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Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant

Element One The Learning Element One The Learning


Environment Environment

1. Organising and maintaining the classroom 1. Organising and maintaining the classroom
environment environment

This unit is designed to help the Teachers Assistant think about important This unit is designed to help the Teachers Assistant think about important
features of the classroom environment and ways that they can contribute to features of the classroom environment and ways that they can contribute to
making a positive and effective classroom environment. making a positive and effective classroom environment.

Goals of a quality learning environment Goals of a quality learning environment

The learning environment can either support or detract from the efforts of the The learning environment can either support or detract from the efforts of the
teacher, the teaching assistant and the pupils. When making decisions teacher, the teaching assistant and the pupils. When making decisions
regarding the learning environment it may be helpful for the teaching assistant regarding the learning environment it may be helpful for the teaching assistant
to keep in mind what it is that is being promoted. The goals of a quality to keep in mind what it is that is being promoted. The goals of a quality
learning environment should include to: learning environment should include to:

x maximise learning x maximise learning


x create a safe and positive environment x create a safe and positive environment
x minimise behaviour problems x minimise behaviour problems

When teachers and teaching assistants consciously develop a plan for setting When teachers and teaching assistants consciously develop a plan for setting
up the classroom and consistently apply that plan, classrooms become more up the classroom and consistently apply that plan, classrooms become more
effective. Effective classroom organisation maximizes the time spent on effective. Effective classroom organisation maximizes the time spent on
teaching and learning experiences. teaching and learning experiences.

Effective classroom organisation and maintenance Effective classroom organisation and maintenance

Teaching assistants working in any type of school setting, whether they are Teaching assistants working in any type of school setting, whether they are
employed to support an individual pupil, a group of pupils a class, a subject or employed to support an individual pupil, a group of pupils a class, a subject or
year group, should contribute to maintaining an effective learning year group, should contribute to maintaining an effective learning
environment. This may involve some or all of the following duties: environment. This may involve some or all of the following duties:

x Keeping classroom resources in good order. x Keeping classroom resources in good order.
x Assisting in preparation of resources before lessons and tidying x Assisting in preparation of resources before lessons and tidying
afterwards. afterwards.
x Cleaning and ensuring the classroom is tidy. x Cleaning and ensuring the classroom is tidy.

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x Repairing and maintaining apparatus and resources. x Repairing and maintaining apparatus and resources.
x Assisting in the presentation of work and display areas x Assisting in the presentation of work and display areas

In order to carry out these duties the teaching assistant will first need to In order to carry out these duties the teaching assistant will first need to
establish these important factors which may vary from school to school: establish these important factors which may vary from school to school:

x Their role and responsibility for helping to organise the learning x Their role and responsibility for helping to organise the learning
environment environment
x The roles and responsibilities of others within the school in respect of x The roles and responsibilities of others within the school in respect of
establishing and maintaining learning environments establishing and maintaining learning environments
x The principles and practices of inclusive education and the implications x The principles and practices of inclusive education and the implications
of these for setting out learning environments of these for setting out learning environments
x What safety equipment is kept in different learning environments x What safety equipment is kept in different learning environments
x Where different equipment and materials are kept x Where different equipment and materials are kept
x The school’s health and safety policy as it applies to learning x The school’s health and safety policy as it applies to learning
environments, resources and materials environments, resources and materials
x The school requirements and any other guidance for health, hygiene, x The school requirements and any other guidance for health, hygiene,
safety, security and supervision in the setting, including access to safety, security and supervision in the setting, including access to
premises, store rooms and storage areas. premises, store rooms and storage areas.

In order to provide an effective learning environment and promote learning In order to provide an effective learning environment and promote learning
outcomes, effective organisation and maintenance should be carried out in the outcomes, effective organisation and maintenance should be carried out in the
following areas: following areas:

1. Prepare and maintain the learning environment 1. Prepare and maintain the learning environment

A learning environment could be any area inside or outside of the school A learning environment could be any area inside or outside of the school
setting which is used for teaching and learning. Learning environments may setting which is used for teaching and learning. Learning environments may
be general teaching areas such as classrooms or the school hall; specialist be general teaching areas such as classrooms or the school hall; specialist
teaching areas such as those set up for science, art, food technology, or PE; teaching areas such as those set up for science, art, food technology, or PE;
or outside areas such as the playground or sports fields or outside areas such as the playground or sports fields

Tasks which an assistant may be asked to carry out after a short period of Tasks which an assistant may be asked to carry out after a short period of
induction training and with straightforward guidance from the classroom induction training and with straightforward guidance from the classroom
teacher might include: teacher might include:

x Participate in the organisation and maintenance of the classroom x Participate in the organisation and maintenance of the classroom
environment. environment.
x Decorate bulletin boards, as appropriate for time of year, lesson x Decorate bulletin boards, as appropriate for time of year, lesson
content, etc. content, etc.
x Make displays e.g. Mount examples of children's work, pictures, x Make displays e.g. Mount examples of children's work, pictures,
interest tables under the supervision of teaching staff interest tables under the supervision of teaching staff

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x Check the availability and location of safety equipment in the learning x Check the availability and location of safety equipment in the learning
environment environment
x Maintain neat and clean desks, bookshelves etc x Maintain neat and clean desks, bookshelves etc
x Encourage pupils to return materials to the appropriate place after use x Encourage pupils to return materials to the appropriate place after use
x Dispose of waste and redundant resources safely, making maximum x Dispose of waste and redundant resources safely, making maximum
use of opportunities for recycling materials and equipment use of opportunities for recycling materials and equipment
x Encourage pupils to dispose of wastes in a safe and tidy manner x Encourage pupils to dispose of wastes in a safe and tidy manner

