Category Archives: Pupil Voice

Visiting Belarus with Chernobyl Children’s Project

I was sorting out some of my files and photo albums at home when I came across a folder where I had recorded a visit to Belarus with members of the team from Chernobyl Children’s project back in 2005. I can’t believe it was over 10 years ago now! The recollection of the visit plus the desire to promote the amazing work done by the team has led me to write this blog.

At the time, I was headteacher of Rodney House School in Manchester and one of the privileges I had was to have developed a relationship with Linda Walker , the National Co-ordinator who had brought several groups of influential dignitaries from Belarus to visit the school and see the work we were doing with our pupils with SEND. This included the person in charge of SEN in the Ministry of Education, groups of staff from children’s homes, the Director from the home for abandoned babies in Gomel including a senior staff responsible for training. There was such a strong will to make positive changes in the area of working with children and young people with SEND and we know it was having an impact because of the letters we received following the visit e.g.

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“Titania has gone home full of ideas of how they can improve the care and education for children at the abandoned baby home”

I was really honoured when asked by Linda if I would participate in a visit to Belarus to share my expertise. As well as visiting various schools and orphanages I also was to be given the opportunity to speak at an international conference in Minsk , spend a day with members of the early years team visiting children out in the community and participate in interviews for the staff for the Mayflower centre which was to be the established as the first respite care home in Gomel.

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The week was a busy one filled with a range of emotions as you can imagine. I have such admiration for the children, their families, for those that were and still are working so hard to improve things for the children in Belarus – the children with SEND and the children with cancer. The work that the Chernobyl Childrens’s project does is amazing and I would urge you to take a look at their website to find out more about their work and support in what ever way if you can.

I met  and had the chance to spend time with some very special children:

Speaking at the conference in Minsk was an ‘interesting’ experience ! Not least having my presentation simultaneously read in Russian! Things have moved on a lot , it was over 10 years ago, however I faced lots of challenges from the ‘medics’ in the auditorium at the time about the educational value of working with children who had such significant learning difficulties and indeed being taken to see the ‘cot children’ in the orphanages even now brings a lump to my throat.

Like I say though it was over 10 years ago now and such will to change. As a strong advocate for our pupils with SEND and a supporter for  UNCRC Receiving a letter like this says it all and made my day:

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UNCRC: Article 28. The right to education – ‘after her visit completed work on a new law which entitles all children to an education what ever their level of ability’ #result!

Interviewing for the Mayflower Centre was a blast and how privileged to have a big role in appointing staff for the first respite care home for children and their families!

I had an opportunity to spend lots of time at Rodni Kut which was the first care home established by Chernobyl Children’s project –  I took Rodney House t-shirts out for the children who had moved in to live there. Again, in terms of an honour and privilege – there can be no greater than receiving a letter like this:

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“Whenever we have brought visitors to your school they have been greatly impressed by the happy atmosphere, the high standard of care and education and the obvious dedication of all the staff. When we created our first home for children with special needs we were trying to think of a suitable name for it. One of our Belarussian friends suggested ‘Rodni Kut’. In Russian this means ‘cosy corner’ but to us it is now ‘Rodney House’ and we hope to model the care and education as much as we can on what you do at your school.”

I have so enjoyed looking back through my file of leaflets, photos, letters and re-living some of the memories. The work of Chernobyl Children’s project still goes on however and I for one will be continuing to support them.

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Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I know what I did was a drop in the ocean to the hard work done by the team at Chernobyl Children’s Project but I’d like to think I did my little bit and I thank Linda and everyone involved for allowing me to be a part of the bigger story.

‘Preparation for the next stage of education’ Supporting pupils with SEND in their transition to high school

Whilst we all accept change is a part of life and change can be a good thing, never the less change can be hard. We all find comfort in things which are familiar and have ways that we prepare ourselves for changes ahead of us.

In the context of school life, transition from primary to secondary school is one of the biggest changes and whilst opening up lots of new  and exciting opportunities, can also provoke anxiety for all pupils. For pupils with SEND, this is particularly the case. It is often in our experience a really difficult time for families too as they worry about their little ones making this next big step.

In this blog I write from our own experience @camberwellpark  school in supporting our pupils and their families through the experience in order to make it as positive and successful as possible.

