The most powerful tool of advocating, protecting, supporting and educating children is to continuously have an affirmative impact on children’s lives. I believe education is something which everyone, despite cultural, societal or religious barriers, have the right to obtain whilst offered equal life chances and outcomes. Every single individual has the right to the freedom which education allows; teaching facilitates me to empower, support and be an ambassador for all children to reach their full potential. Through teaching I hope to facilitate children to be agents of change, positively shaping their future by equipping them with life-long tools aiding emotional, mental and physical www.*** want to provide children with sound foundations through giving them the building blocks of education to allow them to flourish in their personal and educational development. Similarly, applying my learning from a wide variety of teaching opportunities and placements, I want to further develop children’s thirst for knowledge and set their educational compass in the right direction. I am passionate and committed to providing accessible and equal opportunities for all children focussing on and celebrating every child as an individual. I strongly believe in educating children about the wider world to encourage compassion, empathy, inclusivity and a sense of belonging. It is this enthusiasm and passion to inspire, empower and support all children through education.
I have a clear vision for the type of school and classroom I would like to create and below I have outlined the most integral elements of this.
Building Enriching Experiences
I believe it is extremely important for children to have enriching experiences whilst learning. I think very carefully about the lessons and topics I have planned to create moments of interest and ensure learning is fun as well as rigorous. An example of this is the medium term planning of the Stone Age Topic I implemented. I enjoyed this as I could practically apply knowledge from my degree. Planning and implementation of the topic was covered through a cross-curricular approach to secure the children’s learning process in a multi-faceted way. I have also made use of carousels within all Creative Me Topics and taken a ‘child as teacher’ approach within these. Through this, children were engaged in their learning and developed their skills as independent learners. One significant example the children seemed to enjoy the most was an afternoon to introduce the topic (a WOW day), I placed the learning motivation on the children by encouraging them to teach me and detailing how I had not taught them anything, they taught themselves through facilitating an accessible carousel of activities for all. These encompassed creating a fact file; finding 5 facts in fact books; caveman experience (drawing under the table of what potentially could be found in a cave); reading ‘The Stone Age Boy’ and observing tools, rocks and fossils from this era. This was a great hook into the topic and a fundamental means to ensure a learning experience with lasting impact. In observations and reviews a strength of mine is to build experiences such as these, which intuitively engage children and achieve fulfilment of potential. The curriculum pathway needs to be designed to be motivational and I believe that I can ensure this is continuously built and incorporated into your school.
Ensuring Impact, Pupil Progress and Recognising Individual Needs
During teaching I utilise AfL to continually adapt planning as needed to inform proceeding lessons, to address misconceptions and support learning. It is particularly interesting to note the vital need to root a topic in all subjects and see the greater progress children make and the ‘sticky knowledge’ concept at play. From teaching, studies and various opportunities of placements, my significant awareness of individual children’s metacognition needs and my capability to always strive and deliver inclusive and child-centred lessons was noted. I have been lucky enough to have a wide range of diverse teaching opportunities in both specialist and mainstream provision. In all settings I was aware of safeguarding and followed school guidelines. I have experience of pupil premium, SEN and SEMH needs and children with EAL, high achieving students and a mixed age class. While teaching in specialist provision I worked with students with PMLD and SLD needs; I planned and implemented tasks through a small steps approach, to create inclusive learning and holistic measures to meets their needs. I was then able to transfer these skills to a mainstream classroom practice, to incorporate various stimuli: creative and sensory-driven activities which are visually, auditory and kinaesthetically stimulating to actively engage each individual child. My colleagues have recognised my ability to adapt to individual needs and my analytical approach as a strength.
My degree has reinforced my knowledge and awareness of a holistic approach towards children’s education, when teaching the ability to adapt, plan, and deliver the curriculum as far as possible to the child’s individual needs and abilities is essential. Through appropriate deployment of support staff and differentiation in resourcing and approach, this allows me to anticipate potential barriers to learning, but also to challenge and advance the higher attaining pupils. I recognise it is essential for all children to be appropriately challenged and accomplish maximum progress. I consistently make use of assessment to advance progress. During teaching I observe and employ questioning, live-marking, written feedback and peer assessment as strategies to address a child’s understanding of a method or concept. I utilise specific positive and constructive oral feedback throughout all of my lessons, this offers in-the-moment feedback which provides the chance to address misconceptions that may inhibit learning. It has been observed that I consistently deploy a range of AfL strategies such as the use of highly effective open-ended questions to enable and promote a high proportion of pupil talk to assess and address knowledge, understanding and misconceptions during input to ensure misconception are minimised prior to task completion. Employing the use of AfL I have implemented various provisions, support strategies and various medium-term plans to accommodate the needs of students who struggle with reading comprehension, and maths. Here I recognised the essential need to adapt planned content, even if this means taking a step back, to simplify and embed subject knowledge in a small-step-by-step approach. During teaching I recognise that Enhancement is a crucial tool to utilise to maximise learning potential for all, whether it be to address previous misconceptions, or provide an enhancement of knowledge prior to lesson to be able to deploy cutaway groups to ensure optimum progress is consistently facilitated.
