Introduction and Background:
Buckinghamshire Learning Trust provides professional development opportunities for schools across Buckinghamshire, and in January we were asked to lead a day for their TAs titled Supporting Learning Activities: Maximising Participation and Progress. There was a huge group with over 70 TAs in attendance, from a variety of schools such as small village primary schools, special schools, and large comprehensives - a real mixture of knowledge and experience coming together!
How we helped and services provided:
We started the day by breaking down what we mean when we say 'effective classroom support' - it's a phrase that's used a lot, but in the hectic school environment sometimes it can lose its meaning. We also discussed what TAs need to know in order to be able to offer this effective support, and how they find this out. From here we discussed a range of potential difficulties we may face in learning activities, such as social organisation, behaviour management, and how to ensure each child is engaged in their own learning, as well as the task at hand. We also talked about what we should be observing in learning activities, and what constitutes meaningful feedback. The fantastic thing about this day so such a range of people coming together with different sets of knowledge and understanding, and being able to share ideas and practice - I took a lot away from this day myself which has helped me in my role as a tutor!
I had a great time delivering this session - great conversations and ideas, lots of sharing and discussion and some really purposeful strategies taken back to the schools.