Raise your expectations

Children with special educational needs (SEN), by definition, find it harder to learn that their peers, so clearly our expectations of what they can achieve will be different, but that doesn’t mean they have to be less challenging.

Recently, I sat in the audience with parents and friends of pupils with SEN from my school and across the county who take part in inclusive drama groups run by Fuse Theatre. Each of the seven groups performed a piece based on a story by Roald Dahl in a large theatre space to around 200 people. It was a great evening and the culmination of months of work. The young people were so excited to perform and the parents in the audience were clearly very proud of them. What a fantastic opportunity for all the young people!

It’s too easy to fall into the trap of underestimating what learners with SEN can achieve. With the best of intentions, we make allowances, lower our expectations and limit their opportunities. What I saw this evening reminded me to raise my expectations and do everything I can to enable the pupils I teach to reach their potential.

How do you let your pupils know that you want them to reach for the sky?

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