3rd December 2004 at 00:00
SPECIAL NEEDS HANDBOOK. By Dr Hannah Mortimer. Scholastic. pound;15

This easy-to-read book for primary teachers and Sencos offers plenty of good ideas and practical suggestions. Its 96 photocopiable pages contain cartoon drawings that illustrate points at the same time as maintaining interest. Sections on inclusion, assessment, and provision set out the legal requirements and there are helpful chapters on differentiation, working with parents and children, and how best to link with other agencies.

The chapter on inclusion explains exactly what is meant by the term and gives numerous ideas about how we can ensure all children are involved.

And, by offering ideas for classroom teachers, it points out that inclusion is not the sole responsibility of the Senco.

The book gives examples of an initial concerns form, a progress review form for both group and individual education plans, and paperwork to show involvement of parents and children. All the sheets can be photocopied and are a basis for good special needs organisation.

There is a sheet for recording home feedback, reminding us of the importance of involving parents in all decisions about children. And the neatly laid out target sheets and sticker charts will appeal to children and adults.

I like this book, especially its jargon buster page. There are others like it on the market, but all primary teachers should have access to one good special needs book, and this fits the bill.

Anne Levis

Senco, Henry Maynard infants' school, Walthamstow, north-east London

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