Hosted at Racemeadow Primary Academy, for a consortium of schools in North Warwickshire

Hosted at Racemeadow Primary Academy, for a consortium of schools in North Warwickshire.

Introduction and Background

Towards the end of last year, The TA College was contacted by the head of a consortium of schools in North Warwickshire, asking us to go and provide training for 90 of their TAs in Promoting Independence and Coaching and Mentoring. These are topics incredibly close to our hearts here at The TA College, as we believe that in addition to academic skills the development of life skills such as self motivation, self belief, communication skills and confidence are imperative to a healthy and happy life, and recognise the importance of schools and TAs in fostering these qualities in children and young people.

What we found out

As there was such a large number of TAs, we decided it would be best to split the group in two, and I would take one group for Promoting Independence in the morning, and Eva would focus on Coaching and Mentoring, and in the afternoon we would switch groups. It soon became clear that although part of the same consortium, the practices between the different schools varied greatly, and by providing interactive sessions we gave the TAs valuable time to share experiences and insights, as well as take a step back from the chaos of school life to reflect on their practice.

How we helped and services provided

The two sessions complemented each other, in that you could apply what you had learnt in the morning to the afternoon session, thinking about it from a different perspective. For Promoting Independence, we looked at what skills we want children to leave school with, and how as a TA we can support the development of these skills - from big changes such as nurture groups, to small interactions and key phrases. We also considered why children may struggle with independence, and looked at the work of Lev Vygotsky and strategies we can use to support children's inquisitiveness and desire to learn.

Conclusion

A lovely day with a very conscientious group of TAs, some of whom were pleased to have their current practice confirmed and consider how to take this further, and others who were introduced to new ideas and strategies to support their learners.