Whilst this blog is focussed on the change from primary to secondary school, managing change is something we support our pupils with throughout their time in school from day to day changes of time – table  / rooms / activities through to changing to new classes at the end of the year. This can include use of visual schedules, now and next cards, social stories, circle time activities – what ever is relevant, appropriate and useful for individual pupils as like us, all of our pupils respond differently and need different levels and methods of support.

With regards to transition to high school, our positive and collaborative  relationship with @NorthRidgeSch  where most of our pupils move on to is integral to making our pupil’s transition successful. The headteacher or other senior colleague from the school attends the annual reviews for all of our year 5 pupils to start to get to know them and to share information about the school with their parents. She also  welcomes families of year 5 pupils to visit the school. We find families value the opportunities to talk to us about their child’s move to high school as over the years we build a relationship of trust and support, as well as talking to staff from the high school so that they can feel reassured and have any questions they have answered directly.

Whilst the transition plan follows a general format of a programme of visits  for the pupils in year 6 to their high school during the summer term, it is important for us to consider the individual needs of the pupils and where needed offer additional visits / support or indeed recognise for some pupils the programme of visits may be unhelpful in terms of them managing the change. It is our knowledge of the pupils that enables us to work with them in a way which is most helpful to them. We ensure we staff the visits with staff from our school who know the pupils well and who are best placed to share relevant info with high school staff as well as support the pupils on their visits. The visits are gradually increased in length from a short visit with a drink in the community cafe, extended over a period of weeks to include lunch and eventually full days. This is accompanied by relevant work back at own own school in relation to the change – work on feelings as well as practical aspects of the move to the new school.

Pupil voice is very important to us and whilst through our observations of the pupils and informal conversations with them we felt our transition programme was positive and effective, we wanted to investigate this further so we set about doing a pupil questionnaire – completed during year 6 before the move  to high school and repeated during year 7 after the move.

Here is a case study of one of our pupils

Transfer to High School  :  Case study  

M was a Y6 pupil in Summer 2016 who was transferring to Northridge High School in September 2016.

He had been on 7 visits to his new class/school, starting with a one hour visit/tour of the school and finishing with a full day visit. 

M had been asked during the start of his transition visits,  ( Easter 2016 onward) a few simple questions.  Familiar symbols were used to support M understanding the questions. His answers are in bold below written as they were said.

·         How was your first visit to your new school? ‘I liked it and was excited.’

·         What did you like? ‘I like the radio room they had a real microphone and I like the cafe’

·         What did you not like? ‘ I liked everything’

·         Are you worried about anything?  Why? ‘ I am a little bit nervous it will be hard to know where to get the fruit and milk from’

The answers that M gave were then discussed with him, and strategies put into place to further support his anxieties/transition process.

M was then asked some questions in November 2016 once his move to high school was complete.

·         Have you settled into your new school? ‘Yes’

·         What do you really like about your new school? ‘The “cafe, mugger and the football”’

·         Did you have enough visits to Northridge when you were at Camberwell? ‘Yes’

·         Would you have liked some visits to last longer? ‘No ok’

·         Could Camberwell Park have done anything else to help you move to your new school? ‘ “A nufer day”

The responses from M and the other year 6 pupils have been used for us to continue to shape and develop our transition processes for all of the pupils moving on to high school so that we can confidently feel they are effectively prepared for the next stage of education.

We are discussing how we support our pupils to manage changes of all different sorts on @SENexchange at 8 – 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday 14th June 2017. It would be great if you could join us and share your good practice too

 

 

Rochford Review Pop – up conference at Swiss Cottage School #scspopup

The Rochford Review and its implications for our learners with SEND is such a significant landmark for those of us who work in the sector so when news of the conference held at Swiss cottage School came up with the opportunity to listen to Diane Rochford, Barry Carpenter, Richard Aird and others came along – it was too good an opportunity to miss. This blog is a brief summary of key points from the day.

Before I start detail some of the points raised I feel it is important to say my over-riding feeling about the day was one of positivity in the sense that all speakers have a genuine desire  to get this right for the full range of our learners with SEND and are striving to do this in their ongoing work as a group and listening to practitioners such as  those present at the conference yesterday.

Diane Rochford

Diane gave an overview of the work and outcomes of the review panel making it clear that their work and any  assessment process which result  encompasses all sectors of the population. They were also clear that they wanted to focus on ‘stage’ rather than’age’ related expectations meaning that the framework should incorporate and celebrate the achievement  of our learners who do not reach age – related expectations. A framework which acknowledges and measures the uniqueness of learners. She also spoke about the assessment framework being a vehicle to bring together different aspects of SEND strategy including EHCP and Code of Practice .

