Autumn Term Roundup
What a term! So much has happened this autumn term we thought we would do a quick update before we head into the new year.
ESP have been very lucky to welcome new schools over the last few months, taking the total number of registered schools to 89. Their NQT support sessions have been a success and they are looking forward to developing these for next year. This month Keri and Sacha attended the Exeter University Teacher Recruitment event. It was great to talk to the next generation of teachers and receive such lovely positive feedback. ESP hope to have the opportunity to work with them next academic year.
ESP also have exciting plans to expand the office team and are currently recruiting a part-time administrator to join Keri and Sacha with arranging cover for the 89 schools. If you are interested or know someone who might be, more information about the role can be found on our website.
The autumn term has been a busy one for supply and ESP have reached a record number of bookings, covering almost 700 in November, their busiest month ever since starting ESP. We expect and hope this trend will continue in the new year as well.
We wish all our teachers, teaching assistants and colleagues in registered schools a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Enjoy the Christmas break everyone and we will see you in 2020!
It’s been a jam-packed autumn term for our CPD offering with over 500 delegates taking part across 23 courses. Notable events comprised our Inclusion Forum, Teaching & Learning Symposium and the first ever TSSW Literacy Conference which saw 124 delegates fill Exeter Racecourse to enjoy 3 keynote speeches and a variety of workshops by national and regional experts.
Our popular subject networks also continued to thrive with excellent attendances for Science, Maths, English, School Business Managers, Art, PE and Computing.
Focus has already shifted to the Spring term with plenty of courses arranged for colleagues of all disciplines. The Technology Conference will take place on Friday 7th February at Tiverton Hotel and feature a keynote speech and workshop from Mr P (Lee Parkinson). New courses will also launch including TA Training, Trauma Informed Training and a Primary PSHE Network. Here’s to another successful term!
Stress can impact our mental health and can mean we struggle at work and don't feel able to cope with everyday life. There are things we can do to improve our mental wellbeing, and Able Futures can help mental health at work by providing advice, information and support.
If you live with mental health difficulties, you know there are good days and bad days. You also know the bad days can affect you at work. You probably find it hard to focus or perform at your best. The aim of Able Futures is to help you enjoy more good days.
With support, signposting and information from a qualified mental health professional, you could learn more about your mental health, understand how you can access treatment for any mental health problems and connect with other people and support organisations who know what it's like to live with a mental health problem. The service is fast, flexible and, best of all, there is no charge to use this service.
Enjoy more good days
Able Futures can help you manage your mental health at work so you can enjoy more good days. Call Able Futures free on 0800 321 3137 from 8am to 10.30pm, Monday to Friday or apply online.
Able Futures delivers the Access to Work Mental Health Support Service on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. It could be available to you if you are you aged 16 or over, are in work or about to start work, live in Great Britain and have mental health difficulties that impact upon your work.
Click on the Able Futures logo below for more information.
Improving Teachers'/Teaching Assistants' knowledge and understanding of Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) within education to improve outcomes for children
Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) are the biggest area of special educational need for children in primary schools. Long term, persistent SLCN, including Developmental Language Disorder, affect around 10% of children in the UK (talkingpoint.org.uk). In areas of social disadvantage, this number can rise to 50% of children starting school without the communication skills they need to fulfil their potential (Talking about a Generation, The Communication Trust 2017).
Nationally, Headteachers are citing SLCN and children starting school with poor language skills as one of their biggest area of concerns. In response to this the government has begun to fund projects to close the word gap and has just launched ‘Hungry Little Minds’ a project to develop communication skills in the under 5s.
To add a local context, our school data (October 2018) showed that 85% of the children assessed in the ‘Talk More’ screening for 2 year olds failed to meet the expected standard and 39% of pupils failed the Speech and Language Link screening of understanding on school entry.
On further data analysis, school leaders found that children with SLCN struggle to close the attainment gap and continue to achieve significantly below the expected standards throughout their primary education.
In light of research findings that “vocabulary by the age 4 is the best predictor of achievement at age 16 out of all measures yet studied.” (Roulstone et al 2011), three Exeter primary schools undertook this action research project with Talk Matters South West. The aim was to train staff in effective talk strategies and embed a systematic approach to developing language skills to improve the outcomes of children who start school with SLCN.
To begin to meet these significant needs, our action research project has focused on:
School leaders in each school setting tracked the impact of these strategies, on children’s communication skills in each of the early year’s settings.
This project intended to raise awareness and improve professional skills amongst school staff in order that they can better support children with SLCN in their schools.