Reviewing and refreshing practice
Often services and schools feel they are working well, but feel they could benefit from reviewing their practice and refreshing their skills. Our Education Advisors can undertake reviews on different levels to appraise current practice and identify areas for development. There may be particular aspects of provision that services/schools identify as being of concern (e.g. communication in the classroom) or they may want an overall appraisal of their work. Having an objective view of current practice often helps identify ways to improve outcomes for deaf pupils.
Teaching and learning observations
Observations were made throughout one typical primary school day, using a pro forma checklist, and included:
- routine audiological checks before school
- withdrawal of deaf pupils to work in a small group in their resource provision classroom for Numeracy and Literacy
- team teaching in mainstream lessons
- use of technology to support listening and learning
- use of oral, written and signed communication
- the division of work between mainstream teachers, Teachers of the Deaf and specialist teaching assistants during lessons
Feedback was provided to individuals verbally and in writing and a summary provided to the headteacher and the teacher in charge of the resource provision. Outcomes were:
- Individuals identifying their Continuous Professional Development needs; the team considered improvements to practice; mainstream staff reflected on inclusive practice; the profile of assistive technology was raised; a strategy of peer observations was implemented.
Audit of provision
Two Ewing Foundation Education Advisors plus three co-opted specialists undertook a rigorous review of practice in a secondary resource provision for deaf pupils, managed by the central service.
- This involved stakeholder interviews; observation of teaching and learning in mainstream and resource provision lessons; communication strategies and a review of policy documents.
Oral feedback was provided to individuals, a written document provided to senior staff, and a presentation given to resource base staff, allowing for consideration of future developments.