Category Archives: Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

How does work, work, these days?

Increasingly children and those in the world of work have stopped thinking in straight lines

Straight-line thinking is what shop assistants used to use, in the days when we had shop assistants and, come to that, shops.  You could walk into a shop and look around wondering where a particular product was, and the shop assistant would say, “Can I help you?”

I actually tried that yesterday, wanting to buy a rucksack for an 18 mile walk I had signed up to, for reasons that will most certainly not become clear at this point.

But unfortunately, the strategy failed. The three shop assistants inside the very well-known sports store did finally stop talking to each other.  One of them looked at me curiously, evidently bemused that I should be asking a question.  I persisted in my quest, and eventually he said “upstairs” before picking up his mobile phone which had just pinged.

Old-fashioned straight-line thinking would have suggested he might accompany me and help me make the purchase, but no, that is far too passé for the modern world.

And the reason… well, management don’t train staff anymore, because ultimately, they’ll shut the shops and sell everything on-line where straight line thinking is irrelevant – as we can see each time we do a search on Google.  We get answers, certainly, but mostly not to the questions we ask.

So how do people who work in businesses and/or on-line actually think if not in straight lines?  The answer is that they think in the same way lots of contemporary novelists think. In multiple jumps and associations.

To see what I mean I would like, if I may, to direct you to a web page.  When you get there, print the page out (if you don’t you’ll end up standing on your head). 

Of course, children can’t make this leap to a new form of thinking instantly, so you might want to take it step by step by trying this page first of all.

We have produced three books of graphic organisers which start children on the journey towards developing the critical thinking skills needed in today’s contemporary world.

Doing this doesn’t mean that we don’t value logical linear thinking – of course that is still needed.  But in the modern world this alternative approach to problem-solving is becoming dominant, and that is what the “Graphic Organisers Pack” explores through a large series of graphics such as these.

Of course, not every modern organisation uses this non-linear thinking approach – many of them prefer a third option, which generally consists of everyone shouting at each other.  But personally I prefer a quieter life.

You can read more about how we can help children understand the new approach to thinking and planning which many young people, and those who run businesses, are adopting by looking here.

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, How children learn, Key Stage 2, Primary school, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Teaching Ideas

The story’s the thing

What is the simplest way of getting students who are disinclined to read a book, to read the book?

For some students the chance to get involved with a classic such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Jekyll and Hyde, etc, is very welcome.  These are the students who have found the joy of books and who want to read.
 
But, of course, there are those who look at such books – even when they have alluring stories within them that might appeal to their interests – and back away.  They have defined books as not being part of their world.
 
So the question is, how to get these students started.
 
One way of doing this is to give the students an overview of the complete book within a format that they will find acceptable. And that is where graphic books come into their own.
 
Graphic books give students who are unexcited by the opportunity of approaching a complete novel a chance to grasp the story and come to terms with the characters before they start reading.
 
In this way when they do turn to reading the original, everything is already clear to them and they are now able to enjoy the depth of the story in full book form.
 
Hence they are no longer put off by language from an earlier era, a multiplicity of minor characters, or the amount of reading involved.  Everything is now familiar and acceptable.
 
This is why we have produced our series of Graphic Revision Guides.  Five volumes are now available: Jane EyrePride and PrejudiceGreat ExpectationsJekyll and Hyde and A Christmas Carol.

What’s more, the Graphic Revision Guides series is available both as printed books and as e-books, or you can purchase both formats together at a discounted price of £19.80. 

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Reluctant reader, Secondary school, slow reader, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Teaching Ideas

The story’s the thing

What is the simplest way of getting students who are disinclined to read a book, to read the book?

For some students the chance to get involved with a classic such as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Jekyll and Hyde, etc, is very welcome.  These are the students who have found the joy of books and who want to read.
 
But, of course, there are those who look at such books – even when they have alluring stories within them that might appeal to their interests – and back away.  They have defined books as not being part of their world.
 
So the question is, how to get these students started.
 
One way of doing this is to give the students an overview of the complete book within a format that they will find acceptable. And that is where graphic books come into their own.
 
Graphic books give students who are unexcited by the opportunity of approaching a complete novel a chance to grasp the story and come to terms with the characters before they start reading.
 
In this way when they do turn to reading the original, everything is already clear to them and they are now able to enjoy the depth of the story in full book form.
 
Hence they are no longer put off by language from an earlier era, a multiplicity of minor characters, or the amount of reading involved.  Everything is now familiar and acceptable.
 
This is why we have produced our series of Graphic Revision Guides.  Five volumes are now available: Jane EyrePride and PrejudiceGreat ExpectationsJekyll and Hyde and A Christmas Carol.

What’s more, the Graphic Revision Guides series is available both as printed books and as e-books, or you can purchase both formats together at a discounted price

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Filed under Brilliant Publications, English, Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4, Secondary school, slow reader, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), Teaching Ideas

Do new test arrangements contravene rights of SEND pupils?

Barney Angliss, SEND co-ordinator at Rydens Enterprise School in Surrey, feels they do. He has written to the children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, to say the recommendation goes against the Equality Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

http://schoolsweek.co.uk/new-tests-contravene-rights-of-special-needs-pupils/

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Filed under Assesssment, News, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

Early intervention is key for dyslexia

A research study by the University of California at Davis has shown that children with dyslexia are already falling behind by Grade 1. Therefore early intervention is crucial if these children are to catch up with their peers.

http://www.theaggie.org/2015/11/10/uc-davis-develops-intervention-program-for-dyslexic-children-2/

They are now trialling an intervention programme which is ‘both code and meaning-based’  Reading between the lines, I think what they mean by ‘code based’ is a focus on phonics: helping ‘kids learn how to put sounds together to make words, so they will be able to recognize and read them later on.’  Meaning-based focuses on developing higher-order language and comprehension skills.

I look forward to hearing the results of this study.

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Filed under News, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)