Diane was clear that there is still work to be done including the thorny issue of accountability – a principle which underpins the work we all do as we are all responsible for the outcomes of our learners, but how exactly this will be done is yet to be developed. Diane also encouraged us all to respond to the DfE consultation on the review and it’s outcomes which is scheduled in the Spring term to help shape what is finally implemented. A question about Ofsted was raised by an attendee and Diane reassured the panel that there was an ongoing dialogue with Ofsted and Mary Rayner HMI is part of the review panel.

Richard Aird OBE

Richard was also part of the Rochford Review group and spoke equally passionately about wanting the best outcomes for our full range of learners. He talked about us being ‘pioneers’ of a new way of working with learners with SEND and acknowledged the heated debates that took part during the work of the panel on different aspects of the review but always with the learner and their outcomes at the heart.

The point of the recommendations for him is all about minimising barriers to learning and achievement. He spoke about changing the culture of teaching , learning and assessment to re-discover the ‘magic of teaching’ with a workforce that is fully turned on and tuned in – CPD for staff at the heart of this so we can share our insight and understanding of our pupils and make assessment come alive. The relationships between the adults in the classroom and the pupils at the core of enabling an engagement and real learning to take place

The ‘labelling’ of children e.g. SLD / PMLD and how this can be unhelpful was discussed for as we know two children with the same label, despite any clinical diagnosis might be v different in terms of teaching and learning. Without engagement he stated, learning won’t happen. Motivators, concepts and skills, practical application and generalisation – ‘no point teaching stuff if you can’t use it!’

In terms of accountability, he spoke of the need for schools to be really clear on their own systems and a belief that peer review is the best way of demonstrating accountability ensuring that ‘no school is an island’

He too encouraged practitioners like us to make our voice heard in the consultation – it is too important to let this opportunity pass us by

Barry Carpenter OBE, CBE

Barry spoke about his desire for an assessment process which acknowledges a child as an active learner rather than sitting on the periphery of the system. Barry spoke about how our school population has changed and will continue to change in terms of complexity of needs and for needing an assessment process which is responsive to the changing needs of our learners. He also spoke about the importance of consideration of the mental health needs  of our learners and how this can have a significant impact on their overall learning outcomes.

The Rochford Review have used and incorporated aspects of the DfE funded Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project within the review recommendations, in particular the Engagement Profile . He also spoke highly of how the Rochford review has built on previous initiatives relating to SEND such as the Green Paper on SEND.

Barry encouraged us to further consider the concept of personalisation and engagement as fundamentals for learning. He talked about how differentiation is not enough…he introduced the ‘meet and greet’ principle in which differentiation allows the learner to ‘meet’ the curriculum but it is personalisation which enables the ‘greet’ the engagement in which learning is most successful- engagement is the glue that ties the student to their targets and that as adults we need to adjust our lens of the 7 areas of engagement  (responsiveness, curiosity, discovery, anticipation, persistence and imagination)  to respond to the child

Workshops

In the afternoon, the 3 workshops for which we were able to attend 2 enabled us to explore some of the issues around the Engagement in more detail

Workshop one – gave a more detailed case study based overview of using the Engagement Profile and scale with our learners who have profound and multiple learning difficulties

Workshop two – allowed us as a group to explore and discuss some of the issues of monitoring and evaluating teaching and learning in the context of the review recommendations

Workshop 3 – focussed on some of the issues of Initial Teacher training in the light of Rochford review recommendations

Finally – Panel interview

The day ended with a panel interview of 4 school leaders ( of which I was pleased to be one) who were asked questions about implications of the review recommendations for their own schools and how they were responding

 

As you would expect, the day raised a number of questions as well as giving more clarity on some aspects of our way forward, however, I share in the belief that this is our opportunity to make a real difference for our learners with SEND and I will certainly be contributing to the consultation. It was an interesting, thought provoking and useful day – thank you to Swiss Cottage School for hosting and for everyone who  presented and  attended for their enthusiasm and engagement.

Let the Music Play…..

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Music is and has always been a big feature in my life.

Each morning when I get up I put music on in the house, I put music on in the car  when on my way to work and I put music on through the sound system when I arrive at school so my staff team will tell you they get  musical welcome to work each day!

