Supporting Learning in Primary Schools Essay

3781 Words Aug 9th, 2012 16 Pages
Reflecting on the course
My role as a teaching assistant has not developed or changed in ways I would like. However, this course has taught me that teaching assistants are a key element in the provision of high-quality education. Study Topic 2, p.17 (Balshaw and Farrell 2002) suggest that, ‘Teaching assistants have often been in several jobs and learnt a variety of skills’. I support Year 1 children in both numeracy and literacy. In the morning I discuss the lesson plan with the teacher and get a clear understanding of the learning objectives. If I feel the children might find something difficult, the teacher will suggest ways I can give extra support. I get the resources ready and prepare the classroom as necessary. As suggested
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Before working with the children, I consider their individual needs and stages of development. This ensures inclusive planning and learning. This is echoed in Study Topic 3, p.27, Vygotsky’s idea of the zone of proximal development (ZPD), the actual development level, where children learn independently and the level of potential development, where children learn with adult guidance. I also consider and apply theories, such as Rogoff (1990) who suggests six elements that are involved in scaffolding learning (Study Topic 3, p.27). Two elements I find useful are encouraging the children to develop an interest in carrying out the task and providing feedback to help them understand how they are progressing. It is mentioned in Study Topic 3, p.8, that, ‘Adults can support children in their learning by helping them make connections with what they already know’ by asking how they got their answer and support the learning at the right moment. As mentioned in Study Topic 16, p.19, ‘The NNS (DfEE,1999c) suggests that, ‘Questioning helps children to understand the meaning of words and to gain better understanding of mathematical ideas.’
As a teaching assistant, this course has taught me that it is important to identify the following aspects of my supportive role within the school. Adopting and supporting the

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