Teaching in a PRU - Three Common Issues

Category: Education

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A presentation, delivered by Matt Grant, at the University of Manchester in January 2015. Looking at life as a teacher in a Pupil Referral Unit.


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Presentation Transcript

Education on the Fringes:

Education on the Fringes Teaching in a Pupil Referral Unit Matt Grant Education for Social Justice Conference Manchester University, Jan 2015


www. matthewjohnstone .com.au Credit…


Secret Teacher column, The Guardian 11/01/2015 “I feel like more of a social worker than a teacher…”

Welcome to Pendlebury…:

Welcome to Pendlebury… Based in Stockport. PRU for students with emotional and social needs. 40 students on-site at any one time – vast majority dual-registered. Annual reach of 600 students. Multi-professional team including Community CAMHS. Host centre for outside agencies. www. pendleburycentre .org.u k

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services:

5 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services The Four Tier Strategic Framework Teachers & TAs


6 ‘I had a Black Dog’ – Matthew Johnstone ‘Everybody has a black dog…’


A ntecedents A ttachment A nxiety A CHIEVEMENT?


A ntecedents


How is behaviour shaped ? “Behaviour does not occur within a vacuum. It is resultant of complex transaction between individual, with his (her) inborn strengths and weakness , acting and reacting within an environment which sometimes encourages and sometimes discourages certain actions.” ( Herbert, 1988:49) A ntecedents FACTORS NOT EXCUSES


It is resultant of complex transaction between individual, with his (her) inborn strengths and weakness… A ntecedents Dyspraxia Dyslexia Autistic Spectrum Disorder Dyscalculia ADD/ADHD Speech and Language  HumansNotRobots.co.uk Strategy Banks


Do not readily recognise the rules of social interaction – including status / hierarchy. Do not initiate social interaction. Sometimes do not see the purpose of social interaction aside from a transaction. Can imitate some social niceties whilst not mastering them. More socially-inclined but tend to rely on others to take the lead. Lack of imagination – literal, rigid thinking. More imaginative – often engage in escapism via fantasy fiction. Tendency to develop fixations with particular topics. Sensory issues – overly-sensitive to noise, proximity, busy areas. Tendency to withdraw rather than lash out. Undiagnosed ‘Autistic Traits’ A ntecedents ‘I had a Black Dog’ – Matthew Johnstone


A ntecedents A question of neurodiversity?


1) Biological and Physiological needs - clean air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sleep, medical treatment, dental care. 2) Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear. 3) Social Needs - belonging, affection and love - from work group, family, friends, romantic relationships. 4) Esteem needs - achievement, independence, status, self-respect, respect from others. 5) Self-Actualization needs – realizing potential, sense of fulfilment, ‘peak experiences’. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need A ntecedents …acting and reacting within an environment which sometimes encourages and sometimes discourages certain actions… 

‘Spanners in the works’…:

In any class of 30… 1 will have experienced the death of a parent (Sandler & Boat. 2008) 7 will report having been bullied (Youth Justice Board for England & Wales 2004) 3 will have suffered from mental health problems (Green et al 2004) 8 will have experienced severe physical violence, sexual abuse or neglect (NSPCC, 2011) 3 will be living in a step family (Cabinet office, 2008) 10 of them will have witnessed their parents separate (Kids in the Middle 2008) ‘Spanners in the works’… Many children experience more than one of the problems listed. Indeed they are more than likely to experience multiple problems once they have experienced one. Class of 2011 Yearbook, Relate 2012 A ntecedents


Researchers have identified five emotional/social needs that can lead to challenging behaviour in the classroom: An exaggerated need for attention An exaggerated need for protection An exaggerated need for affiliation An exaggerated need for control An exaggerated need for justice These have roots primarily in the home. They can also motivate a student towards positive behaviour. Behaviour as ‘Exaggerated Need’ A ntecedents


Behaviour as ‘Exaggerated Need’ The ‘class clown’ who shouts out, answers back, makes others laugh, calls names, gangs up on particular students, looks through the window after being sent out… The ‘coiled spring’ who stomps into the classroom late, huffs and puffs, ‘eyeballs’ others, gives one word answers, avoids eye contact, is quick to argue back and fly off the handle… A ntecedents attention | protection | affiliation | control | justice ‘I had a Black Dog’ – Matthew Johnstone What do they need?


A ttachment


Try to think of 2 – 3 standout memories from your time at school… A ttachment Memories of lessons or memories of people and one-off events?


‘My perfect teacher…’ calm listens understands doesn’t label me makes time for you doesn’t shout Sees you as an individual spots problems Understands it is hard to be a teenager chilled out Sees your strengths which might be hidden patient relationships A ttachment


Student Teacher Subject & Task A ttachment Classroom dynamics


Language & Communication Emotional Connectedness Wider Socialisation Relationships Executive Functioning = ‘Foundations of Thinking’ Functional Literacy & Numeracy Creativity & Curiosity Analysis Critical Thinking Initial Socialisation Initiative Adaptive Socialisation ‘Power English’ Emotional Literacy ‘Learning to Learn’ A ttachment There are key areas that our students need to have developed functionality in – through their family and home setting - before they can survive and thrive in the conventional school setting.


Ideal Childhood ‘The Base’ – Family / Home Risks Challenges Unknowns Skills Conflict ‘The World’ - School A ttachment Most of our students are (more or less) securely attached – by this we mean most have had a positive experience of key relationships and have grown up in a nurturing environment.


