May 21, 2011
What were your reasons for doing this type of development work?
We had a child with a statement for special educational needs in Year 1 who was moving up into Year 2. At this time the Year 2 children accessed their learning in a completely different learning style, requiring them to learn around all teacher-led activities or instructions. The current year group, including the child on the autism spectrum, were used to learning in an independent style which required all areas of learning to be accessible to the children. As a school we needed to implement the school's teaching and learning policy recently devised by all staff to take on board this style of learning. Last school year Staff devised a Teaching and Learning Policy over a series of staff training and development sessions. All staff agreed that this was ‘Springhead School at its most inclusive’. They understood that the implementation of the policy would ensure that all the children would maintain the access to the curriculum and be successful if this was fully embedded within the school. Having successfully implemented this policy into Lower Key Stage 1, following the school development plan 2008-2009 and the needs of our child on the autism spectrum, these changes needed to be made in Upper Key Stage 1, extending extend staff's knowledge of Autism Spectrum to enable successful transition from Year 1 to Year 2 for the focus pupil.
Who might find this case study useful?
Middle leader Senior leadership team (SLT) SIP (School Improvement Partner) Subject leader Teacher
Implementing a new teaching and learning policy made inclusive practice for a child with AS facing transition to Year 2
Staff had increased knowledge and confidence of autism spectrum by using the IDP DVD
Author: Heidi Reitze
School or setting
Springhead Infant & Nursery School
Type of school:
Type of setting (if Early Years):
LA maintained school
Free school meals:
Less than 20%
Special Educational Needs
Below age-related expectation
Support staff, Carer, LA adviser, Parent, Senior leadership team (SLT), Teacher
Number of classes:
Number of adult learners:
What specific curriculum area, subject or aspect did you intend to have impact on?
All aspects All subjects
How did you intend to impact on pupil learning?
Pupils will be able to access the environment independently to undertake their learning without the needs for adult support. They will be able to select from a range of resources independently to support their learning. Pupils will be able to transfer across year groups without any lost learning time while they settle and adjust to their new class. Pupil on the autism spectrum will be included fully into the year 2 curriculum.
What were your success criteria?
Pupils using the classroom independently including the statemented child.
Classrooms in Year 2 fully established for all areas of learning to be independent.
Staff more confident on Autism Spectrum issues.
Planning and environment to be based around the teaching and learning policy.
PLEASE NOTE this page has three tabs - click 'Next tab' below or use tabs above to see Teaching approaches and CPD approaches
What information or data did you use to measure progress towards your success criteria?
Learning walks / study visits Observation outcomes Periodic teacher assessment Pupils' work
What did you do? What teaching approaches (pedagogy) did you use to achieve the intended impact?
Cross-curricular work First-hand learning Independent learning Learning how to learn
Describe the teaching approaches you used
The staff changed the timetable and planning of Year 2 to allow for independent learning activities to be done in line with those in Year 1. Staff worked at staff meetings to change the layout of their classrooms and to enhance the resources of areas within their environment. Staff worked on keeping the learning environment continuous for the children throughout the whole school regardless of which year group they are in.
What did you do? What approaches to CPD and learning for adults were used?
Mentoring Modelling Training
Describe the CPD approaches you used
The Deputy Head was released from timetable to support staff in planning meeting time to change the timetable and implement sessions for independent learning. Training sessions were implemented around the IDP DVD (see below) and focus for training was on units staff identified in the IDP self analysis. We looked at two main points in the teaching and learning policy devised by staff: 1) The organisation of the classrooms and change to delivery of the planning to include all styles of learners (taken from the teaching and learning policy and school development plan.) The Deputy Head supported planning meetings, the re-arrangement of room and organised allocation of money for resources if needed. Staff had observed the changes in Year 1 and had some knowledge of a broad curriculum to make sure all areas included and were independently accessed in the classroom. During the first half term we worked together to change the layout and access of resources in the Year 2 classrooms. We also looked at what the parents of the pupil on the autism spectrum were concerned about during the transition stage for Year 1 to Year 2. Parents' concerns was that their child would learn in a different way in year 2, following their observation that the learning environment looked different. This also matched our first point on the teaching and learning policy. “Create for all individuals a positive, creative and supporting learning environment in which children’s self esteem, emotional intelligence, independence and co-operation can be developed.” and “Provide a broad and balanced curriculum and learning environment in which children feel secure enough to take risks with their learning.” 2) We also looked at developing a second point on the teaching and learning policy, the planning. As the focus child's parent commented, her perception for her child was that the style of work changes and the focus of work changes in Year 2 to writing. We as a school have the same focuses on learning throughout the whole school but this was not clear and obviously a concern to parents. “The way in which they teach, not like he likes or knows.” (parent). The new teaching and Learning policy addresses this and quotes “Continue to enhance our curriculum planning to provide motivating and challenging activities which cater for multiple intelligences and a range of interests and abilities". This is across all year groups. Staff worked on changing the planning with support from the deputy head in planning meetings. To do the planning changes we had to do the following:
Change our structure of planning meetings to discuss the children’s assessments in more detail. This informs the weekly focus in maths and literacy which would be undertaken once a week with each child.