I am lucky to have come from a musical family with both my grandad and my mum playing the piano. I also learned to play the piano and guitar. In my first teaching post  I was also subject leader for music and taught music throughout school. As a deputy I covered PPA in all classes and taught music. I love live music of many different types – I usually have at least 1 gig booked in – ‘Madness’ at the Manchester arena just before Xmas is my next one!

When I put the music on in school yesterday morning as I routinely do, I was thinking about how important music is in school and how much we use it for a range of reasons – perhaps even more in a special school than a mainstream setting. So my blog is an account of the different ways we use music and the positive impact it has with our pupils.

Before I begin – there is a caution with music of course and I can almost hear some of you screaming it  at me already – it should never become ‘wallpaper’, on all the time and used so  indiscriminately in school that its value is lost. Now I have got that out of the way – here we go………

Music curriculum

It is really important that as part of a broad, balanced, relevant and meaningful curriculum that music has it’s place and that our pupils get access to knowledge and skills about music. Developing musical skills alongside the appreciation of all different types of music is important to me and the school.

School choir

We have a school choir which is part of a bank of choices for our pupils for  ‘Friday Fun Clubs’ i.e. activities including cheer leading, choir, sports, IT, local walk….that our pupils can choose to join on a Friday afternoon. Our choir is a singing and signing choir and we have been proud to have performed at a range of events including in the Exhibition hall at the 2015 SSAT national conference and singing as part of ‘The Tale of Mr Tumble‘ in last year’s Manchester International Festival. Being part of Young Voices each year at Manchester Arena has given our choir a chance to perform along side many other school choirs and be part of a truly memorable experience

Sing and Sign

We have a weekly whole school ‘sing and sign’ session for which we are joined each week by a group of pupils from one of our local primary schools. We have  ‘old favourite’ songs we like to sing but enjoy learning new songs too. The choir have an important role in leading the singing from the front! Time to come together each week as a whole school in this way is very special.

Music an auditory ‘cue’

Many of our pupils benefit from the use of ‘Objects of reference / Object cues’ to support their understanding of the timetable, support their transitions and access to learning i.e. a set of objects which  are consistently used to relate to activities on the timetable such as a book for English lessons, a cup for snack times etc. We have an auditory cue we use for assemblies – the piece of music ‘A whole New World’ is played in the hall as our pupils arrive which signifies to them it is assembly time.

Music to support timetables / transitions 

Building on from auditory cues a number of songs are used regularly with our pupils to support their access to learning e.g. hello songs, days of the week songs, now it’s dinner time song…… This is in addition to number songs, alphabet songs…….

Song boards / song choices and our school CD

Many of our pupils have favourite songs they like to sing and sign and most classes have song ‘choice boards’ where during a singing session the children can either verbally or by choosing a symbol choose the song of their choice. We have song bags of props for a whole range of favourite songs. Following a request from a parent about knowing the words and signs for the songs their child was singing so they could sing them at home, we produced a school CD and accompanying song book which includes the words and signs to the songs. The cover of the CD is the image at the top of this blog.

Music as a  motivator / reward / to calm and relax

Many of our pupils find music as a motivator and will work towards having headphones and music for example as a ‘golden time’ type reward for doing their work. The right piece of music in the right environment can be very effectively used to de-escalate a situation when a child is in crisis.

Steel drums

We have  set of steel drums in school and a range of other drums. We use our music grant to buy in tuition for a group of pupils in KS2 to have access to learning to play the drums. They sound fab!

Music  to enhance and support learning across the curriculum

Without it becoming ‘musical wallpaper’ , music can be really effective in enhancing learning across all different areas of the curriculum. Dance / PE is an obvious one, however, so many other lessons can benefit when used well. A favourite of mine is seeing the children engaged in ‘Write dance’ where the tables are covered with lining paper and the mood of the music which accompanies encourages different mark – making on the paper

Musical performances

Christmas concerts,  part of assemblies – our pupils are superstars when it comes to musical performances. We love to celebrate the work of our pupils and the school and musical performances are a great way of sharing our joy with parents / carers, families and friends of the school. “Bravo, Bravo, Bravo, Bravissimo. Bravo, Bravo, very well done!” 

