Utilisation of Teaching AssistantsIn this section...
At Barrow Hedges Primary School we believe that maximising the impact of Teaching Assistants is of incredible importance. Mr Lowes, the school’s Inclusion Leader, has conducted research in this area which has influenced the school’s approach, described below. The research conducted was nominated for and won an international research award.
Our Teaching Assistants provide excellent support for pupils at our school, in a number of ways, including:
- In class support – Supporting pupils by offering support during tasks, asking questions, scaffolding learning, and assisting the class teacher.
- Interventions – Supporting groups of children to develop one key area of their learning.
- Booster Groups – Providing similar input to the class teachers but in a quieter small group environment. This may also take the form of ‘revision’ sessions where children are provided with additional time to work on a particular learning objective.
- One-to-one interventional support – Providing tailored support to particular pupils in order for them to make progress with a certain area.
- Administrative Support – Providing administrative support to class teachers in order to allow them to focus on other key aspects of preparation, planning, teaching and learning.
At Barrow Hedges, we recognise that the types of support above, whilst invaluable in supporting progress, can provoke dependence on adults if overused or used ineffectively. With this in mind, our Teaching Assistants always follow the scaffolding guidelines provided by Bosanquet, Rashford and Webster (2016) in their book: ‘The Teaching Assistant’s Guide to Effective Interaction’.
The idea of this model is for all children to achieve ‘Self scaffolding’ where they can problem-solve and approach challenges with no additional support. However, Teaching Assistants will use other methods, such as prompting and clueing to support them and at times, will even model or correct pupils. This model promotes the development of independence at all times when children are learning but is also able to provide the support required as well.