Students who experience barriers to their learning may sometimes find it difficult to engage with their education, subsequently resulting in loss of learning.
It’s important that students feel welcomed, be able to voice their opinions and flaunt their creativity whenever possible. By encouraging this and creating a positive classroom environment, students will feel more inclined to attend school and engage properly with their education. The school inspection handbook states:
“The behaviour and attitudes judgement considers how leaders and other staff create a safe, calm, orderly and positive environment in the school and the impact this has on the behaviour and attitudes of pupils.”
Students may exhibit poor behaviour in the classroom and may be at risk of exclusion or suspension. The classroom environment must be as relaxed as it can be. It’s also important that other students with mental health challenges feel empowered and have confidence during their learning. Below are three ways you can create a positive classroom environment so that all can feel valued and a successful reintegration can occur.
1. Build trust between all involved
Keeping in line with the SEND & AP Improvement Plan’s “mission to build parents’ trust”, it’s important that trust is formed between parents, teachers and students. We must listen, understand, empathise and support everyone involved to ensure the best provision can be implemented.
Make sure to actively listen and engage with a child and their parent to understand what their specific needs are. A safe space can be formed for open communication and emotional expression which can allow students to feel more willing to discuss what is troubling them and what support they think would be appropriate.
2. Promote positive growth for students
We must consider that every child will make mistakes as they form a part of their learning process. What we must do is harness this with them and allow students to tackle their hardships and transform them into future successes. Make sure to focus on their progress rather than obtaining perfection. This can allow students to build resilience, and confidence and allow them to feel like they can fully reintegrate in time.
It’s also important to set achievable goals together. This can be short-term to long-term and could be as simple things such as attending a certain amount of lessons or answering a target number of questions in a lesson. Make sure to not add pressure or become irate or frustrated if these goals aren’t met. Evaluate these goals and formulate a strategy to help overcome certain barriers to help build trust and further promote a positive classroom environment.
3. Provide engaging learning
In today’s society, attention spans are extremely low with concentration levels requiring active and engaging content to continuously stimulate the brain. This is why it’s important to implement engaging activities that are fun and relevant to the specific needs of students. Games, simulations, videos and applications can make the classroom a more inviting place for students to attend potentially leading to successful reintegration.
We must also recognise and reward positive behavioural challenges when visible to students. This can be very challenging for some students so try to recognise progress in behaviour.
Also, students who display creative flair and aptitude should be recognised with praise. This can further encourage them to continue with their learning allowing them to build their confidence with their education.
Using an effective online alternative provision
The Department for Education suspensions and permanent exclusion September 2023 guidance states:
“28. The reintegration strategy should be clearly communicated at a reintegration meeting before or at the beginning of the pupil’s return to school. During a reintegration meeting, the school should communicate to the pupil that they are valued, and their previous behaviour should not be seen as an obstacle to future success.”
A clear process must be integrated for students during their reintegration process. An online AP, such as EDClass, can be used as a hybrid approach for students to gradually reintegrate back into a mainstream setting.
Attendance codes can also be claimed and high-quality educational support is provided by UK-qualified teachers. They also promote a positive reintegration for a child when it is acceptable.