Our school song

We our proud to be a Unicef Right’s respecting school and as part of this work we established a school song which we sing during sing and sign sessions and have sung at some performances:

Respect each other that’s the rule,
here at Camberwell Park School
Be kind and listen to each other
Treat everyone as if they’re your brother
Listen to what the teachers say
Help the children learn each day
 
Respect each other that’s the rule
here in Camberwell Park School
Always try to do your best
Treat everyone else with respect
Be the best that you can be
Have fun learning and be happy
Let the music play……………………..
Mary Isherwood
November 2016

 

 

 

 

A strong voice ‘building’ for the future

new school and bus

Tomorrow is a big day for Camberwell Park School  (@CamberwellPark) as we welcome our pupils to our  new school building.

We learned back in 2012 we were finally destined to get a new building as part of the Priority School Building Programme . The news could have not come soon enough as the building we have been inhabiting was in such a poor state of disrepair. During my tenure as head teacher we had experienced a complete ceiling collapse in the hall, a fire in the electric cupboard and a gas explosion never mind the leaks into the school every time it rained! Our pupils and the staff were finally destined to get the building they deserved! You can read the DfE press release about our new building here

As headteacher, right from the start it was important to me to ensure that the whole school community had a voice in the development of the new school so staff, parents / carers, governors and members of the multi-agency team were all consulted:

But what about the pupils?

They have been involved and included all the way through in ways that are relevant and meaningful to them such as:

Drawing pictures of the things they wanted in the new school and voting for colours for the feature walls in the classrooms.

ramp and bigger bikes     voting for colours  shapes pupil

Our pupil’s work about the vision for our building formed a significant display on the school corridor

Building display

It was essential that all of our learners had a chance to have their priority needs for the new school represented in our vision, including those with the most profound and multiple learning needs:

 

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My staff team as always have been hard working,  creative, imaginative and ensured appropriate access for all of our pupils to engage in the whole process. My staff team are fabulous – all due respect  and huge thanks to them!

I collated all of the views which were collected from our school community and made sure they were represented in our vision statement and what it would mean for the building as shown in the short sections below.

Section of vision

We have continued to involve the pupils during the autumn term with whole school topic work on ‘Buildings’ and ‘Change’ as we help to prepare them for the big move. We also celebrated our life at the old site with a very special assembly which included a balloon release ( we have the balloons ready for tomorrow morning to tie to the railings of the new site ready for when the children arrive)

balloon launch 1              balloon launch 2                    balloon launch 3

So here we are in January 2016, slightly later than we originally anticipated, but with an amazing building which has given us everything we could have hoped and wished for. A building which will enable us to build on our existing already outstanding practice and be even more Passionate, Respectful, Organised, Understanding and Dedicated. Ensuring Camberwell Park continues to be a school to be PROUD of. At an open afternoon for our parents and pupils on Thursday afternoon, around 20 families in total attended and seeing the responses of the parents, hearing the number of times the word ‘WOW’ was used and seeing the confidence and smiles of the pupils is what it is all about and makes it all absolutely worthwhile.

There is still work to be done – in addition to the snagging list we are having interactive elements fitted to the hydro pool as well as a brand new Immersive learning room ( work on which is already underway)

On 11th January 2016, our vision really does become a reality however as our children have their first day in their new school and I for one can’t wait!

There are lots and lots of photos on the media section of our twitter account @CamberwellPark – a couple of them are below. The photos really do not do not do the place justice though – why not come and visit us!

The hydrotherapy pool:

From this                             To this

pool before    pool after

The building

From this                                To this

building frame   OUtside new building

 

Mary Isherwood

Very PROUD headteacher at Camberwell Park School

January 10th 2016

 

Supporting meaningful ‘pupil voice’ for children and young people with #SEN

When @Cherrylkd and I discussed establishing @SENexchange, we were very concious of how broad an area SEN is and we wanted to ensure that it is relevant to the whole SEN community. For this reason we invited our @SENexchange folllowers to suggest possible areas for discussion which we collated into a blog http://wp.me/p5Qdrj-1q. At this time, I added a discussion topic of my own: Pupil voice

Pupil voice is something I am very passionate about and something we have done alot of work on in my own school @Camberwell Park camberwellpark.manchester.dbprimary.com. If our pupils are at the heart of our school , then for me, pupil voice must be an integral part of the school ethos. For us, this starts with being a Unicef Rights Respecting School and ensuring appropriate access for the children to all articles within the UNCRC http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/Publication-pdfs/UNCRC_summary.pdf. Indeed Article 23 of the UNCRC spells out our responsibility to ensure children with a disability play an active role in their community, for me having a voice is an important part of this and as @MaryMyatt reminded us in a recent tweet to @SENexchange, it should also be considered as part of ‘British Values’ and SMSC in the school.