2. Prepare the learning resources 2. Prepare the learning resources

The learning resources are the basic classroom furniture and equipment The learning resources are the basic classroom furniture and equipment
needed to support a learning activity, including general resources such as needed to support a learning activity, including general resources such as
tables and chairs, curriculum specific resources such as PE equipment, tables and chairs, curriculum specific resources such as PE equipment,
science equipment: and ICT equipment such as computers or digital cameras. science equipment: and ICT equipment such as computers or digital cameras.
Duties the teaching assistant may have to perform whilst preparing the Duties the teaching assistant may have to perform whilst preparing the
resources might include: resources might include:

x Prepare and set out learning resources in line with the preparation x Prepare and set out learning resources in line with the preparation
requirements given by the teacher requirements given by the teacher
x Maintain a complete and accurate inventory of resources x Maintain a complete and accurate inventory of resources
x Ensure that the necessary information about legal, regulatory and x Ensure that the necessary information about legal, regulatory and
school requirements, and the manufacturers’ instructions, are at hand school requirements, and the manufacturers’ instructions, are at hand
x Ensure users are aware of relevant health and safety guidance when x Ensure users are aware of relevant health and safety guidance when
issuing resources issuing resources

3. Prepare learning materials for use 3. Prepare learning materials for use

Materials may include the written materials and consumables needed for the Materials may include the written materials and consumables needed for the
learning activity, including general classroom items such as pencils, rulers and learning activity, including general classroom items such as pencils, rulers and
paper, curriculum specific materials such as paints, science materials or paper, curriculum specific materials such as paints, science materials or
cooking ingredients and written materials such as handouts, worksheets and cooking ingredients and written materials such as handouts, worksheets and
books. The teaching assistant may be required to: books. The teaching assistant may be required to:

x Make or organise necessary materials i.e. Flash cards, pictures, x Make or organise necessary materials i.e. Flash cards, pictures,
worksheets worksheets
x Record educational television and radio programmes x Record educational television and radio programmes
x Identify where different equipment and materials are kept x Identify where different equipment and materials are kept
x Prepare materials ahead of time. x Prepare materials ahead of time.
x Set out learning materials as directed by the teacher x Set out learning materials as directed by the teacher
x Store stock safely and securely, ensuring effective stock rotation where x Store stock safely and securely, ensuring effective stock rotation where
appropriate appropriate
x Develop places for convenient storage of frequently used materials. x Develop places for convenient storage of frequently used materials.

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4. Monitor and maintain the learning environment and resources 4. Monitor and maintain the learning environment and resources

So that resources and materials are always readily available in a good So that resources and materials are always readily available in a good
condition, it will be necessary to keep accurate records of them and monitor condition, it will be necessary to keep accurate records of them and monitor
their condition. their condition.

x Check the condition of learning resources and materials after use x Check the condition of learning resources and materials after use
x Bring any damage or losses to learning resources and materials to the x Bring any damage or losses to learning resources and materials to the
attention of the teacher attention of the teacher
x Report shortages of learning materials to the teacher x Report shortages of learning materials to the teacher
x Ensure that the quality and quantity of resources is maintained x Ensure that the quality and quantity of resources is maintained
x Inform relevant people when there is a problem with maintaining x Inform relevant people when there is a problem with maintaining
resources that is outside their area of responsibility resources that is outside their area of responsibility
x Work safely at all times, complying with health, safety and x Work safely at all times, complying with health, safety and
environmental regulations and guidelines environmental regulations and guidelines
x Monitor the demand for and use of resources to identify areas for x Monitor the demand for and use of resources to identify areas for
improving quality, supply and suitability improving quality, supply and suitability
x Carry out and record regular inspections of resources in line with legal, x Carry out and record regular inspections of resources in line with legal,
regulatory and organisational requirements regulatory and organisational requirements
x Carry out routine cleaning and maintenance of resources in x Carry out routine cleaning and maintenance of resources in
accordance with school requirements and manufacturers’ instructions accordance with school requirements and manufacturers’ instructions

2. Use learning materials, resources and equipment 2. Use learning materials, resources and equipment
effectively, appropriately and safely. effectively, appropriately and safely.

Materials, resources and equipment should always be used safely, effectively Materials, resources and equipment should always be used safely, effectively
and appropriately in order to promote successful outcomes. The teaching and appropriately in order to promote successful outcomes. The teaching
assistant can contribute to this success by preparing and organising the assistant can contribute to this success by preparing and organising the
learning environment with the safety, comfort and security of the pupils in learning environment with the safety, comfort and security of the pupils in
mind and ensure that the environment is ready for use when needed. mind and ensure that the environment is ready for use when needed.

The teaching assistant should follow the relevant manufacturers’ instructions The teaching assistant should follow the relevant manufacturers’ instructions
and health and safety requirements when preparing materials for use. They and health and safety requirements when preparing materials for use. They
should then prepare materials of the quality and quantity specified by the should then prepare materials of the quality and quantity specified by the
teacher, taking steps to keep any wastage of materials to a minimum. They teacher, taking steps to keep any wastage of materials to a minimum. They
should also check environmental conditions, for example heating and should also check environmental conditions, for example heating and
ventilation and adjust environmental factors within their control and adapt the ventilation and adjust environmental factors within their control and adapt the
physical environment to suit the needs of the pupils and the nature of the physical environment to suit the needs of the pupils and the nature of the
activities. They should know where to locate all safety equipment and report activities. They should know where to locate all safety equipment and report
any concerns about availability or condition to the appropriate person. any concerns about availability or condition to the appropriate person.

