Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Go to SE Online home page

Sharing information and celebrating success – transcript

[On the screen]

In this video Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs)/Specialist Teachers discuss ideas and strategies for sharing information with the school team and the wider school community so student success is celebrated and acknowledged by all.


"At confident schools all teachers see children as learners, valuing each child's academic achievement, social and life skills and culture." -Success for All fact sheet

Vanessa Hendry, Deputy Principal and Special Education Needs Coordinator, Windley School, Porirua
We use videos for the IEPs, and we use a lot of photos, too; we use photo montages, too.

I always like when we set up the meeting room, just to set up a PowerPoint of photos coming through with a bit of background music, so that as people start arrive for the meeting, they can sit, and they start to get an idea of the sorts of activities and seeing the child at school. And it’s important for people just to be seeing the child as part of our class and as part of our school and celebrating all of that.

Then, when we’re talking about specific goals, showing some evidence of that. Now we use video, and we also use learning stories.

The video is fantastic to create discussion to sit back and go, “fantastic” and to celebrate, because I think obviously the celebrating of successes is really important, and the family love that.

And then it helps spark the conversations because they start making connections, links to what’s happening and home, and activities that they’ve done on the weekend. And we suddenly start to build a bigger picture of, we thought “Oh yes, that child responded pretty well to that activity”. Then you find out that actually, that related to something that the family had been doing. And it can be really powerful to lead into what are we going to do next for those steps.

When we have meetings with the parents, we like to share as much evidence of what’s been going on as possible. We always use videos and photos, we create learning stories that will show the purpose of the activity, what the goal is. Within that, we collect student voice, so that there’s the child reflecting on what they’re doing. And then there are observations from the teacher as well that are noted down there.

And there’s an avenue for parent feedback because these are shared with the family, and they can give feedback on how they see that learning. And often you get feedback on how they see that learning, and often you get feedback about, “Oh, now I understand what they were talking about at home”, and “Oh, and can we try doing this at home”. And it helps build that collaborative approach because actually we’re all teachers and we’re all there to support that student. 

Kay Lilley, Special Education Needs Coordinator, Redwood School, Tawa
We have an open door policy, so parents are welcome to come and talk with anybody at any time. I think we involve the parents a lot. The additional teacher asks for information to come from home so that she can help support them, especially when they’re younger, and weekend stories and, you know, evidence if they’ve been away on holiday and things like that. So, I think it’s that feeding information to and from home and school that I think is really important.

I think in order to make students successful, we need to be extremely conscious of what it is we’re trying to achieve. But we also need to have the student voice in there somewhere; we need to take our cue from what the student is doing and their reactions and interactions.

So, for example, we might be trying to change a particular behaviour, so a lot of observation would probably go on, and then quite a lot of discussion, and then we might try something new, but we'd introduce it slowly, or we would introduce it in one or two steps so that the student is then more prepared to come onboard with us.

Because we put a lot of time in pre-IEP, and that involves me as SENCO releasing the classroom teacher so they can go and meet with the additional teacher, with the teacher aide. They look at the IEP, they provide the evidence, they might make a keynote or a PowerPoint or make a little movie, do a comic life or collect together all those things that have already been done. And I think that kind of puts everything into focus before the IEP.

Generally the IEP is sent out, emailed out to those stakeholders who are coming to the meeting. Then at the meeting we always start with the positives, and we find that parents are far more relaxed – they don’t feel as though they’ve come to hear something, “I don’t want to hear something about how my child’s not doing something”. They come, and they end up celebrating all the things that their child is actually achieving, and I think what is really great is when parents then start feeding into the school what’s happening at home, and saying, “Oh yes, I’ve noticed that at home”, or “Dd you know that at home they do …” whatever.

I think that open discussion means everybody’s relaxed because they’re dealing with the classroom teacher as the lead on the IEP. I think we’ve pushed and pushed to have the teacher as the point of contact for the parents – not the teacher aide and not the SENCO, but the classroom teacher because they are the ones who deal with the child most of the time.

The more we have collected, I suppose, the narrative-type assessment on a child, then that really leads us to say, “Hey, listen, look at what they’ve done here, let’s explore going that way” because obviously that’s an interest the child has developed or that’s a strength that we didn’t know that they had.

That shows up so quickly in photographic or video evidence, or exposing us to what the student can actually do. And I think that makes it more successful because then we’re feeding into what the student likes. It’s not “We want you to go in this way and you’ll come here, and somehow we’ll make you come home”. It’s more, “Okay, yes you’re really good at that, let’s use that format”, or “Let’s use that for other learning experiences and see if we can build on that”.

Sharing the successes that the children have, showing them video clips, putting up some learning stories around the staffroom, helps everybody look at celebrate the successes. And it gives them something to go and make a connection with that child out in the playground, so when they’re out on duty they can go up to that child and say, “I saw some of that amazing work you did in your class!”, which of course helps the child build that relationship across the whole school. 

« Back to Sharing information and celebrating success

Return to top ^