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Adapting to different needs

March 21, 2019

Thrive in school, support at home and adapt your approach if your child has Additional Support Needs; Charlotte Gater, Head of Curriculum at Explore Learning, shares her top tips for families.

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  • Knowledge is power, so knowing what your child should be learning will help you support them. Schools have different elements that make up what they teach at school; there are things they must teach to be in line with the curriculum, but they will also cover areas that are special to your child’s school. This might include topics to do with your local area, or lessons based on your school’s values. Your school’s website will contain information about the curriculum for each year group so, take a look to see what your child will be learning.
  • Encourage your child to have a go at all times, especially when something is new or hard. At Explore Learning we encourage children to be fearless learners which ensures they have a positive attitude towards learning. Your child is unlikely to get everything right the first time and this can put some children off trying. Encourage them to have a go whilst letting them know it’s ok to make mistakes and try again.
  • Get involved with school life where you can, whether this is volunteering in class, following the school’s Twitter account, joining the PTA, attending meetings or reading the newsletter. They will all help to keep you up to date with what is happening in school and current themes being taught.
  • Ask your child good questions about their day. Who hasn’t experienced asking a child ‘How was your day?’ and getting the ‘fine’ response? By asking questions that encourage your child to give more informative answers you can then engage in much better conversations about their learning. Try some of these:
    • What have you learnt today?
    • How did you contribute in class today?
    • What did you enjoy most about school today?
    • Was anything challenging?
    • Can you teach me something you’ve learnt today so I know how to do it too?
  • Finding the right path for them is key when supporting children with additional support needs. Every child is unique and may need different resources, environments or support to scaffold their learning. There are numerous websites that can provide information and support for specific additional support needs. Some also direct you towards families in a similar situation; talking through ideas with others will help you with new ways to support your child.
  • Don’t be afraid to seek help if you don’t understand a method or topic; there are many things you can do to find this information. Try looking at BBC Bitesize (https://www.bbc.com/education) as there are lots of videos explaining different topics – watch them to up-skill yourself or watch them with your child so you can learn together. Speak to a tutor! At Explore Learning we have regular meetings for parents and information sessions where we help you understand the curriculum, so in turn you can confidently support you child. Talk to the teacher if you want help in understanding what your child is learning as many schools offer sessions for parents. You may get the opportunity to try out some questions, so be brave, have a go and show your children how to be fearless when it comes to learning.

Every child’s strengths and challenges are different. We have the experience and environment to enable your child to progress and succeed academically – making friends along the way! Find out how we help children with different abilities.

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