Mastery: Aim high!
Published: January 14th, 2020
Mastery can be for all. Expectations are the key. Let’s think about these two statements. Mastery for all is about inclusivity. Mastery for some children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) may mean coming to terms and achieving the best they can. Mastering their own individual form of learning difficulty.
What are high expectations? Many years ago, when I started out in teaching, there was still a special school for children with ESN: Educationally Sub Normal. What a disgusting phrase it now seems to us. Disrespectful. Insulting. And – carrying the lowest expectations ever. Almost as if such children were not worth educating. But that is how some children with SEND were regarded and categorised: and thus placed in special schools. Thankfully we have moved on. Our more enlightened education system recognises that achievement is for all children and that children with SEND do not have barriers to learning that are insurmountable. On the contrary – once their barriers are removed – success is there to be celebrated. Failure is banished; or should be. The education system is still not working for all children with SEND. The following is a quoted excerpt from my fourth book in the series: Parents: Help Your Child Succeed (Key Stage 2) – highly relevant to this blog.
“………I have talked about barriers to learning that get in the way of achievement. In this context, I think of barriers as locked doors that prevent access. But the whole point of assessing children as part of the SEN system is to find the right keys to unlock doors and allow all children access to every learning opportunity.
A further plea to all parents whose children have some form of learning difficulty – it is wrong to assume that a child with learning difficulties cannot make good progress. For many years, low expectations have been the killer of achievement for many children with SEND. As a result, some children who COULD achieve average expectations have not because expectations have been too low and not enough focused effort has been made by schools, along with parents. Once low expectations become a culture of the learning environment for children with special educational needs, they too form a barrier that helps to prevent children reaching their potential.
So let’s abandon low expectations and assess children accurately and individually, so that the additional support provided is appropriate and offers children the best possible chance of success………..”
Mastery is for all. Expectations are the key to making it happen. So let’s make this new year (and decade) count. Start by finding out WHAT your child learns and HOW. My books will help – Support Your Child with SEND (Book 1) and at successive Key Stages (Books 2 to 4), by Sylvia Edwards, are available from Lulu in printed form, and from Amazon, in printed form and ebooks. Visit my website: www.sylviaedwardsauthor.co.uk