Early on in the project I mainly helped a table of low ability students, and later on in the project I mainly helped a table of higher ability students and the difference was profound. It really brought home to me the need for different worksheets and activities within the same class: if a single worksheet was produced the high ability group would often finish the work on their own and would only need help if they came across a word they did not know, whereas the lower ability group would need to be guided through each individual question, reading it as a table and then going back through the worksheet to find the correct answer and then encouraging them to phrase it as a sentence and then to write it down. This also applied to the SEN pupils that would join us for the class as they were spread throughout the class so there was one at each table. What warmed my heart about this was that often if the SEN pupil was struggling with a question or some work, the other pupils at the table would help them and explain the question or help them find the answer. When combined with the outside support given by the dedicated SEN teacher, who would go over the worksheet again with them in another lesson when we were not present, I feel that we provided an excellent learning environment for all the pupils in the class, no matter what their ability.
Written by Joe Perry, 12 January 2015