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Effective use equipment, resources and materials Effective use equipment, resources and materials

A teaching assistant has the opportunity to learn a variety of tasks related to A teaching assistant has the opportunity to learn a variety of tasks related to
equipment and technology and to assist in making instructional options in the equipment and technology and to assist in making instructional options in the
classroom more effective, varied, and interesting for students classroom more effective, varied, and interesting for students

With the advancement in technology, equipment being used by teachers is With the advancement in technology, equipment being used by teachers is
ever-changing. During the course of a day, the teacher’s assistants may be ever-changing. During the course of a day, the teacher’s assistants may be
exposed to an array of equipment and resources. exposed to an array of equipment and resources.

The teaching assistant should be familiar with what the school has in the way The teaching assistant should be familiar with what the school has in the way
of equipment. During the first days that they are on the job, they will probably of equipment. During the first days that they are on the job, they will probably
be given a tour as to where the equipment is stored, policies for use, and how be given a tour as to where the equipment is stored, policies for use, and how
to use the equipment. to use the equipment.

The teaching assistant should take some time to practice using the equipment The teaching assistant should take some time to practice using the equipment
before it is needed and before the children are present if at all possible. This before it is needed and before the children are present if at all possible. This
will make them more relaxed when it comes time to actually using the will make them more relaxed when it comes time to actually using the
equipment. They could try to arrange time with the teacher, media specialist, equipment. They could try to arrange time with the teacher, media specialist,
or someone who knows about equipment use as these people will be able to or someone who knows about equipment use as these people will be able to
guide them as they learn how to use the equipment properly. guide them as they learn how to use the equipment properly.

The teaching assistant may also be asked to prepare many types of The teaching assistant may also be asked to prepare many types of
instructional materials for the teacher, especially if they are artistically inclined. instructional materials for the teacher, especially if they are artistically inclined.
To get an idea of what they may be expected to do, the following is a list of To get an idea of what they may be expected to do, the following is a list of
tasks sometimes performed by the teaching assistant: tasks sometimes performed by the teaching assistant:

x Operating the laminating machine x Operating the laminating machine


x Videotaping events in the classroom x Videotaping events in the classroom
x Supervising students working on media projects. x Supervising students working on media projects.
x Working computer software x Working computer software
x Using a camera to take pictures of class work x Using a camera to take pictures of class work
x Using a photocopying machine. x Using a photocopying machine.
x Setting up and operating tape recorders, filmstrip projectors, projectors, x Setting up and operating tape recorders, filmstrip projectors, projectors,
etc. etc.
x Making transparencies for the overhead projector. x Making transparencies for the overhead projector.
x Preparing posters, charts, and other visual aids x Preparing posters, charts, and other visual aids

Appropriate use of equipment, resources and materials Appropriate use of equipment, resources and materials

Besides using the equipment, it is also important that the teaching assistant Besides using the equipment, it is also important that the teaching assistant
previews presentations before using them with the class. All materials used previews presentations before using them with the class. All materials used
should be appropriate for the age and developmental stage of the children should be appropriate for the age and developmental stage of the children
using them. If the materials, resources or equipment are intended for using them. If the materials, resources or equipment are intended for

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students of a higher developmental level or greater age the material will cause students of a higher developmental level or greater age the material will cause
confusion whilst material aimed at a younger aged student will cause confusion whilst material aimed at a younger aged student will cause
frustration. frustration.

Checking the appropriate use of materials will also include making sure that Checking the appropriate use of materials will also include making sure that
copyright laws have not been infringed by the coping of protected materials copyright laws have not been infringed by the coping of protected materials

Safe use of materials, resources and equipment Safe use of materials, resources and equipment

All equipment, resources and materials should be used within the All equipment, resources and materials should be used within the
manufactures recommendations and the guidelines stated in the schools manufactures recommendations and the guidelines stated in the schools
Health and safety policy. The teaching assistant should therefore be familiar Health and safety policy. The teaching assistant should therefore be familiar
with this policy and assist the teacher in its implementation at all times. In with this policy and assist the teacher in its implementation at all times. In
addition they should: addition they should:

x Ensure the learning environment is safe and free of hazards during x Ensure the learning environment is safe and free of hazards during
practical activities; practical activities;
x Ensure equipment and materials are used properly to support the x Ensure equipment and materials are used properly to support the
student’s learning needs; student’s learning needs;
x Ensure equipment and materials are stored in a safe manner when not x Ensure equipment and materials are stored in a safe manner when not
in use; in use;
x Assist in implementing appropriate safety procedures in an emergency. x Assist in implementing appropriate safety procedures in an emergency.

Periodic training should be provided, so that all staff are well informed about Periodic training should be provided, so that all staff are well informed about
changes in safety procedures to ensure that students and staff are protected changes in safety procedures to ensure that students and staff are protected

Electrical safety Electrical safety

All installations should conform to the requirements of the latest edition of the All installations should conform to the requirements of the latest edition of the
Institution of Electrical Engineers' Regulations for Electrical Installations, and Institution of Electrical Engineers' Regulations for Electrical Installations, and
all work must be carried out in accordance with the Electricity at Work all work must be carried out in accordance with the Electricity at Work
Regulations. Staff must not undertake any work on electrical equipment or Regulations. Staff must not undertake any work on electrical equipment or
installations, including resetting trip fuses, without receiving sufficient training. installations, including resetting trip fuses, without receiving sufficient training.

