you're reading...
Redesigning Classrooms

Make Sure You Know Your Special Ones #SEND

Whilst at university I was twice part of the Handicapped Children’s Pilgrimage Trust to Lourdes.  Among many wonderful memories, from thirty years ago, was the lunch time one child walked into the middle of the hotel restaurant to inform their carers they had just soiled themselves (different words used) carrying in the evidence.  I also ended up in bed with one of the teachers from my former secondary school.

The rather unfortunate bed time arrangement was a consequence of a room with a double bed and two single beds plus two children who were incontinent.  The realisation that the best sleeping arrangements involved the children having the single beds and myself and Paul sharing the double bed didn’t take Einstein’s help or many minutes to work out.  Over a week of working, praying, eating and partying together you tend to get to know each other well.

The reflection below was shared with us as part of the pilgrimage.

Heaven’s Very Special Child by Edna Massionilla (December 1981)

Getting to Know You

In Special Schools children, some with profound and complex difficulties, are exceptionally well known and supported as individuals.  The ethos of these schools, engagement with mutli-disciplinary teams and relatively small teacher to pupil ratios all help ensure that this deep personal knowledge of each child is used to help her/him develop and learn.

In a mainstream secondary school, although the level of need is less, it can be more complicated to ensure children with special education needs or disabilities are known as individuals.  The particular challenges the children face need to be sensitively shared with all the staff they come into contact with in their different subjects.  Equally, it can be quite a challenge for teachers to keep in the forefront of their mind the different difficulties faced by the pupils with special needs in their classes, as they move from one class to another during the school day.

Year 7 - Girl

Thanks to Hayley for producing this fictitious example of a One Page Profile for a Year 7 Girl

Every now and again an idea comes along that is simple and simply genius.  Kate our SEN Officer, from Blackpool Council, suggested developing a new type of profile to replace the IEP in response to the SEN Code of Practice (2014).  Ruth from St George’s shared their approach and Hayley, our newish SENCO, adapted it into the document we have started using this term.  The approach is pupil centred and seeks to share, from a pupil’s perspective, their needs and how best to help them.  Many pupils with special educational needs or a disability don’t want a fuss, to be singled out or made to feel ‘special needs’.  This often increases as they go through their teenager years.   The One Page Profile is a sensitive, discreet and highly confidential document.

A copy of this exemplar is available below as a PDF

One Page Profile – Example Year 7 Girl

The process is pretty time intensive for our team of support assistants who sit down with each child and help them compile their profile.  The support assistants already know the children well and this obviously helps.  It’s a great team effort to produce all the One Page Profiles at the beginning of the year.

Conversation Guidance

A PDF of the guidance to staff about the person centred conversation is below:

OPP Conversation – guidance and record sheet revised by HDS Oct 2015 – PDF

The One Page Profile sits within the department’s philosophy for Supporting  Students with SEND.

“We are the champions for students with SEND.  We aspire to ensure that all our students, irrespective of ability and regardless of anyone’s doubts, achieve their full potential.  The motto of the Learning Support Learning House is “Learning Together, Achieving Together” and we fully recognise that some of our students require additional support during their journey with us. Our Learning Support team works closely with our SEND students and colleagues across all Learning Houses by supporting them in a variety of ways including in-class support, withdrawal intervention, exam access arrangements and mentoring.  Our approach to SEND follows the recommendations of the new SEND Code of Practice with person-centred planning being at the heart of it.  It is our commitment that we do our utmost to support, nurture, challenge and inspire students with SEND working in partnership with parents and carers.  We celebrate even the smallest steps of progress, set realistic yet aspirational targets and strive to prepare students with SEND for the next step in their lives.  We are privileged to support some of the most vulnerable students in our community for they are the ones we are called to serve.”

“A school is only as good as the progress of its most vulnerable, challenging child” (Packer, 2014)

Thanks to Hayley for producing this fictitious example of a One Page Profile for a Year 11 Boy

Thanks to Hayley for producing this fictitious example of a One Page Profile for a Year 11 Boy

Once completed the One Page Profile is sent home to the parent along with additional academic information about their child.  It is shared with all teachers; many consider it the most useful information that has ever been given about children with special needs.

Please find below the One Page Profile template:

OPP Template – Word



3 thoughts on “Make Sure You Know Your Special Ones #SEND

  1. At my school, and many in my district, students who have IEPs (individual education plans) and who may or may not have an identified exceptionality, create and share their “passports” with their teachers. The passport is also written in the student’s voice. It is excellent for fostering communication and also scaffolding self-advocacy for the students.

    Posted by Karen Lew (@KarenLewTDSB) | December 2, 2015, 4:22 pm
  2. Reblogged this on SENBlogger.

    Posted by cherrylkd | December 3, 2015, 7:02 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Leadership: Being, Knowing, Doing (New Book)

Liminal Leadership


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 32,090 other subscribers
Follow @LeadingLearner on WordPress.com

Blog Stats

  • 1,605,561 hits


%d bloggers like this: