Including pupils with special needs

Theoretical knowledge
Resources to support Charlie Taylor’s Improving Teacher Training for Behaviour
Behaviour Scenarios
Scenario 17: Including a pupil with special needs
This Scenario has been developed for Initial Teacher Training (ITT) to enable trainees to
demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding of behaviour management
Theoretical knowledge
Behaviour2Learn has developed 17 Scenarios focusing on the 8 areas highlighted in the
Teaching Agency's document Improving teacher training for behaviour. These are:
Personal Style
School Systems
Classroom Management
More Challenging Behaviour
Theoretical Knowledge
Improving teacher training for behaviour has been developed by Charlie Taylor, the
Government’s expert adviser on behaviour, to complement the new Teachers’
Standards that all teachers have to demonstrate from September 2012.
Theoretical knowledge
Scenario 17
Including a pupil with special needs
You have a pupil in the class with Asperger’s Syndrome.
The pupil has the support of a Teaching Assistant (TA), and is accepted
by most of the class, but you don’t know how to respond when the
pupil becomes distressed by the behaviour of others.
How can you include the pupil more in lessons?
Theoretical knowledge
Key Learning Outcomes
• Increased knowledge of research and developments, and how
these can be applied to understanding, managing and changing
children’s behaviour.
• Encouragement to gain increased knowledge and understanding
of pupils’ special needs.
• Improved skill in supporting the learning of all pupils, gained by
exploring ways of helping pupils with special needs.
• Recognition of the need to work closely and co-operatively with
colleagues for the benefit of pupils.
Theoretical knowledge
What do you do?
Consider these responses and choose the best one(s):
1. Check the pupil’s Individual Education Plan before the lesson and raise
any issues which occur to you with the TA at the beginning of the lesson.
2. Have a word with the TA before the lesson to ensure that the TA knows
your priorities for the pupil for this session and that you are up to date
with any specific issues or problems.
3. Have a regular planning meeting with the TA to discuss the pupil’s
learning, how best to support him/her and any learning behaviour issues.
4. Make sure that you check up on the pupil’s progress in the lesson and do
not leave it all to the TA.
5. Establish and keep to consistent routines where possible, explaining
Theoretical knowledge
What may be the best choice?
3. Meet with the TA regularly to plan together
The TA is the lead professional for this pupil and will have the biggest
influence on his/her learning. Most importantly, the TA will have an
unrivalled relationship with the pupil which is at the heart of support for
learning, particularly learning behaviour.
You need to work in close partnership with the TA if you are going to learn
how best to include the pupil and to avoid the situations that cause distress
and hinder learning.
Consequently, although all the other responses show appropriate care,
without a regular meeting with the TA to review and plan for progress,
inclusion for this pupil will be much less effective.
Regular planning meetings may not be easy to arrange but they are essential
and you should make them a priority.
Theoretical knowledge
How might you prevent a recurrence?
Having planned the lesson with the TA, the following may help include pupils with
special needs.
Be organized and ensure that everything that the pupil needs to get started
is on hand.
Always make the pupil feel welcome and set aside some time in every
lesson to talk to him/her. Use praise where you can and find out what
helps the pupil.
If there are to be changes, ensure that the TA is informed in advance so
that the TA can prepare the pupil for the change.
Devise ways to settle the class as quickly as possible using the techniques
explored in these scenarios to reduce disruption.
Ask for advice from the SENCO/Learning Manager.
Use individual learning approaches and adapt tasks to suit the needs and
ability of the pupil.
Theoretical knowledge
Underlying Principles
• Inclusion is the key principle here. Special provision is only effective where
a climate for inclusion has been created.
• Good classroom practice and organisation are important for achieving
effective inclusion. For example, lesson routine, consistency and structure
are particularly important for pupils with behaviour on the autistic
• It is important to work closely and co-operatively with your team of
colleagues for the benefit of pupils. There is no substitute for regular
review and planning time with the TA outside the lesson.
• The approaches you use to enhance the learning for pupils with special
needs can be equally beneficial to all pupils. Considering the special needs
of some pupils may help you to find better ways of meeting the needs of
• Caring and purposeful staff/pupil relationships for learning are at the heart
of approaches that improve learning behaviour.
Theoretical knowledge
Rights and Responsibilities
• Teachers have a responsibility to value equally the needs of all their
pupils and to provide for them.
• All pupils have the right to be taught in an appropriate learning
• Teamwork with special needs staff is essential and it is your
responsibility to help create it.
• You have the right to appropriate support. There is a great deal of
expertise available in schools (and elsewhere) to help you. It is your
responsibility to take advantage of it.
Theoretical knowledge
Activities to try
1. Find time to talk to TAs in your school about the needs of the
children they support and how they meet them. What can you learn
from them that will inform your teaching of all pupils?
2. Observe a lesson where there are pupils with special needs. How
are they included in the lesson? What can you learn that will improve
your own practice?
3. Talk to pupils with special needs and ask what makes a good
teacher. What do they think teachers can do to help all pupils learn
better? Can you incorporate these ideas in your teaching?
Theoretical knowledge
Pupils with special learning behaviour needs require, and should
receive, special attention.
Developing effective ways of supporting them not only helps them but
can also help you to improve your overall classroom practice and
organisation. Understanding their specific learning behaviour needs
can give you valuable insights into the learning behaviour needs of all
TAs and teachers must work closely and co-operatively, and devote
time to planning how to do this, if they are to support pupils
Caring and purposeful staff/pupil relationships for learning are at the
heart of approaches that improve learning behaviour.
Theoretical knowledge
Developed in partnership with

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