Safe Use of the Internet Safe Use of the Internet

The Internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools, The Internet and other digital and information technologies are powerful tools,
which open up new opportunities for everyone to have access to the wealth of which open up new opportunities for everyone to have access to the wealth of
cultural, scientific and intellectual material. All school staff share a cultural, scientific and intellectual material. All school staff share a
responsibility to make sure that children and young people are able to use the responsibility to make sure that children and young people are able to use the
internet appropriately and safely. Risks to pupils can include: internet appropriately and safely. Risks to pupils can include:

• Exposure to threat of physical danger, abuse, intimidation and • Exposure to threat of physical danger, abuse, intimidation and
bullying bullying

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• Misuse of resources • Misuse of resources


• Access to inappropriate material • Access to inappropriate material

The teacher and the teaching assistant should teach responsible use when The teacher and the teaching assistant should teach responsible use when
pupils are accessing the Internet. and provide guidance and supervision of pupils are accessing the Internet. and provide guidance and supervision of
students using the Internet in the following ways: students using the Internet in the following ways:

x Discuss the appropriate use of the Internet with pupils, monitor their x Discuss the appropriate use of the Internet with pupils, monitor their
use and intervene if the resource is not being used appropriately. use and intervene if the resource is not being used appropriately.
x Ensure computers that allow access to the Internet should only be x Ensure computers that allow access to the Internet should only be
placed in areas where adults are present. placed in areas where adults are present.
x Discourage pupils from accessing inappropriate materials. x Discourage pupils from accessing inappropriate materials.
x Ensure pupils do not reveal the identity, password, personal address or x Ensure pupils do not reveal the identity, password, personal address or
telephone number of themselves or anyone else. telephone number of themselves or anyone else.
x Ensure pupils report any objectionable contact that makes them feel x Ensure pupils report any objectionable contact that makes them feel
uncomfortable. uncomfortable.
x Students should be directed to safe areas of the Internet x Students should be directed to safe areas of the Internet
x Fit ICT tools that improve security: x Fit ICT tools that improve security:

x Firewall and virus protection x Firewall and virus protection


x Software filters x Software filters
x Accredited ISPs x Accredited ISPs
x Awareness of wireless technology issues x Awareness of wireless technology issues

Work equipment Work equipment

The School has a duty to ensure that arrangements are in place to comply The School has a duty to ensure that arrangements are in place to comply
with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). These with the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations (PUWER). These
regulations are far-reaching and cover any equipment or articles used at work, regulations are far-reaching and cover any equipment or articles used at work,
from a chair to a stepladder. The school should ensure that work equipment from a chair to a stepladder. The school should ensure that work equipment
used by staff is suitable for the purpose intended and in good working order used by staff is suitable for the purpose intended and in good working order
and should ensure that equipment is used in accordance with the and should ensure that equipment is used in accordance with the
manufacturer's or supplier's instructions and where necessary receive manufacturer's or supplier's instructions and where necessary receive
sufficient instruction and training in the safe use of equipment. sufficient instruction and training in the safe use of equipment.

Use of chemicals and other substances hazardous to health Use of chemicals and other substances hazardous to health

The School is required under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health The School is required under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health
(COSHH) Regulations to have in place arrangements to assess the exposure (COSHH) Regulations to have in place arrangements to assess the exposure
of its employees and other persons to hazardous substances and take of its employees and other persons to hazardous substances and take
adequate steps to avoid or control the exposure. This requirement covers not adequate steps to avoid or control the exposure. This requirement covers not
only substances such as cleaning chemicals etc, but also exposure to dusts only substances such as cleaning chemicals etc, but also exposure to dusts
emitted by work processes, and biological hazards such as legionella. emitted by work processes, and biological hazards such as legionella.
Training should be provided for health and safety coordinators or other Training should be provided for health and safety coordinators or other
persons nominated to do COSHH assessments. persons nominated to do COSHH assessments.

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3. How learning materials, resources and equipment 3. How learning materials, resources and equipment
can help children’s learning. can help children’s learning.

Quality learning environments are those that offer children new prospects. Quality learning environments are those that offer children new prospects.
Examples of quality environments that help children and young people are Examples of quality environments that help children and young people are
those that: those that:

x test boundaries – mentally and physically x test boundaries – mentally and physically
x create imaginary worlds x create imaginary worlds
x utilise their natural surroundings x utilise their natural surroundings
x are both sociable or solitary x are both sociable or solitary
x construct and alter their surroundings x construct and alter their surroundings
x experience change and continuity x experience change and continuity

The general aim of any educational establishment should be to plan a variety The general aim of any educational establishment should be to plan a variety
of learning experiences in the curriculum that meets the needs of all the areas of learning experiences in the curriculum that meets the needs of all the areas
of the child’s development. Those areas of growth and development are: of the child’s development. Those areas of growth and development are:

x Physical development - the physical growth and the development of x Physical development - the physical growth and the development of
both gross(eg. walking) and fine motor(eg. finger movement) control of both gross(eg. walking) and fine motor(eg. finger movement) control of
the body. the body.
x Communication and language development - the acquisition of x Communication and language development - the acquisition of
language and expression of thoughts and feelings. language and expression of thoughts and feelings.
x Social Development - The child's identity, their relationship with x Social Development - The child's identity, their relationship with
others, and understanding their place within a social environment. others, and understanding their place within a social environment.
x Perception and sensory development - How a child functions using x Perception and sensory development - How a child functions using
their senses and their ability to process that information. their senses and their ability to process that information.
x Cognitive development - How the individual thinks and reacts. x Cognitive development - How the individual thinks and reacts.
x Emotional Development – A childs increasing awareness and control x Emotional Development – A childs increasing awareness and control
of their feelings and how they react to these feelings in a given of their feelings and how they react to these feelings in a given
situation. situation.