Risks Challenges Unknowns Conflict ‘The World’ - School ‘ The Place’ – Family / Home Toxic Childhood A ttachment Students who are insecurely attached and have not fully developed the skill areas face a different world to the one most other students experience.


Childhood Reboot Risks Challenges Unknowns Conflict ‘The World’ - School ‘ The Place’ – Family / Home + Skills Pupil Referral Unit A ttachment In short, this means establishing a safe base and, as much as possible, returning in some part to the earlier stages of learning.


Predictable responses… Providing take up / ‘cool down’ time… Language of choice… Not over-relying on more senior staff… ‘Wasting time together’ – social times, clubs etc… An experience of achievement… An experience of affirmation… Everyday a fresh start… Student Teacher A ttachment Changing the dynamic


The importance of language… A Thought Experiment: “Don’t think of a pink giraffe…” Vs. “Try to think of a blue giraffe…” → On both occasions, we tend to create the image – so what does this say about negative instructions like “don’t throw that rubber ...”? A ttachment


We should not go to help people as the saved looking to help the unsaved. We should go as one person to another person, looking to share simply and equally in the joy of living. (A paraphrasing of W. E. Channing) A ttachment ‘I had a Black Dog’ – Matthew Johnstone


A nxiety


http:// cmhc.utexas.edu/stressrecess/Level_One/fof.html Cavemen in the Classroom… A nxiety


A nxiety Fight / Flight State Anxious State Normal State Depressed State Adrenalin and Cortisol Healthy Stress System… A specialist view… http :// www.hopestreetcentre.co.uk/therapy-sandbach-cheshire/biology-stress


A nxiety Fight / Flight State Anxious State Normal State Depressed State Adrenalin Cortisol Unhealthy Stress System… A specialist view… http :// www.hopestreetcentre.co.uk/therapy-sandbach-cheshire/biology-stress


A nxiety Breaking a Vicious Circle… Anxious State Flight / Flight State Depressive State Normative State Via… ‘Venting Slots’ Mindfulness Cognitive Behaviour Therapy ‘Respite’ PRU Placement Personalised Curriculum


A nxiety Blushing Dizzy / Light-headed Grimacing – ‘Smirking’ Fixed / glazed look – tunnel vision Dry mouth Muscle tension - clenched fists Distractedness – ‘skirty’ eye movement Heart pounding Fidgety Sweating Constipation Diarrhoea Excessive eating Bouts of fatigue Sleeplessness Lack of appetite Increased blood pressure Headaches Stomach aches Restlessness / hyperactivity – the ‘fake shift’ ‘I had a Black Dog’ – Matthew Johnstone Medium Term Short Term


A nxiety HumansNotRobots.co.uk School Stress Survey Identifying causes of anxiety…


Classroom Wider Community Homework and perceived consequences of ‘getting it wrong’ (particularly early on in Year 7). Collective punishment – when the teacher keeps everyone behind. Teacher volume – when the teacher shouts to reprimand, and more generally their everyday delivery voice. Puberty and getting changed for PE in communal areas . Exams and grades – the ‘C+ or bust’ pressure. Transition – Y6/Y7, Y9, Y11. The journey to and from s chool – both the school bus and journeying with parents (receiving a ‘nagging’ on the way). Changing friendships (particularly as Y7s settle, loosening primary bonds). ‘Fallout’ from conflicts on social media – often ‘banter’ that goes to far. Changeover – pushing etc. and noise on the corridors. ‘Being judged’ over appearance, sexuality, family background etc. Eating in front of other students. Common causes of anxiety… A nxiety


‘Comic Strip Conversations’ The importance of guided reflection… A nxiety


Restorative Enquiry 1. What happened? 2. What were you thinking when it happened? 3. What did you feel inside when it happened? 4. How are you now? 5. Who else has been affected? 6. What do you need to feel better? 7. What needs to happen to make things right? HumansNotRobots.co.uk Blank Model for Incidents Comic Strip Conversations


What achievement looks like…

A Flexible, Meaningful Curriculum for Diverse Needs:

A Flexible, Meaningful Curriculum for Diverse Needs Core Academic  Maths, Science, English, Computing Additional Academic  Art, Psychology, Humanities Alternative  COPE, Functional Skills, Forest Schools, Work Placements Emotional-Social  PSHE, Emotional Literacy, Community Counts, Reintegration All our students leave, having achieved or with better prospect of achieving: - Nationally recognised and valid qualifications… A more positive experience of education… Successful transition back to mainstream education Catch-Up / Booster Interventions


“I feel like more of a social worker than a teacher…”


…any questions?


Further reading… ‘It’s Kind of a Funny S tory’ by Ned Vizzini ‘Sad Book’ by Michael Rosen ‘The Discipline Coach’ by Jim Roberson ‘Attachment in the Classroom’ by Heather Geddes ‘What can I do with the kid who…’ by Maria Delaney


www. HumansNotRobot s.co.uk Copyright , Matt Grant, 2012 All rights reserved. Permission to present this material and distribute freely for non-commercial purposes is granted, provided this copyright notice and those in the slides remain intact and is included in the distribution. If you modify this work, please note where you have modified it, as I want neither credit nor responsibility for your work. Modification for the purpose of taking credit for my work or otherwise circumventing the spirit of this license is not allowed, and will be considered a copyright violation. Any suggestions and corrections are appreciated and may be incorporated into future versions of this work, and credited as appropriate . If you believe I have infringed copyright, please contact me via the above website and I will promptly credit, amend or remove the material in question.

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