Through effective assessment/planning, it was imperative to ensure a student-voice and child-led approach was prevalent to encourage participation. For example, peer-learning, where understanding can be increased. I consistently instil a collaborative approach between me as the practitioner and the child/children where all voices and ideas are equal. I am aware of the need for Pace within a lesson that is appropriate to children’s needs to ensure consistent engagement.
Creating a Positive Culture with High Expectations and Outstanding Relationships
I consistently model and encourage the positive attitudes, choices and values expected from the children. My compassionate, empathetic and encouraging character ensues a learning environment where children are equal, have a voice and feel safe and supported in both aspects of educational and wellbeing development. This enables achievement of positive learning outcomes and growth socially, emotionally and academically. An in-depth understanding of the whole child is crucial. A knowledge of the child’s educational, social, emotional and mental health need and their family life is fundamental to minimise behavioural challenges. My responsibility is to consistently maintain a proactive approach that strives always to build and maintain a positive and inclusive environment, which takes into consideration the reasons for a child’s behaviour. I work to build respectful, positive and meaningful relationships with the children and their families. My belief is that behaviour management should be a restorative process, of moral reasoning and conflict resolution, and not a blanket approach. It is imperative that a child should be treated as an individual and teaching and behaviour strategies should, as far as possible, be flexible to ensure a positive outcome is achieved for each child. For example, I have written and implemented numerous EHCP's, individual behaviour management plans and strategies to support children who are struggling with certain aspects of the school environment. Emphasising my belief to take measures to reduce the possibility of challenging behaviour through establishing a stimulating, engaging, participatory, fun, and creative learning environment that encompasses all learning styles. Encouraging positive behaviour through praise and reward which will promote a growth mindset and a positive atmosphere.
Inclusion is of utmost importance and something I employ in my practice every day to ensure all are supported and have an understanding of the wider world. Practice, research and literature has emphasised the broad definition of inclusion and the need for it to be a person-centred approach and what may be acceptable and inclusive for one human may not be for another. Ergo communication, positive relationships is crucial to the overwhelming notion that the child is at the centre. Inclusion appears to be the social transformation of education and practice. The view and vision of the ideal concept of inclusion is to recognise the salient active-involvement to pursue common-place values. Ergo the trajectory for responsible inclusion is to recognise the multidiscipline of needs, whilst seated in practice, pedagogy, curriculum and access. Thus in practice I endeavour to recreate societal norms and educational commodification and pressures. Thereafter, identifying if strategies are feasible, funding is implemented, and necessary resources provided to accommodate all needs, regardless of disability, placement and provision. For example implementing emotional regulatory provisions with an Occupational Therapist and emotional support worker. Conducting a weekly social skills group and a safe space to converse and share problems through a variety of methods has also proved to promote inclusion in my classroom.
A specific example would be the diverse needs of children in my class who require different types of inclusion through differentiation of need, emotionally, academically and physically. Whether this be through seating, reward system, chill-time, voice utilised, mannerisms around the class and work given. For example I have two children in my class who have Autism with and EHCP and their needs are starkly different therefore I alter my approach with each of them through understanding their likes and dislikes, to ensure they make rapid academic progress.
Inclusion happens in my every day practice as a teacher not just with children but also parents. Dependent on parents background, language needs, and personality my approach differs to ensure they feel their voice is heard and that I have a strong understanding of their backgrounds. Refuting stereotypes is significant also therefore every day I promote to all my children they are capable of anything and everything in this world. I do this by educating them on Women's rights, Black History, and current affairs through watching the news and having regular open conversations. Alike the children within my class are from a variety of backgrounds therefore we do regular presentations, festival celebrations and show and tell to promote a further learning of diversity. Inclusion and diversity is of utmost importance to ensure we learn, share and enhance our knowledge of all people in the world.
In the education profession, I want children to receive a well-rounded education. By volunteering I developed personal attributes such as patience, enhanced knowledge of children’s needs, diligence and a positive conscientious attitude. I understood the huge impact a child’s background has on their development in all broad areas of need; therefore, the necessity to develop strong and trusting relationships with the children and be sensitive to their individual needs. Throughout volunteering experience and teaching opportunities, I have been complimented on my interaction and rapport with all children many of whom had a high level of additional needs and my ability to engage hard to reach children through appropriate implementation of strategies and support.
Thank you for considering my application. I would value the opportunity to share more with you at an interview about how I can contribute towards educational visions and ethos to create a positive, happy, welcoming and inclusive learning environment.