Teachers and teaching assistants should understand how children develop Teachers and teaching assistants should understand how children develop
and plan an appropriate curriculum that takes account of children’s and plan an appropriate curriculum that takes account of children’s
developmental needs and the skills that they need to develop to become developmental needs and the skills that they need to develop to become
confident learners. Consideration should also be given to learning and confident learners. Consideration should also be given to learning and
participation problems caused by physical, sensory, communication or participation problems caused by physical, sensory, communication or
learning difficulties learning difficulties

Materials, resources and equipment including ICT can be used to promote Materials, resources and equipment including ICT can be used to promote
education and development. Carefully planned supporting materials can education and development. Carefully planned supporting materials can
provide valuable visual aids to enhance the effectiveness of teaching in a provide valuable visual aids to enhance the effectiveness of teaching in a
number of ways. number of ways.

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Learning materials, resources and equipment could include any of the Learning materials, resources and equipment could include any of the
following: following:

x basic classroom items x basic classroom items


x curriculum specific equipment and materials, x curriculum specific equipment and materials,
x general Information Technology resources x general Information Technology resources
x written materials. x written materials.

How basic classroom equipment can help children’s learning. How basic classroom equipment can help children’s learning.

The marker board - Board work is generally most useful for situations where The marker board - Board work is generally most useful for situations where
the teacher wishes to make the "big picture" available to all pupils. The the teacher wishes to make the "big picture" available to all pupils. The
information should be clear and in a logical order in order for everyone to information should be clear and in a logical order in order for everyone to
understand the thread. understand the thread.

The overhead projector - One of the major advantages of using an overhead The overhead projector - One of the major advantages of using an overhead
projector is that while the teacher is writing they can remain facing their projector is that while the teacher is writing they can remain facing their
audience. Writing on the overhead usually takes less time than writing on the audience. Writing on the overhead usually takes less time than writing on the
board, and it also enables them to use pre-prepared, typed or printed material. board, and it also enables them to use pre-prepared, typed or printed material.

Films and other recorded media - Films and other recorded media such as Films and other recorded media - Films and other recorded media such as
videotapes and audiotapes add variety and vividness to presentations of videotapes and audiotapes add variety and vividness to presentations of
course material. course material.

Slides - Using a slide projector can be the most effective and efficient way of Slides - Using a slide projector can be the most effective and efficient way of
presenting material with a strong visual component, such as ancient presenting material with a strong visual component, such as ancient
architecture or animals in their native habitats architecture or animals in their native habitats

How information and communication technology can help How information and communication technology can help
children’s learning. children’s learning.

The growth in technology in our world is reflected in the abundance of ICT The growth in technology in our world is reflected in the abundance of ICT
tools available for young children to use in their learning and to learn about. tools available for young children to use in their learning and to learn about.
Hardware that may used in the curriculum might include any of the following: Hardware that may used in the curriculum might include any of the following:

x Colour printers x Colour printers


x Scanners or digital stills or video cameras with associated software x Scanners or digital stills or video cameras with associated software
x Multimedia computers – including desktop computers, portables and x Multimedia computers – including desktop computers, portables and
personal digital personal digital
x ‘Floor turtle’ or robot x ‘Floor turtle’ or robot
x Control interface with associated switches, sensors, buzzers, lights and x Control interface with associated switches, sensors, buzzers, lights and
motors motors
x Digital microscopes x Digital microscopes

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Software that might be used as part of the curriculum might include any of the Software that might be used as part of the curriculum might include any of the
following: following:

x Software to move and match words and pictures; word banks; x Software to move and match words and pictures; word banks;
x Word processors x Word processors
x Paint and object-based drawing software x Paint and object-based drawing software
x Clip art files x Clip art files
x music composition programs or means of recording and editing sounds x music composition programs or means of recording and editing sounds
x multimedia authoring programs x multimedia authoring programs
x Graphing programs to draw bar charts, pie charts and line graphs x Graphing programs to draw bar charts, pie charts and line graphs
x Flat file and branching databases x Flat file and branching databases
x Simple spreadsheets x Simple spreadsheets
x Turtle graphics programs that include the use of repeats and x Turtle graphics programs that include the use of repeats and
procedures procedures
x Control programs that include sensing x Control programs that include sensing
x Simulations x Simulations
x E-mail and access to the internet x E-mail and access to the internet

Various technologies deliver different kinds of content and serve different Various technologies deliver different kinds of content and serve different
purposes in the classroom. For example, word processing and e-mail promote purposes in the classroom. For example, word processing and e-mail promote
communication skills; database and spreadsheet programs promote communication skills; database and spreadsheet programs promote
organizational skills; and modeling software promotes the understanding of organizational skills; and modeling software promotes the understanding of
science and mathematical concepts. science and mathematical concepts.

Digital cameras, tape recorders, camcorders and web cams can all be used to Digital cameras, tape recorders, camcorders and web cams can all be used to
record living things, objects and materials and give children an opportunity to record living things, objects and materials and give children an opportunity to
investigate and make sense of their environment and record their thoughts investigate and make sense of their environment and record their thoughts
and ideas. TV, video, software and live web cams can bring in different worlds and ideas. TV, video, software and live web cams can bring in different worlds
and different times, allowing children to find out about past and present events and different times, allowing children to find out about past and present events
and others, cultures and beliefs. and others, cultures and beliefs.

