During the summer of 2014, I volunteered at a special needs play scheme. During this time, I was responsible for…
- Helping children to access play activities
- Following instructions from other members of staff
- Adhering to the policies and procedures of PLAYABILITY
- Working as part of a team with other volunteers
- Accompanying children on outings
I absolutely loved this experience, so much that I have recently been employed by them as a part-time play leader! Spending so much time with the children really made me realise that I have a profound passion for working with children whom have Special Educational Needs. This passion is something that I aim to develop further into my teaching career, as I aspire to hopefully become a SENCO in my chosen school. If I am lucky enough to obtain this role, then it is fundamental that the appropriate training is received.
Teacher Standards links…
TS1 – establish a safe and stimulating environment for pupils, rooted in mutual respect
I was responsible for continuously providing a safe and inclusive environment for all children. This included ensuring that all play equipment was safe to use, fire exits were not blocked, electrical items were safely covered and all children felt respected. This was key when volunteering at this setting as some of the children, depending on their specific need, may be at risk of hurting themselves or others. Therefore, it was fundamental that the correct training was obtained when aiming to combat this.
TS5 – have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.
It was extremely important that I was aware of the needs of ALL children. In order to encourage this, all of the children had their own child profiles. It was policy that all of the staff and volunteers had to engage with these. Using these profiles and through forming relationships with the children and their parents, their needs would always be considered when planning play activities. For example, if a child did not like loud noises then we would have to consider this when planning activities. If for some reason there was a lot of noise, it was important that this child had their ear defenders at hand so that their needs could be met.