The purpose of this activity is to reflect on the networks of support that exist in the school community, roles and responsibilities within these, and how to work effectively with whānau of students with additional learning needs.
In the activity, teachers and leaders draw on their own experience of teamwork when supporting students with additional learning needs and deepen their understanding by reading about networks of support in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.
Task 1: Mapping our network
Ask everyone to work in small groups. Ideally these should include colleagues from the same year, syndicate, or department, as the activity requires the group to think about a student everyone in the group knows.
- Think of a student with additional learning needs in your class, syndicate, or year level. Ideally, choose a student who at least one person in the group knows well.
- Use the blank "Our networks of support" resource sheet and populate it with the people and agencies that support this student, their whānau, and the classroom teacher. Put the names of the student, their whānau, and the classroom teacher in the three circles at the centre. In the next circle, put all the people from within the school who support and connect with those at the centre of the diagram. In the outer circle, put the people and agencies that come into the school to provide support.
- Now read the section of Working Together that starts with the heading "Networks of support" and includes Figure 3 (a version of the diagram you just worked on).
- After looking at the diagram and reading the related text, go back to your group’s diagram and see if there are any changes you’d like to make.
Give the groups the option to complete one of the follow-up activities below:
Task 2a: Team member roles and responsibilities
- In your groups, select a team member from the inner circle, the middle circle, and the outer circle and brainstorm their roles and responsibilities in the network of support. Record your ideas.
- Now read the "Working in a team", "Shared planning", and "Day to day collaboration" parts of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.
- After reading these parts, go back to your group’s ideas about roles and responsibilities to see if there is anything you’d like to add or change.
- Make note of any questions that were raised in your small group discussion that were challenging to answer or resolve.
Task 2b: Perspectives of whānau
- Read the "Perspectives of whānau" part of the Working Together section in Implementing an Inclusive Curriculum.
- In your groups, look at the table that summarises the ERO report findings about what whānau wanted from schools and how schools could best work with them to meet the needs of their children. Discuss the positive ways of working that parents identified and reflect on your own practice in light of these.
- Record the key ideas from your discussion, making note of things your school does well and any next steps for improvement.
- Note any questions that were raised in your small group discussion that were challenging to answer or resolve.
Bring everyone back together and ask each small group to share their ideas with the whole group. Ask each group to share any unresolved questions and discuss these with the group as well.
Finally, facilitate a whole-group discussion using these questions:
- What was affirming?
- What was new learning?
- What were the key ideas in the reading for you?