Some experts still want us to believe that TAs have little impact on achievement and are poor value for money, although their contribution to students’ behaviour, attitudes and confidence is acknowledged.
The research behind these headlines is based more on trends than conclusive evidence but it does point to the need for schools to increase their investment in training for support staff.
It seems too many committed and inspirational people are employed as teaching assistants without the core training needed to properly support literacy across the curriculum; at a level that will really make a difference to learning outcomes. It is sometimes the case they spend too much time freeing up the teacher to work with other pupils or perpetuating a ‘dependency culture’ with the students they are allocated to.
Schools who have experienced our TA Reading & Writing Training days report an immediate and positive impact on students’ reading & writing. Just one day of subject specific literacy training will have a greater impact on young people’s learning outcomes and can even begin to change the professional relationship between a TA and the teacher.
So imagine what 2 days of training, involving both subject knowledge and practical ideas could do? The potential impact is immense and far reaching.
Day One: Supporting Reading – this includes a review of the questions ‘How do we read?’ and detailed work on reading strategies, including phonics and grammar. We end, as we began, with a question ‘Why do we read?’
Day Two: Supporting Writing – has a focus on sentence construction and the building blocks of crafting a piece of writing. But it also includes some wider, pertinent questions such as ‘What are our expectations of writing across the curriculum?’ and ‘What is the role of Speaking & Listening in improving the quality of writing?
Both days will also equip TAs with practical ideas to help young people become more confident readers and writers.
Sue Dixon, founder of Thinking Child, has designed this course from years of experience as a literacy consultant and trainer. She understands what is required on these vital core learning modules and what TAs and schools require from limited time.
You can choose just one of the two days or stagger them across the year.
These core days of training would be delivered in your own setting or in a location of your choice, for example as host to other schools.
All materials and hand outs are included in the package cost of £1700 (when both days are booked together). £950 (+VAT) per individual day – up to a maximum of 25 delegates.
To book your course or find out more take a look at the online brochure http://www.thinkingchild.org.uk/training/
Tel: 01604 491511
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org