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Questions from a total novice

(2 Posts)
LadyClariceCannockMonty Thu 13-Oct-11 14:18:29

Hi all

I posted this in SEN but was advised to post here as there's more traffic.

Disclaimer: I know zero about SEN; I don't have any children, SEN or otherwise. If any of what I'm saying comes across as ill-informed/inaccurate/etc, I'm truly sorry but I do not mean or wish to offend; I am just completely ignorant of this area.

(also, quite long: apologies).

My DP is an artist and is about to start working on an in-school creative project with a small class of pupils with SEN (early secondary-school age; he thinks the class is mixed-age but that they're between 11-13 or thereabouts). He spent a day with the class yesterday to meet the pupils and teacher/teaching assistants, get an idea of what they do and how their days go etc. He came home quite dispirited and said that it just seemed like somewhere that people leave their kids while they go and do something else (this is NOT a criticism of the parents, by the way, but a description of how he thought the set-up felt!); that the teacher seemed to have very low expectations of the pupils' abilities and no interest in stretching them at all. His example was that their English class consisted of them watching an animation on YouTube of a children's book and then having stories read to them. He said the pupils appeared bored by this, as they did by pretty much the whole of the day. There was apparently a lot of them watching things on YouTube and other screen-based activities.

I can't stop thinking about these pupils. I feel unutterably sad at the idea that they might be bored and understimulated and have potential that is not being reached, or even searched for. DP found it upsetting too. He does know that it was only one day and that he is not a teacher and doesn't really have any idea of what sort of level these pupils and their teachers should be working at, but he has in his capacity as an artist worked with children and young people quite a lot and is fantastic with them, and his gut feeling was that they were bored and could have been stretched and challenged more.

I'm not even sure what my questions are. I suppose I would just like some reactions to this from people who know more about SEN than I do (not difficult!).

Thanks very much if you've read this far!

Alibabasmum Mon 17-Oct-11 07:37:52

Hi my daughter is p7 she was educated in mainstream were we were trying to get her SEN as she struggled with all aspects of learning teachers were kind but as stated we have other children in the class I removed my daughter from school and home educated her it was from home I fought the system for the statement and I got it thankfully I put my daughter in a special unit for learning support these are suppose to be half unit half mainstream my daughter has never been over to the mainstream yet only the unit and she has been there 2 months I ask her what did you do today as alarms were ringing when she brings home 4 colouring ins a week she told me I do 15 mins a day math and I do a bit of English reading i am appalled when I educated her at home I did a variety of lessons math English science French history she was doing so well now it's all been lost

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