Discuss and implement the differing styles of learning into our planning.
Make all lessons cross curricular- (maths/literacy based but other subjects are interjected into the lessons).
Think about opportunity for independence.
Change the timetable.
During the Autumn term staff undertook a self analysis of the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD which analysed their understanding. During the Spring term staff looked at the DVD units outlined for development in understanding the needs of the child on the autism spectrum more effectively. (See CPD materials). They looked at units 1,2,3, and 7. Staff training was undertaken on their areas of concern following the self analysis using the DVD (appropriate units shown, 1,2, 3).
How does what we have implemented from our teaching and learning policy meet the needs for autism spectrum learners already?
How does it link to the teaching and learning policy for Springhead? Findings: It made them become very aware of the links of our school development policy to supporting children on the autism spectrum and that they were unaware of this. They commented on the meaning of autism spectrum. Staff commented that there were many children in their class that demonstrated factors of autism spectrum in some way, so they are in a way doing our teaching and learning policy for all the children - which then covers children on the autism spectrum. Staff gave examples of children demonstrating similar behaviours and from their experience of noticing the focus pupil within school. They also commented how all children on the autism spectrum can be included if you understand more. (Relating to the IDP). Senior Leadership Team observations then took place to monitor the changes and support staff in making progress.
What CPD materials, research or expertise have you drawn on?
We used the expertise of the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD, units 1,2,3 and 7 and the external support of the local authority Special educational needs department. (Oldham Quality and Effectiveness Support team QEST).
Primary and Secondary Inclusion Development Programme; supporting pupils on the autism spectrum
The DVD associated with this resource is available to schools and local authorities and can be ordered through Prolog, the DCSF Publications orderline. They can be contacted on 0845 6022260 and the reference number for this product (Primary and Secondary Inclusion Development Programme DVD) is 00041-2009DVD-EN.
Inclusion Development Programme; supporting pupils on the autism spectrum e-learning resource
Who provided you with support?
Local authority staff
How were you supported?
The local authority put on a training session explaining how to use the IDP DVD to support the development of training staff in awareness of children on the autism spectrum. The self evaluations were explained and how to use the DVD exactly to support staff's lack of understanding. It really supported the staff's understandings and discussions. They have also been available to phone and ring at any opportunity we need help in using the IDP DVD.
What has been the overall impact on pupil learning?
The learning outcomes have improved due to increased participation of all 90 pupils in the year group not just the focus pupil on the autism spectrum. The pupil is fully engaged in the whole curriculum and for the whole duration of the day. The pupil can access the learning in the same way as his peers and is fully inclusive in all lessons. His self-esteem has risen dramatically and he has developed much more secure and firm friendships. He is able to take direction from the class teacher and work independently without support for periods of time.
Thoughts you think are relevant to overall impact on learning
The focus pupil's parents commented “Different room/environment” when asked about their main worries about the transition into another year group. By ensuring that all Year 2 classrooms have an accessible environment and timetable, children will be able to continue their learning in the way in which they have previously in Year 1. Even parents, (as focus pupil's parents suggest), were feeling that the way in which their child learns changes in Year 2 and they had limited access to the way and style they learnt in before. As a school we want all classrooms to be inclusive for the above reasons but also to maintain the children’s perceptions in the way in which they learn and have been taught to learn so far. This learning doesn’t stop as they move year groups unless the environment doesn’t allow them too. Our Teaching and Learning policy devised by all staff has now allowed all staff to understand and agree this. Staff understanding of what and why they are making changes using the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD has impacted on the success of the environment which has impacted on the overall learning that has gone on.