For teachers it can be the difference between learners who are unmotivated, For teachers it can be the difference between learners who are unmotivated,
and a class that wants to participate. The new technologies are capable of and a class that wants to participate. The new technologies are capable of
creating real energy and excitement for all age groups. Used well, they should creating real energy and excitement for all age groups. Used well, they should
motivate, personalise, and stretch. motivate, personalise, and stretch.

How curriculum specific equipment and resources can help How curriculum specific equipment and resources can help
pupil’s learning. pupil’s learning.

Curriculum specific resources are those needed to support a particular Curriculum specific resources are those needed to support a particular
learning activity such as PE equipment, science equipment, mathematics learning activity such as PE equipment, science equipment, mathematics
equipment; and ICT equipment such as computers and video players. equipment; and ICT equipment such as computers and video players.

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Choosing the right curriculum resources requires knowledge of both the Choosing the right curriculum resources requires knowledge of both the
learners and how they learn. Resources and equipment chosen to implement learners and how they learn. Resources and equipment chosen to implement
the curriculum and promote learning should: the curriculum and promote learning should:

x reflect the lives of the children and families. x reflect the lives of the children and families.
x reflect the diversity found in society, including gender roles, age, x reflect the diversity found in society, including gender roles, age,
language, and abilities. language, and abilities.
x provide for children’s safety while being appropriately challenging. x provide for children’s safety while being appropriately challenging.
x encourage exploration, experimentation, and discovery. x encourage exploration, experimentation, and discovery.
x promote action and interaction. x promote action and interaction.
x be organised to support independent use. x be organised to support independent use.
x be rotated to accommodate new interests and new skill levels. x be rotated to accommodate new interests and new skill levels.
x be rich in variety. x be rich in variety.
x accommodate children’s special needs. x accommodate children’s special needs.

Scientific equipment Scientific equipment

Practical skills are an essential part of competence in some disciplines Practical skills are an essential part of competence in some disciplines
especially the sciences. As well as developing these practical skills, good especially the sciences. As well as developing these practical skills, good
laboratory and practical work also helps pupils develop expertise in critical laboratory and practical work also helps pupils develop expertise in critical
enquiry, problem solving, experimental design, data analysis and enquiry, problem solving, experimental design, data analysis and
presentation, and many other important skills. Laboratories and practical presentation, and many other important skills. Laboratories and practical
classes can also help students to develop the kinds of practical intelligence so classes can also help students to develop the kinds of practical intelligence so
highly valued by professionals in many fields. The purpose of the lab or highly valued by professionals in many fields. The purpose of the lab or
practical class may be to: practical class may be to:

x improve students' understanding of the methods of scientific enquiry x improve students' understanding of the methods of scientific enquiry
through experiments or problem-solving activities through experiments or problem-solving activities
x help students to develop a range of skills such as measurement, x help students to develop a range of skills such as measurement,
observation, reasoning, working in teams, note taking and presenting observation, reasoning, working in teams, note taking and presenting
work in a written form work in a written form
x support learning x support learning

Art, Craft and Design Art, Craft and Design

Knowledge of using a variety of techniques with a range of artistic materials Knowledge of using a variety of techniques with a range of artistic materials
should be developed across the curriculum. Pupils should develop knowledge should be developed across the curriculum. Pupils should develop knowledge
about colour, line, tone, pattern, texture, shape and form. They should mix, about colour, line, tone, pattern, texture, shape and form. They should mix,
shape, arrange and combine materials to create their own images and objects shape, arrange and combine materials to create their own images and objects
that express their ideas, feelings and memories. Pupils should develop their that express their ideas, feelings and memories. Pupils should develop their
understanding of planning, designing, modelling, modifying and reflecting. understanding of planning, designing, modelling, modifying and reflecting.
They should use a range of materials and tools and have opportunities for They should use a range of materials and tools and have opportunities for
experimentation and problem solving. They should make simple products, experimentation and problem solving. They should make simple products,
mechanisms and learn that control is integral to everyday devices. Pupils mechanisms and learn that control is integral to everyday devices. Pupils

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should follow patterns and designs, use materials and components should follow patterns and designs, use materials and components
imaginatively to develop their ideas for making items or products. imaginatively to develop their ideas for making items or products.

PE Equipment PE Equipment

Pupil’s physical development should be encouraged by using safe and Pupil’s physical development should be encouraged by using safe and
stimulating learning indoor and outdoor environments. Pupil’s physical skills stimulating learning indoor and outdoor environments. Pupil’s physical skills
should be developed through opportunities to take part in regular physical should be developed through opportunities to take part in regular physical
activities that should enable them to develop their gross and fine motor skills. activities that should enable them to develop their gross and fine motor skills.
Activities should be organised and planned to provide opportunities for them Activities should be organised and planned to provide opportunities for them
to work individually, in pairs and in small groups. Through physical play they to work individually, in pairs and in small groups. Through physical play they
should develop an understanding of how their bodies move, how to move should develop an understanding of how their bodies move, how to move
safely and with control and coordination. They should become knowledgeable safely and with control and coordination. They should become knowledgeable
about spatial awareness and understand rules and elements of games and be about spatial awareness and understand rules and elements of games and be
able to apply this knowledge, for example, dodging to avoid others, and how able to apply this knowledge, for example, dodging to avoid others, and how
to attack and defend a target. They should create and develop co-operative to attack and defend a target. They should create and develop co-operative
and competitive games. and competitive games.

