Physical Disabilities Outreach
As a residential special school for children and young people with physical disabilities, Valence is able to offer Outreach and training to colleagues in mainstream schools, nurseries and Early Years settings. This work has as its aim ensuring that all children and young people with physical disabilities who are placed in mainstream schools and settings are fully included in the teaching and learning in those establishments, and are given every opportunity to develop their independence.
Co-ordinated by one of the assistant head teachers at Valence, this training complements the role of the Specialist Teachers for PD, who work across the county providing bespoke support and advice for PD CYP through the LIFT process.
Examples of this training include:
- awareness and understanding of issues around inclusion and independence for PD Children and Young People
- the adaptive curriculum
- maximising TA deployment
- the use of assistive technology in Teaching and Learning
- alternative ways of recording
- information on medical conditions which may be encountered and the impact on learning
- adapting the physical environment to maximise learning
- testing, examination and accreditation access arrangements
The school also works in partnership with the Teacher Training departments of Canterbury Christchurch and Greenwich Universities, providing both taught sessions and seminars at the universities, and opportunities to spend a day at Valence (see Valence Training Days below).
Valence Training Days
Valence Training Days, are unique capacity-building experiences for professionals working either in education or related fields. A typical programme includes:
- lesson immersions, where visitors can work alongside the students, TAs and teachers
- a tour of the school, highlighting adaptations which enable students to be as independent as possible
- Q&A sessions, if requested, with practitioners from the on-site Health team and the Communications team (subject to availability)
- chatting with some of the older students, some of whom came to Valence from mainstream schools
- a session with a TA focussing on how this role can enable progress and independence in (and out of) lessons
- presentations from professionals on a variety of topics (e.g., alternative ways of recording)
For mainstream school colleagues, the emphasis is on how the use of an adaptive curriculum, informed by a thorough knowledge of the skills and abilities of individual students, can translate into a mainstream context.
We encourage a reflective approach to professional practice, and, with the emphasis firmly on enabling independence, both for CYP, institutions and individual practitioners, we aim to support mainstream colleagues in achieving this key objective through our Outreach offer.