Quotes you think are relevant to overall impact on learning
"I didn't realise he could do all that on his own." (Class teacher) "I like my new classroom I do, shall I show you round everywhere?" (Focus pupil) "I knew who he was around school, I didn't realise how difficult it was for him all the time." (Class teacher) "All the children are learning and interested in lessons now." (Class teacher)
Quantitative evidence of impact on pupil learning
Periodic teacher assessment
Qualitative evidence of impact on pupil learning
Learning walks / study visits Observation outcomes
Describe the evidence of impact on pupil learning
The focus pupil has been observed fully integrated into the system and is actively taking part in all lessons. He can now undertake activities independently and this has allowed him to make progress in areas of learning shown in his pupil tracking data. He has made a least a whole level progression in all subject areas. He has particularly made progress in his dispositions and attitudes as he is now able to motivate himself and push himself in his own targets. The environment is a safe and secure place which is fully accessible to him. The evidence for this is clear during learning walks and observations of lessons in Year 2. All other children in Year 2 have met their targets and are all accessing the curriculum in each year group successfully. Children were settled and learning quickly into the autumn term following transition, continuing with a timetable they are familiar with.
What has been the impact on teaching?
Teaching has changed significantly with the three Year 2 staff. They now plan for independent learning time and teach groups and activities not necessarily at tables but in the areas of the newly designed classrooms. Learning takes into account opportunities for the pupils to be independent wherever possible and to allow children space and time to evaluate their thinking and learning in the environment. Assessment of how the environment can be updated and used to support learning has changed the nature of the discussion of assessments and future planning. More time is spent now by staff updating and enhancing their learning environment throughout the day.
Thoughts you think are relevant to impact on teaching
Staff are now even more aware of the impact of the change in the environment for children on the autism spectrum and they are even taking it one step further. Staff are now applying new and changed teaching approaches to the delivery of the curriculum in whole class activities to include more usage of the learning environment and independent time to access it. The use of the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD to look into areas of autism spectrum that staff were unfamiliar with made them value and realise the importance even more of the teaching and learning policy devised together as staff.
Quotes you think are relevant to the impact on teaching
"I now know that ASD children all access learning in different ways and how they think about activities differently."- Class teacher "All the children are more engaged"- Class teacher. "Every child is on task when I come in the room." Head teacher "Children are more independent and can do more without me having to be near them."- Class teacher. "I understand more now how ASD children struggle with making friends, they need time in the environment to find out what makes them feel comfortable in how they learn."- Visiting teacher. “I mean what we do supports this”- class teacher “I didn’t realise that there were so many misconceptions about ASD.”- Class teacher
Evidence of impact on teaching
Evidence from observation and monitoring Evidence from planning Teacher perceptions
Describe the evidence of impact on teaching
Staff are more confident in planning, assessing and evaluating the children's learning according to all areas of learning. More time is now included for children to access teaching in a variety of learning styles and therefore teaching is reaching more children. Staff are more confident in using and applying the teaching and learning policy and are more confident in addressing children on the autism spectrum in their lessons. Staff are identifying in their planning opportunities for all styles of learners which they now realise is inclusive to the nature of learning for all children on the autism spectrum.
What has been the impact on school organisation and leadership?
The impact on school has been the realisation of raising staff competences in autism spectrum using the IDP has impacted on the quality of planning teaching and learning environments. The key is to raise staff's competences and awareness. It has confirmed staff's agreement of the whole school teaching and learning policy and taken it to the next level in ensuring they are clear on their reasons for the policy. The IDP has raised school staff's competency to speak to other members of staff about why they teach in the way they do and to approach situations differently than they would before. It has helped staff realise the impact of the IDP strategies not only on children diagnosed as on the autism spectrum but those not. An evaluation of their knowledge showed increased competency from staff. School are now considering implementing the IDP DVD to the rest of the school to enhance the practice of the school's teaching and learning policy that is already implemented.
Thoughts you think are relevant to overall impact on school organisation and leadership
Staff knowledge is the key to improvement for children on the autism spectrum. Implementing whole school policies whist raising staff knowledge is significantly effective. Devising policies whole school has the implication that not all staff are fully engaged with the reasoning behind the changes. Full inclusion for all children to the school was the key to the policy and the IDP autism spectrum DVD has increased staff knowledge and understanding behind their thoughts about why changes were made in the teaching and learning policy. It has pulled the staff closer together in their goal for implementing the policy successfully.
