Subjects for inclusion

11th March 2005 at 00:00
David Bartram and colleagues review the first titles in Meeting SEN in the Curriculum series

Meeting SEN in the Curriculum David Fulton pound;25 each Tel: 0870 787 1721

This new series is based on the premise that inclusion starts with the mainstream teacher. If inclusion is to work, all staff have to embrace its principles.

Each book in the series, which will eventually cover 10 curriculum subjects, offers practical and realistic advice that will enhance the teaching and learning experience of all pupils. The books examine each department's legal responsibility for SEN and explain how to write an inclusive and effective departmental policy. The different types of SEN and their implications for practice are clearly explained without jargon.

Teaching and learning styles, managing support, monitoring and assessment are all fully covered.

The CD is a time-saving and valuable resource, with material that can be amended according to requirements. The combination of SEN expertise and subject knowledge sets these books apart. The series will appeal to a wide range of people, including subject heads, inclusion managers, Sencos, teaching assistants and classroom teachers who want specific guidance and examples of how to create an inclusive environment.

David Bartram Inclusion Manager at Lampton School, Hounslow

* History. By Richard Harris and Ian Luff

This comprehensive pack should be read by newly qualified, as well as more experienced teachers. The authors provide important information on SEN and also give practical and usable examples of how history can be taught effectively.

While much of the content is not new, packaging this excellent material together makes for an exceptionally helpful book. The pathway from theory to practice works well, as does the focus on individual pupils in the case studies. Much of the advice and information applies beyond the teaching of SEN pupils and should be taken on board by all teachers to improve the quality of teaching and learning in their classes.

Alex Leggett Head of history

* Design and Technology. By Louise Davies

One of this book's strengths is its coverage of the full spectrum of SEN. Ideas are practical and should support teachers of pupils with challenging behaviour. There is also guidance to support pupils with physical impairment and practical tips for making common projects accessible to all, including enrichment and extension activities, as well as guidance on limiting stages to be covered when required.

The section on planning should encourage teachers to move away from linear, teacher-controlled craft design, with its helpful suggestions of 3D modelling, ways to simplify the design process and tips on using mock-ups.

For new teachers, there is helpful advice about positioning pupils during demonstrations. There are examples of schemes of work and clear guidance on implementing the literacy strategy and using it to promote DT.

Jacquie Smith Assistant headteacherline manager for technology

* Modern Foreign Languages. By Sally McKeown

The implementation of the new code of practice and the Languages for All initiative makes this publication particularly pertinent. The book serves as a useful starting point for departments to discuss why we should teach languages to children with special needs. It also looks at how to identify these children and how best to help them.

The book's key feature is that it neither offers "quick fixes" (there are none) nor tells professionals what to do or think. Instead, it presents a range of materials to encourage departments to discuss special needs provision themselves. This is particularly effective in the first chapter, which examines and challenges the thinking behind disapplication.

In terms of "how" to provide an inclusive curriculum, many of the ideas stem from basic good practice: importance of routine, clear instructions and expectations and planning for pairgroup work, as well as accommodating the full range of learning styles. More specific guidance is given on differentiation by resource, task and support. While the book offers much in terms of practical examples and suggestions, its greatest strength is the way it encourages us to ask questions of our own practice and provision.

Lynne Mahmoud Head of MFL

* English. By Tim Hurst

This comprehensive guide provides everything from a summary of legislation to practical tips for creating the appropriate climate in the classroom.

The chapter outlining different types of special needs and how teachers can help is particularly useful. The appendices provide many practical suggestions; especially appealing are the starter activities for spelling and vocabulary practice, although some sections would perhaps have greater impact within the main text.

One minor complaint is the constant use of yellow, which seems to have reverse the effect of highlighting or drawing attention to sections.

However, the fact that so much helpful information is provided in one user-friendly volume means it should find a place in every department library.

Emma Cronshaw Head of English

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