Identifying and supporting the Young Carers in your school

On the back of a Schools Autism Awareness event last year, our school decided to set up a Young Carers support group.

The Young Carers meet once a fortnight to socialise. There is no agenda set for the sessions. It is time for these students to relax, eat, drink and play.

A recent study in Glasgow found Young Carers to be almost 50% less likely to attend University. Another study has shown 80% of young carers miss out of childhood experiences. It is figures like this which make having a young carers provision in all schools so vital.

Last week I took the group on an Open Minds project to The University of East London (UEL). The 6-month project will help students learn about the brain and mental health. None of the students had ever visited a university before.

Holding hands

Click here to download the Opogo app on the App store and read this blog in full!

Alternatively click here to download the Opogo app for android.

 

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About our Community Expert

05_BERNIE-CALLANAN

Bernie Callanan

SENCO

Over 10 years of SEN experience in a number of settings. Developed whole-school approaches to ensure students with SEN are catered with the support they need.

Placing the student with SEN at the heart of all decisions made regarding their education, whilst liaising with all stakeholders involved.

Bernie is our education expert who provides SEN related content.

Make a SENsational impact with AIR teaching

Being a teacher is a challenging profession at best but becoming a special needs teacher, the ability to effectively manage a wide range of student behaviours and adapt to changing situations is vital.

From my personal experiences working with children with learning difficulties, it is important that we adapt our style of teaching to suit their needs and capabilities. An approach that I have found to be incredibly effective is to build confidence in your students through A.I.R teaching.

 

What is that?

It is a method of teaching that aims to be Accessible, Inclusive and Responsible (AIR).

 

Accessible

Every member of the class needs to be able to access your starter exercise. Before the lesson begins, students should know that they can – and are encouraged – to get involved. Accessible starters encourage students to think about what they know, not what they don’t. Open-ended questions and ‘odd one outs’ offer students the opportunity to contribute and justify without being told they are wrong. Explanations can start off at a basic level, and extend without limit.

 

Inclusive

Board displays can exclude students with Special Educational Needs (SEN). Inclusive template designs are easy to make and can be reused and refined for subsequent lessons.

  • Spacious whiteboards provide students with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) increased opportunities to access work
  • Pastel shades reduce visual stress for students with dyslexia
  • Separating text into boxes supports students with dyspraxia
  • Visuals often help those with autism or speech and language difficulties

 

Responsible

Teaching assistant time with a student should never replace teacher time. Teachers specialise in understanding how to help students progress. They are responsible for using this to support students with SEN, as well as building relationships in the same way they have gotten to know the rest of the class. Students with SEN have an equal right to receive accessible teaching and be included by a teacher taking responsibility for their progress.