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Engage in Personal Development

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1.1 Describe the duties and responsibilities of own work role.

As a volunteer Teaching Assistant/Classroom helper I have worked hard to establish professional relationships with the Teachers and permanent TA’s which in turn has resulted in me being treated and respected as one of the team by them and the pupils I work with. Within my role I help provide support to the teachers by preparing effective learning environments, assisting the pupils to reach their full potential by ensuring the environment is kept clean, tidy and safe. My main duties and responsibilities are to select and prepare learning resources appropriate to the lesson and where needed adapt the resources to meet the individual or group’s needs. During the lessons I clarify the objectives and check the required amount of support to be given along with the task differentiation to meet all abilities and monitor/record pupil response and progress throughout the task. It is important as a Teaching Assistant to listen carefully to the pupils and encourage their ideas and opinions to help them become strong independent learners by responding to them appropriately, encouraging them and keeping them on the right track to achieve the leaning objective.

Within the role of Teaching Assistant/Classroom helper I carry out observations on behaviour and help the pupils to make the right choices in their actions while also reporting any relevant concerns to the appropriate person. As a Teaching Assistant you play an integral part in the day to day running of the classroom by carrying out administrative duties as required by the teacher including collecting, collating information, filing and photocopying allowing the teacher to spend more time actively teaching. As a Teaching Assistant/Classroom helper you also play a key role in providing comfort and immediate care for minor accidents, upsets and ailments as well as escorting and supervising in out of school activities such as working to the church for end of term service, trips to the theatre, Library and Beach The role of a Teaching Assistant is an all-round experience and one that allows you to reflect, develop and grow in role every day.

1.2 Explain expectations about own work role as expressed in relevant standards.

Depending on your job role will depend on which set of occupational standards you have to adhere to and thus in turn the expectations they then place upon you and your role. The Training and Development agency have National Occupational Standards for Supporting Teaching Learning. These standards enable schools to adapt, change and improve support staff skills to ensure all children are given the opportunity to achieve and succeed. The National Occupational Standards are based on the roles and responsibilities of support staff in today’s schools and can be used in a variety of ways to aid Recruitment, Performance reviews, Training and Development and Career progression.

As a volunteer Teaching Assistant/ Classroom helper I am still expected to adhere and comply to these standards when working as a Volunteer Teaching Assistant. The expectations set out are that I will come into a class environment and provide suitable and appropriate support to the teacher and children allowing effective teaching and learning to take place which links to the National Occupational Standard STL 1 an example of how I contribute to this is when Readers workshop takes place first thing in the morning. On arriving in the class I agree with the Teacher which group I will be working with and the complexity of the task and the amount of support to be given allowing the children to gain the most from this lesson. Throughout these sessions and any other lessons I assist with I observe how the children interact, engage in an activity and the amount of support that has been given and feed this information back to the Class Teacher or Full Time TA.

When volunteering as a Teaching Assistant/Classroom Helper I always have the children’s wellbeing at the forefront of my mind and remove anything that may cause potential harm or damage to them as well as intervene when they are doing something that may cause harm linking to STL 3 ( CCLD 202) of the National occupational Standards. An example of when I have done this is when a child was rocking back on the chair legs I intervened and asked them to stop as the previous day a child had been doing the same thing and put the chair down on to the Teachers foot by accident. Also within my role I promote and contribute to positive relationships linking to STL 20 (CCLD 301) of the National Occupation Standards. I do this by ensuring that I use appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills, respond positively to all those I work with treating them with the same respect that I would like to be treated with while remaining professional. These are just some of the key expectations of my job role outlined in the National Occupational Standards but my own expectation is to deliver a high level of care and support across the curriculum to ensure that all children are given the correct support, guidance and encouragement to fulfil and achieve their potential.

Task 2

2.1 Explain the importance of reflective practice in continuously improving the quality of service provided.

“Reflective practice is the capacity to reflect on actions so as to engage in a process of continuous learning thus involving us to pay critical attention to the practical values and theories which inform every day actions by examining practice reflectively and reflexively” En.wikipedia.org/wiki/reflective.practice.

