The 5-a-day Approach
The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has developed an implementation plan called the 5 a day plan, specifically tailored to assist secondary school students with special educational needs (SEN).
Its primary objective is to offer targeted and evidence-based strategies that address the unique challenges faced by SEN students, ensuring equal access to high-quality education and opportunities for both academic and social growth.
At Sir William Stanier School, our curriculum approach integrates this approach with various key strategies, including data-driven instruction, a broad and balanced curriculum, teacher coaching programs, and effective assessment practices. These strategies are integral components of the 5 a day plan and are consistently implemented across our school.
The 5 a day plan encompasses five essential strategies.
The first strategy focuses on personalised learning, which involves adapting teaching approaches, resources, and materials to cater to the individual needs of SEN students. This approach promotes differentiation, scaffolding, and appropriate challenges to provide tailored support.
The second strategy emphasises teaching cognitive and metacognitive strategies to SEN students, empowering them to become more proficient learners. By explicitly teaching skills such as planning, monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting learning strategies, students become independent learners and develop critical thinking skills.
The third strategy places importance on social and emotional support, creating a nurturing and inclusive environment for SEN students. This includes fostering positive relationships, peer support, and social skills development, along with integrated well-being programs that address emotional needs. By reducing barriers to learning and enhancing engagement, this strategy promotes an optimal learning environment.
The fourth strategy revolves around providing timely and constructive feedback to SEN students. Assessment methods and feedback are tailored to their specific learning needs, utilising a range of formative and summative approaches. Clear guidance on areas for improvement and next steps in learning is provided – known as ‘reteach’ at Sir William Stanier School.
The fifth strategy promotes active learning strategies such as group work, cooperative learning, and practical activities. These strategies engage SEN students in hands-on and collaborative learning experiences, enabling a deeper understanding and acquisition of knowledge. Emphasising real-world applications of skills enhances the overall learning experience.
The implementation of the 5 a day plan is expected to have a significant impact on SEN students. Academic outcomes are projected to improve as tailored support and differentiation narrow the achievement gap. Well-being will be enhanced through a supportive environment that fosters positive relationships and emotional resilience, ultimately increasing confidence and engagement.
Furthermore, students will develop independence in their learning, equipping them with lifelong learning skills. The plan will also contribute to a positive school culture that values and supports all students, creating a collaborative and respectful learning environment.
In summary, the EEF's 5 a day plan for SEN students that has been implemented at Sir William Stanier School provides targeted strategies based on research and evidence. By implementing personalised learning, teaching cognitive strategies, providing social and emotional support, offering feedback and assessment, and promoting active learning, the plan aims to improve academic outcomes, enhance well-being, develop independent learners, and foster a positive school culture.