7th July 2006 at 01:00
101 ESSENTIAL LISTS FOR SENCOS. Kate Griffiths and Jo Haines. Continuum. Pounds 8.99

This is an informative and comprehensive guide with some helpful suggestions for time management and a diary for the start of the school year.

The chapter on classroom management offers advice for all staff in providing a structured and emotionally literate learning environment. This section could be used at the start of the academic year to establish a consistent approach across all subject areas.

The lists also support personalised learning. If Sencos aim to help every child take their next steps in learning we need to develop the assessment for learning agenda.

Sencos in a secondary school may find themselves in charge of a large department with responsibility for appointing and deploying staff. The chapter on managing teaching assistants offers a concise introduction to what to look for in a TA as well as advice on monitoring and evaluating their performance.

A final section informs newly appointed Sencos of relevant publications and software, but I would be wary of using List 101: "ways to say well done".

As Sencos we need to be cautious in our use of evaluative praise and words such as "brilliant" and "super" should be avoided. Instead, we should be specific in what has been done well and use emotive words sparingly.

Rosanne Bartlett, assistant head, The Earls high school, Halesowen

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