Supporting SEND with Doddle

by Helen Robinson

A recent report published by the Education Endowment Foundation highlighted stark gaps between the attainment of SEND and non-SEND students at both age 11 and 16, with the disparities between SEND and non-SEND students greater than those between disadvantaged students and their peers.

Given the number of involved parties interested in supporting a child with SEND – often including parents, carers, health care providers, SENCOs, TAs and teachers – this comes as somewhat of a surprise.

In its 2017 SEN review, the DfE highlighted the importance of “sharing information and forming trusted and supportive relationships” to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

If robust communication channels are not in place, it can be difficult for each involved party to know how they can effectively support the student.

Many schools now look to platforms, such as Doddle, which can easily facilitate this communication and allow staff, students and parents to play an active role in student attainment and progress.

A platform such as Doddle can facilitate this via its homework and progress platform. Staff, students and parents can view homework or classwork results via their own logins, alongside details on students’ progress through key curriculum points.

Effective use of additional support

With robust communication channels in place, schools can then make effective use of in-school support. When communication between teaching and support staff is strong, withdrawal from mainstream lessons can be a valuable and sometimes necessary complement to in-class learning for SEND students. Learners can be supported in an environment specifically catered for their need – however, this support is often delivered by non-subject specialists.

Schools must make sure that support staff working with SEND students have access to high quality and reliable subject-specific teaching materials. Schools can help this by encouraging SEND specialist teachers and classroom teachers to work closely and collaboratively, ensuring that there is consistency in materials being used and approaches being adopted. 

Doddle allows SEND and subject teachers to coordinate their efforts by providing a collaborative platform to share resources. Teachers have instant access to over 23,000 resources across 18 subjects and can also upload and share their own resources.

Staff can use the high-quality resources to support their one-to-one or small group withdrawal sessions, even if they are outside of their own comfort zone or area of expertise. And importantly, everyone has complete visibility of the assignments that have been completed.

Independent access to resources

Providing SEND learners with a variety of learning media such as illustrations, animations and audio can help support students with specific sensory needs. Making content accessible to them by providing information in their preferred format can make a big difference to SEND students’ outcomes as well as their feelings towards learning.

Other SEND learners may need more time to process information and embed their learning. For example, students with dyslexia often benefit from reviewing content at their own pace, while students with ADHD may need to take short breaks to divide their learning into manageable chunks.

By giving SEND learners independent access to study resources, students can catch up on work they may have missed and read ahead to be prepared for other lessons.

Doddle provides a bank of interactive presentations, animations and self-marking quizzes with a range of multimedia to engage students and optimise learning. Students can complete resources assigned to them by their teacher, or browse for relevant resources themselves to target key areas for development.

To find out how Doddle can support all your staff and students, book a free in-school visit with one of our expert Education Advisers.

As a Doddle Education Adviser I work with lots of different people involved in education. As a qualified teacher myself, it’s fantastic to have the opportunity to work with so many teachers using Doddle to help improve outcomes for their students. With my background in Cognitive Neuroscience, I’m always keen to look analytically at the ways in which Doddle is helping staff and students across the country.

– Helen Robinson


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