BY SUSANNA PINKUS
Whilst every youngster’s situation is unique, these adjustments can have a transformative effect in how they manage and feel about school. This is especially true for those where there are thinking and learning differences:
1. Dropping a subject
Freeing up time for pre-learning and reinforcing learning will likely build confidence and skills. Other benefits include reducing the pressure of workload and providing time for homework to be done at school thereby reducing possible friction at home. Also, space can be made for tailored teaching or even just to decompress and relax within the school day.
2. Typing rather than handwriting
Benefits of typing include consolidating notes in one place, allowing for reorganisation of thoughts, confidence-building when being able to use voice to text or having spell-check enabled. It will be essential to ensure that it can be justified within the regulations however.
3. Practising under time pressure
Learning to produce quality work under exam and time pressure can take some getting used to. Therefore having regular weekly spots for dedicated practice under invigilated exam pressure in the time leading up to public examinations can be really helpful. Again, this is especially true for practising rest breaks and extra time or any other access arrangement that a youngster may have.
4. Communicating their profile to teachers (but co-written with the youngster themselves)
Often young people are worried about communication going to their teachers highlighting that they are struggling in some way. But sharing the ownership of the communication by drafting it along with that young person can be very effective. The emphasis being on their desire to do well alongside personalised strategies for the classroom.