This article was written for SEN Leader magazine and first published in April 2017. You can find out how to access the full article on the SEN Leader website here.
Our school years are amongst the most emotionally and mentally challenging because – whilst we’re at school, more than at any other time in our lives – we experience myriad transitions: there are changes to our teachers and teaching assistants; changes to the year groups, classes, and schools we attend; changes to the culture and learning environment in which we study (as we move from nursery to primary school, from primary school to secondary, and from secondary school to further or higher education); changes to the level of difficulty offered by the ever-evolving curriculum; changes to the nature and level of expectations that are placed upon us; changes to the resources and support available to us; and changes to our home lives, too.
And this lengthy list ignores the fact that our bodies begin to change, too, as we transition through puberty.
How we respond to all these transitions can determine whether we succeed or fail, and influence the extent to which we develop resilience, patience, self-efficacy, and other social skills that are required later in life.
The emotional and mental effects of all these changes are amplified for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Accordingly, one of the SENCo’s main duties is to help pupils with SEND manage these transitions and reduce the negative impact they can have on pupils’ education and wellbeing.
To continue reading this article, visit the SEN Leader website.
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