Quotes you think are relevant to overall impact on school organisation and leadership
"I like school." (Child on the autism spectrum) "Its fun in year two" (Child within the school) "I didn't realise they could carry on learning in the way they did in Year 1, that is good for my child as they like learning this way." (Parent) "He has settled so quick, he has just carried on and I have no worries." (Parent of child on the autism spectrum) "I feel staff understand my child." (Parent of child on the autism spectrum)
Evidence of impact on school organisation and leadership
School leadership has now realised the importance of embedding the new teaching and learning policy for new staff and training in the autumn term 2010 is planned for this. Key stage meetings will continue to develop the whole school staff in their competences of the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD and staff will undertake a self analysis of the IDP in the autumn term. Training will take place according to their exact concerns using the units on the IDP. This may be different needs for staff across the two Key Stages Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. School is now running as a whole with the teaching and learning policy running across both Key stages. The evaluation of effectiveness needs to continue and the SLT team will now include the use of the environment within lesson observations to maintain standards.
What is the crucial thing that made the difference?
The crucial thing was the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD which allowed the staff to fully understand the reasoning behind the implementation on the whole school teaching and learning policy. It also raised staff's awareness and understanding of autism and therefore raised their confidence in understanding their ability to meet the needs of children on the autism spectrum. It was specific and precise in supporting staff and easy to use.
What key resources would people who want to learn from your experience need access to?
The key resource was the whole school teaching and learning policy devised by whole school staff, the IDP Autism Spectrum DVD, release time for the Deputy Head to attend meetings, model and train staff. Time allocated to meetings and observations time to look at impact and to study planning.
What CPD session and resources were particularly useful?
The mentoring sessions for staff rearranging their classrooms were useful as it allowed time for staff to make the changes with support. Modelling learning was also particularly useful to allow observations from the staff. The IDP DVD was invaluable in supporting the understanding of the importance of implementing the schools teaching and learning policy and specifically identified staff areas for development. It was easily used in staff meetings and supported the development of staff competences in autism.
If another individual or school was attempting to replicate this work, where would they start and what would the essential elements be?
It would be more beneficial to start with the IDP autism spectrum DVD before trying to change and rearrange the classrooms and planning to fit the school's teaching and learning policy. It would deepen staff's knowledge of autism spectrum quicker and deepen their understanding behind the changes made. Staff would also have benefited form observing good practice in Year 1 before starting to implement the changes in their year group. A whole school approach to the IDP autism spectrum DVD would also be a better starting point as then the three Year 2 staff involved would feel that it was a whole school approach to the IDP training rather than just their year group.
What further developments are you planning to do (or would you like to see others do)?
Training for the whole school staff in IDP autism spectrum DVD following a whole school self analysis of the IDP. This will raise competencies across the whole school in dealing with children on the autism spectrum. Staff need to observe good practice within the school of classes successfully implementing the schools teaching and learning policy. A SLT approach to changing the performance management observation sheets to include the changes made to support children on the autism spectrum. Continue with further development in the SLT to develop the points on the teaching and learning policy to aid transition across year groups.
Case study status
Under review Validated
Lorraine Dawes Related case studies
Inclusion Development Programme (Autism Spectrum): Promoting parental confidence Devon Inclusion Award (Autism Spectrum) and IDP training at Ratcliffe Special School Inclusion Development Programme (Autism Spectrum): Making practice more inclusive Improve Transition between Early Years Settings for Pupils on the Autism Spectrum The impact of the Inclusion Development Programme on an individual child on the autism spectrum Inclusion Development Programme: Using the Autism Spectrum training materials in a Primary School
dc.title Inclusion Development Programme (Autism Spectrum): Making practice more inclusive dc.identifier nsonline.org.uk~630189~433037 nsonline.org.uk~630189~433037 dc.subject Infant, All aspects, All subjects, Case study, Cross-curricular work, Evidence from observation and monitoring, Evidence from planning, External agency, First-hand learning, Independent learning, LA maintained school, Learning environment, Learning how to learn, Learning walks / study visits, Learning walks / study visits, Mentoring, Modelling, Observation outcomes, Observation outcomes, Oldham, Periodic teacher assessment, Periodic teacher assessment, Pupils' work, Special Educational Needs, Teacher perceptions, Training dc.date 2010-07-30 15:21:46 2010-07-30 15:21:46