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SEND, lost work, teacher holidays ☀️ And, which writing tool do teachers prefer students to use? This, and more...

14 June 2022


Last week, we asked in what ways your school prioritises the needs of students with SEND.

For the most part, the results were fairly similar between primary and secondary schools but there were a couple of findings that stood out.

46% of secondary teachers said their school provides easily accessible guidance compared to only 23% of primary teachers who said the same 🤔 Could secondary schools share how they do this with nearby primary schools?

Hold your horses because primary schools can give their secondary counterparts some advice in return…

74% or primary schools have a SENCO as part of their leadership team 👏 Whereas 43% of secondary schools follow suit.

In what ways does your school prioritise the needs of students with SEND? By phase

Now, you may be wondering what’s the big deal?

Well, Twitter had their say – or should we say Karen, our Chief Operations Officer and SEND research fanatic, started an interesting Twitter thread 😉

Karen Wespieser MBE Tweet 'The SENCO is part of the leadership team in only 51% of cases, I reckon changing this to 100% could be a quick win in terms of SEND provision across the country.

Of course, it’s Twitter, so people shared their support and opposing views, and rightly so.

Karen is still licking her wounds 🤕

The question remains though, would having 100% of SENCOs in leadership improve SEND provision across the country?

Whether you’re in agreement or not, surely Karen’s suggestion is a relatively pain-free way of trying? We’ll let you decide on that matter!

Back to the teachers… 🧑‍🏫

We asked if you have all the help you need to support students with SEND.

Staggeringly, 88% of primary teachers and 81% of secondary teachers said NO!! 😔

Do you have all the help you need to support students with SEND? By phase

We asked typically, to what extent do your students with SEND participate in lessons.

Well, over 50% of primary and secondary teachers said that students with SEND participate the same as other students or almost as much as other students.

Typically, to what extent do your students with SEND participate in lessons? By phase

2. Learning Walks 📋

Ok, the clipboard might be dramatic! Call us biased, we can only go off our combined experiences but ugh, learning walks 🤨

We asked if senior leadership conduct learning walks in your school. You know, where SLT come round (sometimes with a clipboard) and look around your classroom with those eagle eyes 🦅

Fun fact: Some people have been known to conduct learning walks with a ruler to ensure that the display backing measurements were up to scratch 😱👀 There might be a question there…

Anyway, some good news 🥳

Unannounced learning walks are on the decline 📉 We last asked this question in 2020, at that time 40% of you said you had unannounced learning walks, this year that’s decreased to 34%.

More of you (19%) report that you don’t have learning walks at all, which is 7 percentage points more than 2020!

So, where are they happening?

Do senior leadership conduct learning walks in your school? 2020 vs 2022

Well, 84% of primary teachers and 78% of secondary teachers said learning walks happen for them.

Interestingly, when we analysed the results by seniority we found that almost twice as many classroom teachers (20%) than headteachers (11%) DON’T think that learning walks take place 🤔

Who doesn’t know that learning walks are happening? Are they being conducted without classroom teachers knowing? 👀

Do senior leadership conduct learning walks in your school? By seniority.

3. Writing Tools 🖊 or ✏️?

We’ll start this section with this Tweet…

Allen Tsui's Tweet 'This is one mighty find click-bait fire starter of a controversial question @TeacherTapp for today's daily poll...'

What was the question? We hear you shout 📢

We asked you to imagine you’re told your students should be using a single type of writing tool for all their written work in your classes, which do you choose? The options included a biro, multi-colour retractable pen, fountain pen, fineliner pen, pencil, physical keyboard or other.

We compared the results to when we last asked in 2021.

We found that biros are still the writing tool of choice, although slightly less favourable than last year with 35% and 33% respectively. Biros are most favoured by English teachers (51%) and humanities teachers (54%).

Those of you interested in how prevalent digital devices are in the classroom, there was a 1 percentage point increase for physical keyboards. We did have some Tappsters contact us to let us know that they chose this option solely because it meets the needs of students with SEND that they teach.

Imagine you're told your students should be using a single type of writing tool for all their written work in your classes, which do you choose? 2021 vs 2022

There’s a steep decline of the pencil, we’ve even made a special infographic for you… 79% of EYFS and KS1 teachers prefer pencil, this drops to 38% for KS2 teachers and by secondary well… there are certain subjects who still give power to the pencil ✏️

21% of maths teachers favour the pencil compared to 2% of English teachers and only 1% of languages teachers!!

Infographic of the decline of the pencil between primary and secondary schools.

Multi-coloured retractable pens are favoured by humanities (54%) and science (35%) teachers, closely followed by languages teachers (32%).

This question certainly got the conversation started on Twitter, it’ll be interesting to see if physical keyboards increase in popularity over the coming years ⌨️

4. Holidays

As the end of term is in sight, we asked who’s going on a summer holiday? 🏖 (Apologies if the song is now stuck in your head 🎵)

Laura jumped the gun here and spilt the beans last week!! Here are the results…

This year, 35% of you have booked a holiday abroad which is 1 percentage point less than in 2019 but nevertheless, holidays abroad has returned to 2019 levels 🥳

Have you booked a summer holiday yet? Comparing 2019, 2021 and 2022

5. Losing Students’ Things 🫣

We asked if you’ve ever lost a student’s piece of work before, a bit cheeky of us we know 🙊

With loose paper and exercise books in their masses, these things are bound to happen from time-to-time.

However, students work is safest with primary teachers! 44% of you said that you’d never lost a piece of work before 👏 Secondary teachers weren’t far behind with 36%.

Have you ever lost a student's piece of work before? By phase.

We analysed the results by subject…

49% of EYFS and KS1 teachers and 40% of Arts including D&T said that they’d never lost a piece of work before and are therefore, the most trustworthy – in this instance any way!

Surely, they’re the teachers working with the most loose bits of paper? Have they got a better filing system in place?

Maybe so…

Pass on your filing tips to English teachers 🫣

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Finally… we know you love the daily read, so here are the ones from last week

The most read tip from the past week was: How do classroom displays impact your students’ cognitive load?

And here are the rest for your reference: