Differentiation: How parents can help

Hi All,

My last blog was about identifying children with Special Educational Needs accurately: that vital first stage of spotting and helping children who start to struggle with class-based work. I talked about the importance of differentiating for different groups and individuals and ended the blog by stressing how parents could have a huge role to play in this process. How might schools work together to help all children succeed in school?

Firstly, let’s consider the child who is struggling. Part of differentiation is about learning styles – how different children learn best. Learning is also linked to our characteristics and personalities. Tuning in to how a struggling child could learn better is part of the key to unlock the problem.

Secondly, teachers. They know about the curriculum and may well be experts on teaching and learning in general, but with up to 30 children in a class, teachers may not know enough about the individual ways in which each child, especially one who is struggling, can be helped to improve.

Thirdly, parents. Parents know far more than anyone else about their own child. They know what makes their child tick – those little quirks and characteristics that they tune into at home, in order to help life run more smoothly.

So what is the answer? For children who struggle, it’s about parents and schools collaborating and sharing information in more effective ways. Parents need to know more about what their child learns, and about the support system for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Teachers need to know more about the individual children who struggle: their personal quirks and learning styles. The result? Better joined-up thinking and problem-solving – leading to success for all. Parents need to be part of the school team. Check out my website for books for parents.

Sylvia Edwards (www.sylviaedwardsauthor.co.uk)

PS – next time, I’ll talk about the first stage of the SEND process – for when differentiation has not addressed the need.




« Back to Blog