Reflective practice is imperative in any job as it helps ensure that service delivery is kept high and continuous and this is essential when working with children as their circumstances, environments and learning progress continually changes E.g. some children may pick up a Numeracy topic of Measure very, very quickly and then find a topic to do with Time a little more challenging and having carried out a reflective session on this can aid you in your support role next time to help ensure the learning needs of the children are adequately supported. By continually reviewing, reflecting and improving your approach to work benefits you as the practitioner and more importantly the children as by carrying out reflective practice you are also ensuring you are helping to cater for every child’s individual needs. Kolb’s Experimental Learning cycle supports the fundamental requirements of reflective practice and the importance it plays in personal development. Kolb’s cycle involves:- 1. Concrete experience- doing/having experience within your role. 2. Reflective observation- reviewing/reflecting on your experiences. 3. Abstract conceptualisation- concluding and learning from your experiences. 4. Active Experimentation- Planning/trying out what you have learned. Idu.leeds.ac.uk/Kolb D.A (1984)

By using Kolb’s cycle or similar theories as a tool for your reflective process you will not only move forward in your own thinking but it will also enable you to support your colleagues at the same time.

In conclusion when reflecting on your performance be it on your own. Colleagues or you Line

Manager you should be honest with yourself and those you work with and more importantly evaluate successes as well as failures as the later will be what drives you love of learning of learning as well as help ensure that a high standard is continually delivered within your role.

2.3 Describe how own values, belief systems and experiences may affect working practice.

Everyone has different values, beliefs and preferences. What you believe in, what you see as important and what you see as acceptable or desirable is an essential part of who you are. The way in which you respond to people is linked to what you believe in, what you consider important and what interests you. You may find you react positively to people who share your values and less warmly to people who have different priorities. When you develop friendships, it is natural to spend time with people who share your interests and values. However, the professional relationships you develop with people you work with are another matter. As a volunteer Teaching Assistant/Classroom Helper I am required to provide the same quality of support for all, not just for those who share my views and beliefs. This may seem obvious, but knowing what I need to do and achieving it successfully is not the same thing.

Working in the a school environment I am bound to come across people whose views I do not agree with, and who never seem to understand my point of view. Awareness of differences, my reaction to them and how they affect the way I work is a crucial part of personal and professional development. If I allow my own preferences to dominate my work with people, I will fail to perform to the standards of the Codes of Practice for child care workers set out by the UK regulating bodies. All the codes require child care workers to respect and promote people’s individual views and wishes. An example of where views and beliefs differ is recently we had someone wanting to run an after school activity of Yoga but some parents felt that this didn’t fit in with the Christian ethos of the school and so as a Parent, a volunteer Teaching Assistant and a Parent Governor it was essential that I kept an open mind and kept my own values and beliefs to myself to ensure that I remained professional at all times.

Task 3

3.1 Evaluate own knowledge, performance and understanding against relevant standards.

It is important in any job to evaluate your own knowledge, performance and understanding against your job description and any other relevant standards that apply to your role. Evaluating your knowledge can be done in a variety of ways from yearly appraisals with your Line manager, reviewing your Personal Development Plan at regular intervals and ensuring that the goals you set yourself are SMART – Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic and Relevant and Targets that can be achieved in a Timely manner, having informal chats with colleagues and keeping reflective accounts of activities you have undertaken to help highlight areas of development. I have included one of my Reflective journals as an example as it highlights an area of development and action I was going to take to improve my knowledge and understanding. As a volunteer Teaching Assistant/ Classroom helper evaluating my knowledge and performance is slightly harder but looking at the Job role I would say these are the key things to come out of own evaluation of my knowledge, performance and understanding:- 1. Achieve the Level 3 Diploma Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools by ensuring I complete the assignments to a high standard.

2. Continue to gain valuable experience in the role of Teaching Assistant volunteering in a various Year groups to help enhance and expand my knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. 3. Carry out relevant CPD to do with Numeracy and Literacy to ensure I can give the highest level of support to the children I work with. 4. Gain further knowledge and understanding of working with children with special needs.

These goals are based on self-reflection and having read the National Occupational Standards which are designed to enable you to enhance and develop your performance as well as outline the key requirements of what they need to know and understand I would highlight the following as areas of personal development. 1. STL6, STL25 and STL26 Support literacy and numeracy activities – I am able to assist and give appropriate praise and encouragement to the children but feel I need to develop further my knowledge and understanding of methods used in numeracy today E.g. Partitioning for addition and phonics for literacy to ensure that when working with the children I deliver the correct level of support and guidance allowing them to achieve their potential.

