Place of work: Sandwell College,
Role: Lecturer in Foundation Learning
I have supported young people with SEND in a variety of roles for over 15 years. My background is in media/drama and as well as teaching, I have been a project manager for a government funded community initiative and designed bespoke programmes of education for learners in alternative provision. More recently, my role has expanded to include curriculum planning of 2 new programmes of study aimed at providing progression routes for learners with SEND. I am also Functional Skills coordinator for my teaching area. I have recently completed a Masters in Professional Practice and Lifelong Education at Wolverhampton University.
I am proposing to consider ‘How Local Authorities provide for “successful long-term outcomes in adult life” (DfE, 2014) for learners with SEND’. In particular, I would like to research the theme of outcomes and how the government’s definition of successful long-term outcomes for learners with SEND is realised through provision and opportunities funded by local authorities.
As part of my Master’s degree I have researched two themes that provided the underpinning concepts which have informed my research idea. The first of which was a short review of the delivery and assessment of Functional Skills in my current SEND setting. More extensively, I conducted a review of the impact the SEND reforms (DfE, 2014) on a specific example of SEND provision. The literature I explored in conducting both pieces of research, led me to look in depth at government policy and inspired me to investigate the origins of key terminology and to consider the influence of different policy documents. This also led me to question how national guidance influences local decision-making and how it is interpreted and implemented locally.
I prefer to access reading materials online in order to support work in non-formal settings (my children’s swimming lessons for example). Google Scholar provides links to many online books and journals. I am also a big fan of iBooks for my iPhone. I research relevant reading materials and then save copies (where possible) to come back to later on. When writing I also find it useful to keep an on-going reference list on my phone. It saves time when looking back through notes and helps me to identify which sources I have actually used.
Finally, when writing I like to create visual representations of my thoughts or emerging ideas. I have used online word clouds to help link together concepts and identify predominant themes.
Below is the link to the word cloud website I use. I have also used it with my learners to help them visualise their responses in group discussion.
https://www.wix.com/ is a great free website builder, which I have used for creating bespoke online content. Being able to tailor information to the specific need of my teaching cohort has enabled them to have the opportunity to access learning more independently.
https://www.sanvello.com/ is a mindfulness website and app. I have used it to help clear my mind and re-focus my thoughts both in teaching and in general normal life.