Teaching Assistant Network Group

The Teaching Assistant Network group working has been established to provide a development space for teaching assistants across the area. We aim to provide opportunity for discussion and a chance to support professional development using the using the strengths of the group members, as well as sourcing appropriate CPD. The members of the group will identify the key priorities that they would like to be explored in the half termly sessions.  

 Objectives 

  • To  create a professional network to share best practice amongst teaching assistants 
  • To understand common challenges and explore solutions within the TA role across a variety of settings 
  • To signpost the best professional development materials available 
  • To develop skills around the delivery of interventions and behaviour management strategies for pupils with a range of SEN behaviour needs

Session 2 – SEND – Wednesday 18 May
Facilitated by Julie Webster, Megan Webster & Alison Knowles

Redgate Primary Academy/Yeoman Park Academy are specialist schools for children aged 3-18 with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). A large proportion of our children who present with challenging behaviour have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), moderate or severe learning disabilities (MLD/SLD) and a small proportion of our profound and multiple leaning difficulties (PMLD) can also present with challenging behaviour.

TA’s from Redgate Primary/Yeoman Park Academy would like to share strategies that are in place to support our learners during periods of high anxiety and challenging behaviour.

To give an insight how our learning environments support our learner’s complex needs. The importance of staff being consistent in their approach and having a good understanding of behaviour management. This goes hand in hand with the training and support we receive this includes CRB and support from our Behaviour Lead

Session 3 – ACEs – Wednesday 6th July
Facilitated by Julia Hallam

An Introduction to ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

To identify adverse experiences that can impact on a child’s development and their response to stress.

Brain Development in the Early Years

You will understand the importance of healthy brain development in a child’s early years and the impacts of toxic stress.

The Impact of Childhood Adversity

You will understand that experiencing adversity in childhood can have a significant impact over a person’s life course resulting in ill health, poor wellbeing and in some cases premature death.

Social, Health and Community Impacts of ACEs Early Trauma

You will be able to identify a range of social and community impacts resulting from ACEs.

Protective Factors

You will be able to give key examples of ‘Protective Factors’ that can help prevent ACEs and different strategies that can help build resilience.

Looking at ACEs through a Trauma Informed Lens

You will understand what it means to look at adverse childhood experiences through a ‘trauma informed lens’.

Building Resilience

You will understand how building resilience can help mitigate the impact of ACEs.

An Introduction to ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)

To identify adverse experiences that can impact on a child’s development and their response to stress.

Brain Development in the Early Years

You will understand the importance of healthy brain development in a child’s early years and the impacts of toxic stress.

The Impact of Childhood Adversity

You will understand that experiencing adversity in childhood can have a significant impact over a person’s life course resulting in ill health, poor wellbeing and in some cases premature death.

Social, Health and Community Impacts of ACEs Early Trauma

You will be able to identify a range of social and community impacts resulting from ACEs.

Protective Factors

You will be able to give key examples of ‘Protective Factors’ that can help prevent ACEs and different strategies that can help build resilience.

Looking at ACEs through a Trauma Informed Lens

You will understand what it means to look at adverse childhood experiences through a ‘trauma informed lens’.

Building Resilience

You will understand how building resilience can help mitigate the impact of ACEs.

Our Network Leads

My name is Deborah Lawrence and I am the Assistant Principal and Raising Standards Lead at Bracken Lane Primary Academy. I have many years teaching experience and have taught in a variety of different primary schools in Nottinghamshire and West Yorkshire. I am the school’s maths lead and I am an accredited Mathematics Professional Development Lead. Bracken Lane is a single form entry Primary school with a Nursery on the outskirts of Retford and children attend from our local area.

Our names are Alison and Megan and we currently work at Redgate Primary Academy as Teaching Assistants, with a combined experience of 16 years. We work with pupils from 3-11 with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. The large proportion of our children have Autism Spectrum Disorder and Moderate or Severe Learning Difficulties.  

We have recently joined the TA networking as we feel we have valuable knowledge that we can contribute to support other TA’s that could implement this knowledge into their everyday environment. 

Within our working role we have strategies to support challenging behaviour, to raise aspirations and empower our students for their love for learning.  

We individualise our learning pathway that become unique to each of our individual learners to create their own journey of learning.  

We are specialist teaching assistants that work in an environment that means we are essential for the safety and welfare of the children as well as supporting the education of the children and enriching their lives. 

We thrive to support our pupils to help them reach full potential and be valued members of society showing care and respect for others. 

Julie Webster

Yeoman Park Academy is a specialist academy for children with severe, complex, profound and multiple learning difficulties. The age range is from 3-18. We are a fully inclusive academy and strive to ensure that all children meet their full potential. 

I have been a Teaching Assistant at Yeoman Park since 1987 working in every department. 

I feel fortunate enough to have worked alongside some highly skilled professionals who have helped to develop, support, and encourage my role within a special school setting. 

For the past seven years I have worked as part of a team led by our Academy’s Health and Behaviour Lead. Developing a learning environment that fits our children/young people who due to their challenging behaviour can no longer manage in Class. This can sometimes be temporary or a permanent move and is dependent on the individual needs. By providing these children/young people with a low stimulus environment, structure, consistency, and the opportunity to develop strategies which help them to self-regulate during periods of high anxiety. All help to reduce the risk of challenging behaviour. 

We provide a variety of lessons/activities that develop individual skills, and which supports them during their transition back into school or adult services.  

Mark Pinnington 

I currently work at Tuxford Academy as a HLTA within the Maths Department. I have been working with young people in and out of schools for 17 years. I have a history of working with vulnerable young people in and out of school, including time working in a children’s home. Within this time I have been a one to one TA, classroom assistant, group intervention lead, and carer for students within a looked after setting. I have also liaised with many outside agencies from, Social workers to CAMHS and the police. Having clear communication with all that are working with a young person is something I feel is really important.

I plan and deliver maths for a group called the HELM which is a KS3 and a KS4 group that can’t access the mainstream lessons due to SEND or for issues with anxiety.

I deliver an AQA Entry level Maths course to small groups within Mainstream school but also with the HELM. This is a Maths certificated award at level 1, 2 and 3. I also take intervention groups with all years from 7 to 11.

I wanted to be part of the TA networking group as I feel that as a TA in a support/intervention role we often end up having to reproduce differentiated work, I feel having a TA network would help TA’s from many schools to share the great work that we are doing but also share experiences to help us reflect on our own practices.

Dates:
Session 1 – Wednesday 16 March 2022
colleagues will share their experience of creating a nurturing space and calming strategiesWe will then identify the priorities and requirements of the group moving forward. 
Session 2 – Wednesday 18 May 2022
Session 3 – Wednesday 06 July 2022

Location:
All sessions will be facilitated online from 15:45 – 17:00

Cost:
Free to Associated Partners

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