2. STL37, STL38- Having worked on a number of occasions with children who have SEN I feel this is an area I would like to explore and develop further knowledge and understanding to allow me to ensure that when working with them in group situations or 1 to 1 I give them the best opportunity to get the most out of their learning experience at that moment in time. These are just a few areas of Professional Development I have highlighted myself from referring to the National Occupational Standards but personally feel that learning is a cycle and you can always learn and develop new skills ensuring that you deliver the highest level of support to the Teachers and more importantly to the children.

Task 4

4.1 Identify sources of support for planning and reviewing own development.

Working as a volunteer Teaching Assistant/Classroom helper I don’t have access to the same opportunities for planning and reviewing own development and so therefore I have to be more proactive and ensure that I personally reflect on my strengths and weaknesses and seek professional guidance and support from appropriate colleagues when I feel or see it is needed. E.g I was recently helping in a letters and sounds lesson and was unsure of the methods they used which resulted in me going away and carrying out further research on the Dfes website for the Letters and Sounds resource book the TA was using to support the session and help me personally gain a better understanding of the terminology used throughout the session.(see attached reflective journals).

Currently in my role as a volunteer Teaching Assistant/ Classroom helper I primarily get feedback from the class Teacher and Fulltime Teaching Assistant by speaking with them at appropriate times to see how I did and what I could have done better to get more out of the children I was working with and this has enabled me to grow and develop more confidence in the role. Also while I am on the course I will seek support and guidance from my college assessor who will give me concise and constructive feedback through visual observations carried out and action points on how to develop my practice as a Teaching Assistant as well as speak to my college tutors who can help me plan my professional development for the future. E.g I have already

spoken to my tutor about maybe progressing on to the Foundation Degree in Teaching and Learning or even using my previous background of assessing and becoming an assessor to help other people wanting to pursue a career as a Teaching Assistant. Other sources of support I can use to help pal and review my personal development is the CPD section on the Bournemouth Council Website which allows you to access courses relevant to your chosen field so for my own personal development I have shown interest in Early Years, Teaching Assistant CPD and as a Parent Governor CPD courses that will help me understand the primary education system better.

Task 5

5.1 Evaluate how learning activities have affected practice.

Learning activities take place in a variety of ways from INSET days, Classroom practice, Meetings, attending CPD courses laid on by Training Agencies, Councils and the schools themselves. In the role of a Teaching Assistant be it voluntary or in a paid position you will always come across opportunities that will help you develop professionally. Within St Luke’s CE Primary School Full and Part time employed TA’s have the opportunity to undertake the Diploma in Supporting Teaching and Learning as well as have access to specialist courses such as working with children with Autism. The activities you undertake will help you grow and develop in your role and will help set the foundations of your Personal Development Plan for the future as it enables you to reflect and highlight areas of strength and areas of development. Attending the Level 3 Diploma Supporting Teaching and Learning in schools and volunteering in the school has enabled me to grow in my role of volunteer Teaching Assistant/ Classroom Helper building up my confidence in my capabilities which has resulted in me gaining Relief paid work as a Teaching Assistant at the school.

5.3 Show how to record progress in relation to personal development.

Recording progress in relation to personal development is an essential part of your role as it helps highlight achievements made towards objectives outlined in your personal development plan. It also helps to identify new knowledge gaps and areas to be developed to help improve your performance within a role. It is important when carrying out any professional development that you keep any paperwork and notes from the courses as it can be used at a later date to update your progress and enhance your knowledge and understanding of that area.

The course material is also a good way of showing how you have developed within your role and actions you have taken to become more competent and stronger. E.g. I have attended in the past Core Curriculum courses for Literacy and Numeracy to develop my understanding of how the curriculum is laid out and how adults in this case can progress from a Level 1 to a Level 2. When undertaking any Personal Development you should always make a record of the course/ qualification and keep a reflective account of what you gained from it so that you can refer to it in the future when applying for jobs or promotion this can be done on your Curriculum Vitae, in the format of a Word document or if you are registered to the Institute of Learning you can keep an on-line record of CPD taken to help keep you occupationally competent within your role.

