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Standard 5: Adapt teaching to respond to the strengths and needs of all pupils
  • know when and how to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable pupils to be taught effectively -have a secure understanding of how a range of factors can inhibit pupils’ ability to learn, and how best to overcome these
  • demonstrate an awareness of the physical, social and intellectual development of children, and know how to adapt teaching to support pupils’ education at different stages of development
  • have a clear understanding of the needs of all pupils, including those with special educational needs; those of high ability; those with English as an additional language; those with disabilities; and be able to use and evaluate distinctive teaching approaches to engage and support them.
Minimum Good High
  In addition to the criteria for minimum In addition to the criteria for good

They know the pupils well enough to recognise the different needs and strengths of individuals and groups and begin to adapt their teaching to address those needs and strengths so that learners are supported towards achieving their potential.

They are aware of a range of factors that are potential barriers to achievement and understand how experienced teachers use a range of strategies to reduce these barriers.

They begin to deploy these strategies themselves, working alongside experienced teachers and support staff as appropriate.

They show awareness of how children and young people develop and take account of this in their teaching.

They have some understanding of the challenges and opportunities of teaching in a diverse society.

They have a developing understanding of the needs of all pupils and are able to articulate distinctive teaching approaches and strategies needed to engage and support pupils with particular needs, including EAL and SEND. When the opportunity has arisen they have used these successfully and are able to evaluate the impact of the adaptations employed, on the progress of individual learners.

They consistently adapt their teaching to meet the needs of individual and groups of learners to support progression in learning.

They know how to secure progress for learners and how to identify when groups and individuals have made progress.

They have a range of effective strategies that they can apply to reduce barriers and respond to the strengths and needs of their pupils.

They clearly recognise how to deal with any potential barriers to learning through their application of well-targeted interventions and the appropriate deployment of available support staff.

They quickly and accurately discern their learners’ strengths and needs and are proactive in differentiating and employing a range of effective intervention strategies to secure progression for individuals and groups.

They have an astute understanding of how effective different teaching approaches are in relation to impact on learning and engagement of learners.

Note: words in red are the key driver words for this standard | indicates a video resource
Questions to drive mentor / trainee conversations
  • How does the trainee’s planning refer to individuals and groups of pupils’ learning needs? Do they know what their pupils already know and are able to do? Are they aware of IEPs, language assessments etc?
  • Do learning objectives reflect the needs and abilities of the class? How do pupils know what is expected of them?
  • How does the trainee use children’s prior knowledge in their teaching? Are they able to plan to do so, and to do this effectively?
  • Is the trainee able to explain how particular lessons provide appropriate challenge and support? How do they use a variety of strategies for differentiation? Can they explain why specific strategies are being used?
  • Can the trainee explain relevant factors that might inhibit learning for the pupils being taught? Can they devise strategies to overcome these factors?
  • Does the trainee’s lesson plans / medium term plans incorporate appropriate models of progression?
  • When evaluating lessons is the trainee aware of the levels of engagement and attainment of different groups and individuals? Q How does the trainee seek to actively engage all pupils in the learning? Is this effective?
  • Bishton, H. (2007) Children's voice, children's rights: what children with special needs have to say about their variously inclusive schools, NCSL - available at this link
  • Booth, T. and Ainscow, M. (2002) Index for Inclusion: developing learningand participation in schools, CSIE - available at this link
  • Clarke, A. (2012) Special educational needs in England - Statistical first release, DfE - available at this link
  • DCSF (2009) Bullying Involving Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Safe to Learn: Embedding anti-bullying work in schools - available at this link
  • DCSF (2010) Breaking the link between special educational needs and low attainment - Everyone's business - available at this link
  • DES (2004) Pedagogy and practice: teaching and learning in secondary schools. Unit 4: Lesson design for inclusion - available at this link
  • DfE (2011 and 2012) Various documents including:
  • DfE (2011) Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability – A Consultation - available at this link
  • DfES (2001) Special Educational Needs: Code of practice (ref: DfES 0581/2001) - available at this link
  • DfES (2001) SEN Toolkit (ref: DfES 0558 2001) - available at this link
  • DfES (2001) Guidance on Access to Education for Children and Young People with Medical Needs (ref: DfES 0732/2001) - available at this link
  • Ellis, S. Tod, J., and Graham-Matheson, L. (2008) Special Educational Needs and Inclusion: Reflection and Renewal, NASUWT - available at this link
  • General Teaching Council for England (2004) Research for Teachers - Effective strategies for pupils with EBD, GTCE. - available at this link
  • General Teaching Council for England (2007) Research for Teachers - Special educational needs and inclusion, GTCE - available at this link
  • Jisc TechDis site available at this link: JISC TechDis is a UK advisory service on technologies for inclusion
  • Lamb, B., (2009)  Lamb Inquiry: special educational needs and parental confidence, DCSF - available at this link
  • Law J, Plunkett C (2009) The interaction between behaviour and speech and language difficulties: does intervention for one affect outcomes in the other? Technical report, Evidence in Education Library London: EPPI-Centre, Institute of Education, University of London. Review available at this link
  • NALDIC (2009) EAL and SEN - professional development resources for teacher educators - available at this link
  • Nasen is an organisation in the UK which aims to promote the education, training, advancement and development of all those with special and additional support needs. Nasen website
  • Ofsted (2006) Inclusion: does it matter where children are taught? - available at this link
  • Ofsted (2008) Special educational needs and disability - Towards inclusive schools - available at this link
  • Ofsted (2009) Twelve outstanding special schools – excelling through inclusion - available at this link
  • Ofsted (2010) The special educational needs and disability review - available at this link
  • TDA (2009) Special educational needs and/or disabilities training toolkit : PGCE courses : statutory requirements : PGCE Session 1: Available at this link
  • TDA (2009) Special educational needs and/or disabilities training toolkit : PGCE courses : statutory requirements : PGCE Session 2: Available at this link
  • TDA (2010) Training materials for teachers of learners with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties - available at this link
  • Teachers TV (archived) (2009) The Teachers TV ITE Lectures: Inclusive Physical Education - available at this link
  • Teachers TV (archived) (2009) The Teachers TV ITE Lectures: Excellence and equity - available at this link
  • The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001) - available at this link
  • UNESCO (1994) The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education Paris: UNESCO - available at this link
  • Veronikas, S. and Shaughnessy, M.F. (2004) A reflective conversation with Carol Dweck: Available at this link
  • Autism including Aspergers syndrome
  • Dyslexia
    • British Dyslexia Association -
    • DCSF (2009) Teaching Children and Young People with Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties: An independent report from Sir Jim Rose for the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families - available at this link
    • Dyslexia Scotland (2012) Addressing Dyslexia toolkit - available at this link
    • General Teaching Council for England (2008) Research for Teachers -Strategies for supporting dyslexic pupils, GTCE. Available at this link
  • Dyspraxia
  • Gifted and Talented
    • Bailey R, Pearce G, Winstanley C, Sutherland M, Smith C, Stack N, Dickenson M (2008) A systematic review of interventions aimed at improving the educational achievement of pupils identified as gifted and talented. Technical report. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI. Available at this link
    • DfES (2007) Gifted and talented education: guidance on preventing underachievement: a focus on dual or multiple exceptionality (dme). Available at this link
    • DCSF documents on Gifted and Talented - Guidance and toolkits are available on the Educational Evidence Portal (eep) - available at this link
    • Dweck, C. (2004) ‘Self-theories and lessons for giftedness: a reflective conversation with Carol Dweck‘, Gifted Education International, 19, 27 – 33. Available at this link
    • The National Association for Gifted Children:
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This page last updated Jan 20th, 2013