This guest post is brought to you by Louise Keevil who is Natspec’s inclusive skills lead. In this informative guest blog, she explores how you can use competition activity in the vocational curriculum with learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). She will be discussing this further at the Natspec Annual Conference on the 2nd and 3rd April, which Axcis are hugely proud to be a key sponsor for.
Competition activity as an assessment approach is well established and valued in mainstream education, so surely the same applies across the SEND sector?
At Natspec we’re confident that the benefits do apply across the sector. We encourage teaching and learning staff to look for ways to enable learners with special educational needs and disabilities to get involved in competition activity.
Why? Because they add excitement, they stretch and challenge, help develop wider employability skills, improve self-esteem and they provide the opportunity to showcase skills. Competition can be an alternative method of assessment and they help teachers build a more dynamic curriculum.
How? The competition activity can take many forms. It might be about achieving your own personal best or there could be some in class activity between groups. It could be at the next level whereby you have cross-organisation competitions. The important thing is that the learners have the opportunity to be the best they can be.
What? A competition can be any task where you can apply measurable objectives – this could be the complete task or an aspect of it e.g. in a café it could be to polish the cutlery or to lay the table or to lay the table and serve the customers. The opportunities for differentiation are extensive and reflect the notion of job carving.
Who? The concept and planning of competition activity brings about opportunities to contact employers. A teacher might want to invite a local employer contact to get involved so they can help the learners gain the skills that their industry needs. Depending on the relationship, it might be full involvement from setting the task and judging the competition or it could be to simply observe on the competition day. Any involvement is beneficial!
The Education and Training Foundation (ETF) will very soon be offering a toolkit which will help teachers to introduce competition activity into the curriculum for learners with SEND. This has been developed as providers can feel unsure about having a competitive element in Entry level and level 1 curriculum. Natspec keenly support the use of competition activity in the vocational curriculum and are delighted to be able to offer delegates at their annual conference the opportunity to explore the toolkit and share experience first-hand.
I’ll be covering this topic in depth at the Natspec National Conference: High Needs, High Aspirations – the leading national event for SEND professionals working in further education. In addition to my workshop, there’ll be plenty of other workshops covering topics and issues the sector is facing today along with the opportunity to network with colleagues from the sector and benefit from shared experiences to improve practice in your own provision.
Do you work for a post-16 SEND provider? You may be interested in learning about our membership opportunities for specialist further education organisations. Here’s what we do:
- Support and inform our members to raise the quality of provision
- Advocate for our members and influence policy
- Support the wider FE sector: via training and development
Need help with SEND jobs or staff?
If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? Alternatively, if you are seeking SEND staff for your school or provision, or would like to refer a friend to us, pop us and email – we’d be happy to help!