Below is an example of a Personal Development Plan and how you could record progress made.

Time Scale| Development| Review|
September 2012| Commence Level 3 Diploma Supporting Teaching and Leaning| Course has been started and am making good progress to date –Oct 2012| December 2012| Continue staying on track with college assignments.Gain further experience within the role of TAApply for TA roles| Have fallen slightly behind but aim to be back on Track by end of January – 31/01/2012On going Have gained a Relief role at St Lukes CE Primary –Dec 2012| March 2013| Have got myself up to date with all College Assignments.Get booked on a First Aid course| |


Baker.B, Burnham. L (2010) Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools (Primary)


Idu.leeds.ac.uk/Kolb D.A (1984)

Reflective Journal

Name: Kirsty Atfield
Date and Time: 19/11/2012 9-12

Session Objectives: Reading Workshop, Numeracy, Phonics, DT

The main points I have learnt from this session are:

The session this morning was very informative as I helped the children in a variety of tasks working in small groups and also on a 1:1 basis. The Reading Workshop Activity involved the 5 children I was working with do a Graffiti Board where they had to practice writing the words Said, So, Do, Like, Some, Come and Have in any pattern, colour or design they chose and it was interesting to see that how throughout the task their confidence grew in the fact of moving away from writing in a straight line.

I enjoyed the Numeracy session which was based around sequencing and this involved a lot more open questioning with the group of children I was working with along with praise and encouragement as they all knew what they were doing but some found it more challenging than others.

Phonics was a real eye opener today and the session that has stood out for me as I learnt something knew and look forward to developing my knowledge and understanding of Phonemes further.

DT was an interesting session as some of the children just got stuck in and others got side tracked from the task at hand so I really had to be vigilant and ensure that they were all getting the help they needed as well as being actively involved in the building of their vehicle as some would have just left it to me to build!

How I could develop my practical skills as a result of this session:

Ensure that I am confident in the activity/task that is being delivered to the children and don’t be afraid to ask for further clarification to help ensure that we are all singing from the same sheet.

Gain further understanding of the Phoneme method.

How I could develop my knowledge and understanding as a result of this session:

•Research the letters and sounds website.
•Research Letters and Sounds book dfes website.
•Develop understanding of Phoneme’s
•Every Child Matter brush up knowledge I already have.

Reflective Journal

Name: Kirsty Atfield
Date and Time:20/11/12 9-12

Session Objectives: Reading Workshop, Numeracy and Phonics

The main points I have learnt from this session are:

Following on from the session I helped in yesterday we again started with the Readers Workshop and again I helped another group of children use their creativity creating a graffiti board using the words See, Do, Down, Like and Have. This task today was slightly easier as I had examples that I could draw upon to give the children an idea of what needed to be done and this helped them and they enjoyed the task and experimenting with different styles of writing such as Bubble and Spikey writing.

Phonics workshop was again a follow on session and recap of Phonemes again looking at the double letter sounds ng, ch,ar,er….. working as a whole group and using their white boards we worked our way through a serious of words to check their understanding and linked the skill into their reading.

Numeracy was today an hour long where the class was split into 2. One half went into the ICT suite to play on Education city and Number games while the other half of the class stayed and practiced counting in 10s. The class activity involved using a number square and a practical visual activity to help their understanding of counting in 10s ( index fingers one higher and lower than the chosen number and spider climbing up and down for 10s) and because they worked so hard we finished the session with a fun number game.

The ICT section of the numeracy session allowed the children to pick the number activity game they wanted to play on while also developing their confidence of using a computer.

How I could develop my practical skills as a result of this session:

Ensure that I am confident in the activity/task that is being delivered to the children and don’t be afraid to ask for further clarification to help ensure that we are all singing from the same sheet.

Practice the Phoneme method myself to ensure it is fully embedded. Eg Chip has 3 sounds and Car has 2 sounds



This is because the Ch, ar are one sound not C A R or C H I P. Other examples are ee,oo,igh,ng,er,ur

How I could develop my knowledge and understanding as a result of this session:

•Gain further understanding of key stages of development. •Look at additional resources that can be used to help maths development. •Education City and sounds website.

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