How written material can help children’s learning. How written material can help children’s learning.

The written materials and consumables are the products needed for the The written materials and consumables are the products needed for the
learning activity, such as handouts, worksheets and books. learning activity, such as handouts, worksheets and books.

Historically, the most important kinds of learning resources were paper-based, Historically, the most important kinds of learning resources were paper-based,
particularly books, journal articles, handout materials and students' own notes. particularly books, journal articles, handout materials and students' own notes.
These were the easiest ways to package up information from which students These were the easiest ways to package up information from which students
would develop their knowledge. Paper-based media were also the primary would develop their knowledge. Paper-based media were also the primary
means of getting students to learn by doing, from tasks, exercises and means of getting students to learn by doing, from tasks, exercises and
assignments. assignments.

4. The availability and location of safety equipment. 4. The availability and location of safety equipment.

When helping to prepare the learning environment, the teaching assistant When helping to prepare the learning environment, the teaching assistant
should work with the teacher and determine how the learning environment should work with the teacher and determine how the learning environment
should be set up in such a manner as to promote the safety and security of should be set up in such a manner as to promote the safety and security of
the pupils. the pupils.

Health and safety in schools Health and safety in schools

Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 overall responsibility for health Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 overall responsibility for health
and safety is placed with the employer. For community and voluntary and safety is placed with the employer. For community and voluntary
controlled schools, community special schools, maintained nursery schools controlled schools, community special schools, maintained nursery schools
and pupil referral units, this is the Local Education Authority (LEA). For and pupil referral units, this is the Local Education Authority (LEA). For
voluntary aided and foundation schools, the employer is the governing body. voluntary aided and foundation schools, the employer is the governing body.

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Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant

Under this Act the employer has a duty to ensure as far as is reasonably Under this Act the employer has a duty to ensure as far as is reasonably
practicable: practicable:

x the health, safety and welfare of teachers and other education staff x the health, safety and welfare of teachers and other education staff
x the health and safety of pupils in-school and off-site visits x the health and safety of pupils in-school and off-site visits
x the health and safety of visitors to schools and volunteers involved with x the health and safety of visitors to schools and volunteers involved with
school activities. school activities.

The Education Service aims to provide consistently high quality health and The Education Service aims to provide consistently high quality health and
safety support and guidance through the Schools’ Health and Safety Service safety support and guidance through the Schools’ Health and Safety Service
and works with Head teachers and Governors to implement and improve and works with Head teachers and Governors to implement and improve
health and safety management systems in all educational establishments. The health and safety management systems in all educational establishments. The
Education Service also has a formal Health and Safety Training programme to Education Service also has a formal Health and Safety Training programme to
ensure that all staff are given the relevant training. ensure that all staff are given the relevant training.

Safety equipment Safety equipment

Safety equipment is the equipment required by legislation or the school for Safety equipment is the equipment required by legislation or the school for
ensuring the safety of pupils and adults in the learning environment. This will ensuring the safety of pupils and adults in the learning environment. This will
include a fully equipped first aid box; equipment to protect children and adults include a fully equipped first aid box; equipment to protect children and adults
from accidents, e.g. circuit breaker, cable guards, landing mats for PE, safety from accidents, e.g. circuit breaker, cable guards, landing mats for PE, safety
goggles for science activities; and any equipment for use in an emergency, goggles for science activities; and any equipment for use in an emergency,
e.g. fire blanket , fire extinguishers, emergency alarms and emergency exits e.g. fire blanket , fire extinguishers, emergency alarms and emergency exits

The teaching assistant should always check the location and accessibility of The teaching assistant should always check the location and accessibility of
safety equipment and report any concerns about availability or condition to the safety equipment and report any concerns about availability or condition to the
appropriate person. The environment should be ready for use in good time for appropriate person. The environment should be ready for use in good time for
when it is needed when it is needed

Safety throughout the school should be promoted by: Safety throughout the school should be promoted by:

x Providing safe working conditions and a healthy working environment x Providing safe working conditions and a healthy working environment
x Mandatory safety training x Mandatory safety training
x Providing materials and equipment needed to work safely x Providing materials and equipment needed to work safely
x Proactive identification and control of hazards x Proactive identification and control of hazards
x Incident and accident investigation x Incident and accident investigation
x Legal compliance x Legal compliance
x Occupational Safety and Health Management System and x Occupational Safety and Health Management System and
Programmes Programmes
x Communicate and encourage a culture of safe working practices x Communicate and encourage a culture of safe working practices
x Regular reviews x Regular reviews

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Communicating health and safety information Communicating health and safety information

The health and safety coordinator will be responsible for distributing The health and safety coordinator will be responsible for distributing
information on health and safety issues. The school’s policy statement should information on health and safety issues. The school’s policy statement should
state how staff can assess information such as outcomes of inspections and state how staff can assess information such as outcomes of inspections and
risk assessments, and local procedures for health, safety and fire. risk assessments, and local procedures for health, safety and fire.

Health and safety should also be a regular item (at least once per term) on the Health and safety should also be a regular item (at least once per term) on the
agenda of team meetings. agenda of team meetings.