As the pupils in my own school have a range of learning needs ranging from more moderate learning difficulties, right through to profound and multiple learning difficulties, sharing their views is not always quite so easy and I believe it is up to us to find a way of supporting and enabling their voice to be heard not just within the school but beyond the school.

A couple of years ago, as a school we appointed a person with a ‘teaching and learning responsibility’ (TLR) to look at how we support pupil voice in their own learning and how we meaningfully implement it across school. What emerged was our 7 stages of pupil voice (video clips and other resources held in the school exemplify each of the stages):

Stage 1- Adult to notice child’s reaction to activity/ experience and give the child the language to describe this

Stage 2- Child to eye-point to demonstrate choice

Stage 3- Child to reach towards or touch object/ symbol/ switch to indicate choice

Stage 4- Child to independently indicate choice by grasping and moving object/ using voice/ signing

Stage 5- Child to say what they have done well or need to try harder with

Stage 6- Child to say what they could do next time to improve

Stage 7- Child to comment on their peer’s achievements

These 7 stages are mainly about children being involved in their learning and their involvement in setting the priority targets for learning and having child friendly Individual Education Plans is part of this too. Pupil self-evaluation of their own learning is now embedded into all classrooms.

Over the last few years in the school, we have developed pupil involvement in whole school self evaluation and school improvement and how we hear the voice of our pupils in a range of ways including developing the running of the school council to ensure pupils have opportunities to discuss a wider range of whole school issues and involving pupils on our learning walks around school to hear their views on aspects such as displays, behaviour and safety, total communication etc, Our pupils are now also regularly involved in recruitment of new staff. The school council have written their own person pupil person specification which goes out with information / application packs. Where appropriate pupils are involved in interview panels asking questions relating to their person specification.

It is also important to me to consider how the views of our pupils are represented beyond our school. I appreciated a tweet from @anameescapesme when the discussion topic regarding pupil voice was first tweeted on @senexchange reminding us about the challenges of LAs listening to the views of our children and young people. At Camberwell Park, the pupils have always been involved in their annual reviews of their Statement of Special Educational Needs, and we have ensured this continues with the change over to Education, Health, Care Plans ( EHCPs). Our pupil voice booklet http://tinyurl.com/np5vjfw  is prepared by the pupils supported by one of the classroom staff prior to the review and the pupil attends their review to share their views with others. Their views are included in the minutes booklet is attached and forms part of the appendices in the EHCPs.

Another important area we have been exploring and developing in terms of pupil voice is that of safeguarding. Our children and young people with learning difficulties are very vulnerable. Giving our pupils the vocabulary and enabling them to have a voice about what is safe, not safe, tell us when they are worried, scared, upset, being bullied etc is really important. Our frustration at how the views and experience of our pupils are disregarded when there have been allegations of abuse has led us as a school to look at how we can support our pupil voice in this area too.

Our ‘pupil voice’ work is by no means a finished product and we are concious of how in our best endeavours to allow pupils a choice, for our some of less able or more complex children the choices we give them are often guided and limited by those which we offer. We would of course use our knowledge of the children and information about the children by others that know them even better than us such as their parents in the choices we have available. We continue to explore however, how we can make pupil voice more meaningful with the bank of strategies we have available. In addition to total communication strategies of signing and symbols, the range of AAC ( Augmentative and alternative communication) products open up new possibilities for us: Ipads,  E-tran frames http://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/page/e-tran-frames  use of PODD ( Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) Communication Books:http://www.inclusive.co.uk/podd-p6023 and more recently exploration of how we can use Talking mats http://www.talkingmats.com/ are just a few examples. Use of P4C ( Philosophy for Children) throughout the school has also very mjuch supported the ability of our pupils to express their views on a range of important topics.

To end where I started this blog – Pupil voice is an area I am very passionate about and keen to discuss with others – I know there is alot we can ‘exchange’ and learn from each other in this area so really hope that people will join with us on @SENexchange at 7.30 p.m. on Wed 29th April to chat further. My blog only represents my views and the experience of Camberwell Park School. Would be so good to hear from the experience of others  – both mainstream and special and from parents / carers too about how they would like to work with schools to get the views of their child considered.

Our children and young people deserve to be heard  – it is our job to ensure they are!

Thank you