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English Framework

Section 4 Notes on inclusion

The National Curriculum handbook for Key Stages 3 and 4 contains in its introduction a statutory statement on inclusion, which sets out guidance for teachers on the provision of effective learning opportunities for all pupils. Three principles are established as essential to the development of an inclusive curriculum:

1. Setting suitable learning challenges
Setting suitable learning challenges means the teaching of knowledge, skills and understanding in ways which maintain high expectations whilst also meeting the abilities and learning needs of the pupils.

This may entail reference to the Framework for teaching English objectives from an earlier or later year group and, in the case of pupils working significantly below age-related expectations, the use of programmes of study as a resource for planning appropriate learning experiences.

2. Responding to pupils' diverse learning needs
To respond to pupils' diverse learning needs, schools must provide an environment for learning which secures opportunities for all pupils to achieve, and recognises the differing interests, experiences and strengths which will influence their learning.

In order to respond to the diverse needs of pupils, teachers are required to:

  • create effective learning environments, i.e. those within which pupils will feel secure and that their contributions are valued
  • secure motivation and concentration, e.g. by varying content and presentation to match learning needs, e.g. presenting work related to cultural experience, setting appropriate challenges for those whose ability, interest and understanding are in advance of their language skills
  • provide equality of opportunity through teaching approaches, e.g. by facilitating access by the use of appropriate supports, aids or intervention
  • use appropriate assessment approaches
  • set targets for learning

3. Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils

To overcome potential barriers, schools must recognise and address particular learning and assessment requirements.

Three broad groups of pupils are described:

a) Pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN)
Curriculum planning and assessment for pupils with special educational needs must take account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the pupil. Teachers will encounter a wide range of pupils with special educational needs, some of whom will also have disabilities. In many cases, the needs of the individual will be met through greater differentiation of tasks and materials. A smaller number of pupils may need access to specialist equipment and approaches or to alternative or adapted activities. This may be augmented by advice and support from external specialists as described in the SEN Code of Practice, or, in exceptional circumstances, with a statement of special educational need.

b) Pupils with disabilities
Not all pupils with disabilities will have special educational needs. Many pupils with disabilities learn alongside their peers with little need for additional resources beyond the aids which they use for everyday life, such as a wheelchair, a hearing aid or equipment to aid vision. Teachers must take action in their planning to ensure that these pupils are enabled to participate as fully and effectively as possible within the National Curriculum and the statutory assessment arrangements. Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed at the outset of work, without recourse to the formal provisions for disapplication.

c) Pupils who are learning English as an Additional Language (EAL)
Pupils for whom English is an additional language have diverse needs in terms of the support necessary in English language learning. Planning should take account of such factors as the pupil's age, length of time in this country, previous educational experience and skills in other languages. Careful monitoring of each pupil's progress in the acquisition of English language skills and of subject knowledge and understanding will be necessary to confirm that no learning difficulties are present.

The ability of such pupils to take part in the National Curriculum may be ahead of their communication skills in English. Teachers should plan learning opportunities to help them develop their English and participate in all subjects.

This additional guidance provides general advice on provision for pupils with special educational needs and those learning English as an additional language.