Week 2: Creating an inclusive ethos and culture

3. Gathering and sharing information about learners

3.1. Responding to children’s needs

The teacher has given the children a group task. This can enable them to support one another and to learn by talking about the task. He has also included some resources and activity sheets that help them to visualise the numbers which should help all the children to access the learning. He planned the lesson using his knowledge of the pupils and has decided to focus on a topic that they are struggling to understand. He observes and talks to each group as they are working so he can find out which pupils have grasped the concept and those that are still unsure. He can use this information to decide how to help them in the next lesson.

This strategy can work for all children but is especially important to monitor how children with disabilities are coping with tasks and to plan in advance to support them with resources or different activities.

Overtime, this will enable him build up a detailed picture of his class. He will be able to pass this information on to the teachers who teach them next year. If he also records marks in assessments and keeps a few examples of their work, he will notice if something changes (such as their marks decrease) and he will be able to intervene.

The example below, demonstrates the importance of collecting information and sharing it within a school.

Example: Agatha

Agatha is in the lower secondary school, and her Maths teacher is Mrs Wambugu. A few weeks into term, Mrs Wambugu is looking through her mark book to see how her students are doing. She notices that Agatha’s marks have fluctuated a great deal and there seem to be gaps in her understanding. She asks in the staffroom, but the person who taught her Maths last year has left the school. However, someone remembers that she was absent a lot. Next lesson, Mrs Wambugu asks Agatha about last year and discovers that her Mother was seriously ill and she had to take time off school to look after the family. She missed a lot of work, and Maths is the subject that she has found most difficult to catch up. Mrs Wambugu agrees to help Agatha and pairs her with Beatrice – a high achieving student - in the lessons. She also reflects on how it would have been helpful to know this about Agatha at the start of the year – but is pleased that she has kept detailed records so she noticed that she had gaps in her understanding.

Reflection point

For a context with which you are familiar, write a few notes about how information about students is gathered and passed on and how this process could be strengthened.