarity,
  • Visual timetables,
  • Reduced/explicit language,
  • Timers/clocks.

(TS 5.2 have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these.)

Dfe Department for Education (2015) Special educational needs and disability code of practice:

0 to 25 years. Available online: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/398815/SEND_Code_of_Practice_January_2015.pdf [Accessed 08.11.17]

This training day was essential to me as a practitioner because I was able to develop my understanding and awareness on Inclusion, SEN and Autism. The training was extremely relevant and up to date, which has affected my everyday practice as a teacher. I had limited knowledge before the course, and I explored schemes such as the graduated approach, which I had never heard of before. For me, the most useful elements of the course, was strategies that support children in mainstream settings. (TS 2.4 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how pupils learn and how this impacts on teaching).

Focused next steps:


  • Meet with the SENco in my main school to discuss the pupil’s in my class.
  • Continue to keep up-to-date with inclusion/SEN codes of practice.