The Health and Safety Law poster will be displayed in prominent position in all The Health and Safety Law poster will be displayed in prominent position in all
work places. The member of staff responsible for Human Resources will work places. The member of staff responsible for Human Resources will
ensure that all new employees know where to find copies of the health and ensure that all new employees know where to find copies of the health and
safety policy and the whereabouts of safety equipment which should include safety policy and the whereabouts of safety equipment which should include
first aid box, safety signage, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, alarms and first aid box, safety signage, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, alarms and
emergency exits. emergency exits.

5. School work displays 5. School work displays

Displays of objects and materials can not only arouse pupil’s interest and Displays of objects and materials can not only arouse pupil’s interest and
catch their imagination but also provide opportunities for discussion and catch their imagination but also provide opportunities for discussion and
reinforcement of learning. Displays can take a number of forms for example: reinforcement of learning. Displays can take a number of forms for example:

x a collection of objects or books on a theme x a collection of objects or books on a theme


x items from other parts of the world x items from other parts of the world
x musical instruments x musical instruments
x nature tables x nature tables
x posters and pictures x posters and pictures

Displays can be particularly useful in reinforcing or extending a theme that is Displays can be particularly useful in reinforcing or extending a theme that is
currently being used in order to link the pupil’s activities in the school. They currently being used in order to link the pupil’s activities in the school. They
can provide new ideas, new vocabulary and new ways of thinking about things can provide new ideas, new vocabulary and new ways of thinking about things
can be introduced this way. can be introduced this way.

Displaying pupil’s work is important in any educational setting. A classroom Displaying pupil’s work is important in any educational setting. A classroom
filled with the work of children not only enhances the environment but also filled with the work of children not only enhances the environment but also
sends a message to pupils that their work and their learning are important. sends a message to pupils that their work and their learning are important.

When choosing what work to display, it should be decided what criteria to use. When choosing what work to display, it should be decided what criteria to use.
Staff should ask themselves “Why do we display work in the classroom?” The Staff should ask themselves “Why do we display work in the classroom?” The
answers might be: answers might be:

x enable pupils to see what each other is doing x enable pupils to see what each other is doing

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Teaching Assistant Teaching Assistant

x show work that we are proud of x show work that we are proud of
x to learn more about a topic x to learn more about a topic
x so that there are interesting things on the wall. x so that there are interesting things on the wall.

How to create an effective display. How to create an effective display.

Effective displays celebrate each piece of work and radiate a sense of student Effective displays celebrate each piece of work and radiate a sense of student
pride. They highlight the individual pieces of work rather than the surround or pride. They highlight the individual pieces of work rather than the surround or
decoration. Here are some ways to create an effective display. decoration. Here are some ways to create an effective display.
With a clear understanding of the purposes of the display the teaching With a clear understanding of the purposes of the display the teaching
assistant will be able to make a clear thoughtful decision about what to display assistant will be able to make a clear thoughtful decision about what to display
and how to display it. Examples may be provided by existing displays or and how to display it. Examples may be provided by existing displays or
visiting other displays such as those in museums or libraries. visiting other displays such as those in museums or libraries.

A list of qualities that make a display effective could be for example. A list of qualities that make a display effective could be for example.

x Displays should be simple x Displays should be simple


x Displays should show what is most important in the work x Displays should show what is most important in the work
x Decorations should fit with the piece of work and show it off x Decorations should fit with the piece of work and show it off
x Displays should include a label with the name of the student and the x Displays should include a label with the name of the student and the
title of the work title of the work
x Displays should be neat x Displays should be neat

Framing and hanging the work Framing and hanging the work

There are several ways to make the display attractive and attention grabbing. There are several ways to make the display attractive and attention grabbing.

x Simple frames can be made by placing the work on top of another piece x Simple frames can be made by placing the work on top of another piece
of paper that is slightly larger and of a complementary or contrasting of paper that is slightly larger and of a complementary or contrasting
colour colour
x A straight line drawn around the outside of the piece x A straight line drawn around the outside of the piece
x Pieces hung at different angles, or pieces at staggered steps or in an x Pieces hung at different angles, or pieces at staggered steps or in an
interesting pattern interesting pattern
x Work displayed against a backdrop which can draw the viewer’s eye to x Work displayed against a backdrop which can draw the viewer’s eye to
the piece. Perhaps a large piece of paper or a piece of fabric in a the piece. Perhaps a large piece of paper or a piece of fabric in a
complementary or contrasting colour cut to a different shape or size complementary or contrasting colour cut to a different shape or size
behind the displayed work behind the displayed work

Tips about displays Tips about displays

Displays should: Displays should:

x have a meaningful connection to the curriculum. x have a meaningful connection to the curriculum.
x be an effective tool for teaching and learning. x be an effective tool for teaching and learning.

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x reflect effort and not just perfectly mastered work. Displays should make x reflect effort and not just perfectly mastered work. Displays should make
every child feel valued regardless of his or her academic or artistic every child feel valued regardless of his or her academic or artistic
abilities. abilities.
x always be one display that reflects the efforts of everyone in the class. x always be one display that reflects the efforts of everyone in the class.
These displays affirm each child’s sense of belonging and have a These displays affirm each child’s sense of belonging and have a
powerful effect on creating community powerful effect on creating community
x be fresh, useful and uncluttered. Pupil’s work should be changed often x be fresh, useful and uncluttered. Pupil’s work should be changed often
enough to keep the displays relevant to the curriculum and keep them enough to keep the displays relevant to the curriculum and keep them
from getting stale. Where there is limited space, it is better to regularly from getting stale. Where there is limited space, it is better to regularly
rotate the children’s work than to crowd and clutter the area. rotate the children’s work than to crowd and clutter the area.

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