I work in a school for children with special educational needs – it’s a special school for many reasons. Here are five of them:
- We meet the children where they are and we move forward together. Our children face huge challenges. They lack confidence, social skills, self-control and find learning new things really difficult. We accept them as they are and we build from there at a pace that suits them.
- We care. Every member of staff is there for the children. We want to make a difference. Teachers, TAs, personal care assistants, lunchtime supervisors, cleaners and the caretaker – they all play their part. We also care about each other. Relationships are strong and we look out for our colleagues.
- We work as a team and we support each other. Whether it’s joint planning and team teaching, standing alongside a colleague who is dealing with challenging behaviour or pulling out all the stops to put on a whole school performance. We share the load.
- We don’t give up. Our pupils find learning hard and some of them find behaving appropriately even harder. They may have had very difficult early lives and struggle to control their emotions. We aim to de-escalate situations and focus on learning. That takes careful planning, consistency and determination. We do whatever is necessary to support our pupils.
- We want our pupils to be happy. We want them to enjoy learning and achieving. We help them to develop friendships and give them the skills they need to become more independent and take their place in society. We believe in them.
I’m proud to work in such a special school. You might think there’s nothing special about it. There’s no mystery to what we do and I’m sure many teachers would say the same sort of things about their school.
Let’s celebrate what’s great and remind ourselves where to direct our energies.
What makes your school special?