Review: The Teacher’s Guide to SEN by Natalie Packer

This weekend I read The Teacher’s Guide to SEN by Natalie Packer, a fantastic resource for teachers to develop their understanding of the different types of Special Educational Needs and disabilities (SEND)

It also presents a collection of practical strategies and tips of how to ensure high quality teaching for all students in your classroom.

The latest (2014) SEN Code of Practice emphasises how the responsibility and accountability of children’s progress, including those with SEND, lies with the classroom teacher and not the SENCO . For that reason, in my opinion, this book needs to be in every staff room of every school. Allowing teachers and support staff to dip into it as a reference to support their day to day teaching and care of children with SEND.
What did I like about it? 

  • Useful for trainee teachers as a starting point and equally beneficial for established teachers wanting to update/ refresh their understanding.
  • Organised– I sat down and read the whole book, but due to its fantastic layout you could easily dip into sections and use as a reference.
  • Interesting Statistics and Facts throughout the book in the Did you Know? sections. For example, this one on page 11.

  • Suggestions of Strategies/ ideas in the Try It! sections. One of my favourites being this one:

  • Teacher’s Toolkit (Part 2) provides valuable information on what children with a certain type of SEN might find difficult. As well as practical classroom strategies to put into place. For example how to create a well structured environment for children with ASD.
  • Promotes The Importance of Listening to Parents- what I loved about this book was: in Chapter 4 ‘Working in Partnership’, the first group of people mentioned to work with isn’t the Educational Psychologist or other professional, but the parents. By putting parents as the first ‘partner’, Natalie Packer is promoting the importance of talking to parents and including them in decision making about their child. After all, parents are the experts when it comes to their own children.

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