We were very excited to come across this blog entry by Jagdish Barn, Chartered Educational Psychologist and a Director of FocusChange Ltd, where she shares;
'a holistic and systemically orientated SEND strategy reaps many rewards'
At ChiLD-HK, we couldn't agree more! Gone are the days when teachers worked in silos, cut off from the outside world. Collaboration starts when the doors open and the walls come down (metaphorically at least!). This approach does not just stop with teachers, it also extends to partnerships with parents and external agencies. The best practice for meeting a child's individual needs both inside and outside the classroom is to engage with all those caring adults who are working together to ensure the best possible outcomes for the child.
I vividly recall when I first starting teaching 25 years ago when I was lucky if I came across (a) an SEN teacher in school, (b) who was not working on her own to support a child and (c) she was not confined to a small office or box room, somewhere down the end of the corridor! At the time, the approach to supporting children with learning differences was that it was someone else's problem! What's more, if there was a child who needed additional support or external assessment, it was not something that was openly discussed. Fast forward 25 years and there are some great practices all around the world, where external agencies such as Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language and Occupational Therapists, work in partnership with teachers, families and the child to implement the most effective strategies to support each other.
Our approach at ChiLD-HK, is just that. It is holistic, personalised and caring. It is modelled on the assessment cycle - it does not just stop with testing and reporting, it continues, in a collaborative, dialogic, cyclical way, constantly reflecting on what works, with the child at the centre of the team, and with continuous review, posing new questions as they arise. We follow a strengths-based approach, making sure that all those who work with a child are well-informed and able to not only recognise but celebrate the child's learning differences in front of them.