Introduction and Background
On Monday 5th January I received a very warm welcome from Fulwood Academy. Fulwood Academy is responsible for the learning of children working at KS3 and KS4. The school is really passionate about ensuring that its young people receive the best education possible; learning in a safe and secure environment.
Fulwood Academy is keen to develop stronger working relationships between teachers and LSAs through improved working across the following areas:
- Teachers and LSAs working together more effectively
- Improved teamwork and communication
- Assessment for learning
- Supporting children with EAL
The school requested that the TA College provide some training to incorporate all of the above aspects of supporting teaching and learning with the teacher.
How we helped and services provided
The morning began with a review on current practice, followed by discussions on the role of the teachers and LSAs. The teams got together to reflect on how the LSAs were currently being utilised in the classroom and how current systems could be improved. We looked at the importance of planning and feeding back to the teacher on a regular basis. The benefit of effective communication was discussed at length and all the LSAs expressed the need for this to be at ‘the heart of’ improved practice. They also felt that in order for this to be effective it needed to be timely and consistent in order to promote better teamwork and cohesion between all staff.
During the afternoon we focussed more on assessment for learning, to include methods of differentiation and in particular the importance of integrating quality questioning at different levels into the learning in order to develop students higher order cognitive development. Tools to use within the classroom to monitor responses and progress were also introduced into the afternoon session.
Finally, we discussed some of the important aspects to consider when supporting children with EAL in the classroom. I also incorporated different strategies to be considered based on individual children’s abilities and prior understanding.
In conclusion, the day was extremely successful. All the LSAs got involved in discussion and participated really well in all the group activities. The main aim of the training was to review and develop current practice whilst at the same time share individual expertise and ideas within the team of LSAs. Evaluation sheets completed on the day were extremely positive and encouraging and hopefully the topics covered will prove to be a ‘spring board’ onto further training and improved practice in the future.
I would just like to thank Fulwood Academy for their warm welcome and hospitality during the day and look forward to providing further training in the future and to developing an excellent working relationship between the school and ourselves.