Isle of Man – First Reflection.

Following my first week in the Isle of Man placement, I have had much to reflect upon in relation to the school environment. 


I am currently in a Year 1/2 class, which is open planned with the other year 1/2 classes. In the middle of all of the classes there is a open middle area where continuous provision occurs daily.

Even though the children have time to choose their activities there is still structure and guidance given by teachers as they plan interesting and useful challenges weekly. These challenges like to the children previous work such as following interactions to make something which links to their english LO’s of the week or links to the topic for the term of ‘healthy me’.

The following images are the challenges for week 2 of my time at the setting.


The activities are introduced to the children on a Monday and children have the resources and knowledge to accomplish them. They are called challenges are children put their skills and knowledge learnt in class to the test by carrying out the challenges. This is the teachers meeting Teacher standard 1 and also Teacher Standard 2 by children taking responsibility for their work/learning.

As my placement progresses I would like to take responsibility in creating some of the challenges for the children as I believe it will support my development in structuring continuos provision as well as planning activities to challenge children. 

Another reflection regarding my first week in a Isle of Man school is the attitude the schools have towards children’s learning. After discussing and comparing with fellow trainees, we have all come to realise that the schools are vastly child based and orientated. The majority of the teaching, learning and atmosphere is based around the children’s likes and preferences.

Examples of this are:

  • Learning and work is based around their likes. For instance in Year 2 the children wanted to learn about their body so this was the topic for the next term
  • Children wanted to climb trees and make dens at play times, so rules and equipment were put into place.

As well as the learning, assessment is different in the Isle of man, as they do not fully follow the National Curriculum and use tracking tick grids to assess children. As well as this, levels are still used throughout the years and the grids are in levels when assessing. The children I am working with are at an average level 2C. However, as this is my first week I have not learnt a vast amount about this but assessment is a large area I would like to develop during my time here, so I intend to progress in this area. This will support my development in TS6. 

Due to the children’s learning styles and the difference in the schooling in the Isle of Man to England, I have had to adapt my teaching and responses to cater for the children. This is supporting my development in TS5 and I will continue to develop this throughout my teaching and planing. 

The Isle of Man Schooling allows the children to continue to be children whilst learning in a fun, creative way. This is the main reason I enjoy the school and teaching in the Isle of Man because it encourages the children to be enthusiastic about their learning and also increases enjoyment.


Oral Story telling


A teacher can hide behind a book and tell a story in an original way.


there are ways a teacher can tell a story
through memory and using prompts to engage children in the experience.

Everyone is a story teller and use prior experiences to do this. We tell stories on a daily basis and it will be beneficial for children to experience quality storytelling as it will support them in the future.

Oral story telling can support teachers in adding their own ideas/thoughts regarding characters/plot and also express their emotions about this. This can then lead to children questioning similar aspects which will support their comprehension skills.

The process could use puppets, the children as characters or objects that symbolise themes.



The teacher can use their voice to alter characteristics of the characters and this will engage the children as the teacher could add humour is necessary, which will engage the children.

Ability to tell a story using their imagination is a skill for children


Story telling is about sharing

  • not just a story but opinions, views, emotions and experiences.
  • There needs to be a connection between reader and listener – therefore is a teacher is reading a book directly this may be a barrier to the connection.
  • as well as, if the connection is apparent the children will then be developing listening skills.
  • children can also engage with call and response to engage them fully

Children could practice this with a traditional fairy tale or stories and morals, as well using their experiences or work they have written themselves. instead of children reading their work from their book in a plenary, why not let the children tell the class orally as they could expand their ideas and is a prime opportunity for assessment.

When children are telling a story from a book they need to make it their own, this is because it will develop their thoughts about the original and also imagination.

Children need support in how to tell a story from memory and a way to begin this process is good modelling.  Then resources such as story cards or jigsaws could be used to help children with storytelling.


I believe this style of teaching supports motivating children (TS1) as well as planning adapted sessions to meet the children’s needs (TS4 and TS5). For instance if a english reading session may begin to be tedious the teacher could alter this to meet the needs and motivate the children.

I would like to use this approach in the future as I believe it is an engaging approach and also interesting and fun. I also believe it can be used throughout the whole of the school as it can be used with a variety of books.

Child Mental Health


Being kind to others makes us feel good – should be promoted in classrooms – Small acts of kindness 

Aspects from today’s society that could impact children’s mental health:

  • family breakdown
  • pressure to have access to money and perfect lifestyle
  • materialist culture influences young people
  • social networking
  • body image source of distress
  • bulling/cyber bullying
  • sexual pressures
  • violence in many countries
  • exams

Mental health impacts many areas of children’s development – good mental health could support: enjoyment, deal with stress, learn better, navigate the online world and create new friendships/experiences

1/10 children in a classroom will have negative mental health – therefore teachers need to be aware of this so can support the child

Risk Factors (Public health England, 2016:5) mental-health-2









There are many factors that could impact children’s mental health and a vital area for teachers to focus their attention to is the school category 

Only 25% of children are treated for mental health are, 60% of children who are looked after have a form of emotional or mental health issues therefore early intervention and plans are needed to support the children. 



There are many ways that teachers can impact children mental health and the main aspect is resilience and the adjoining image shows ways which could support

DfE 2014 – Guidance relating to children mental health – because there are broad areas of need to support children

Currently a large influence via the Government to support mental health at a younger age – increase funding and focus. BBC

Early Intervention is key to support mental health so then people can act accordingly.

Everton – TacklingBlues :

A community based approach which supports children with Mental health and incorporates sports and also focused groups – based in schools 6-16yrs

One method used by blues is ’emoji bingo’ – opens discussion based around the chosen emoji’s – can be used as a form of assessment to identify what children are feeling over periods of time and to see improvements/areas for concern

Another way is asking children to identify what makes them feel certain ways (inside the Pepsi bottle) the bottle is then shaken and the children identify what emotions come from the areas inside – then the bottle is opened and the children identify the link between what is inside the bottle and what stems from this

Worry boxes are an ideal approach to support children in decreasing emotional and mental health illnesses as it will support children in speaking about their problems so support can then be put into place.

Following this information, in a seminar, we discussed specific areas where mental health occurs in children and how this could impact children’s education. The group I engaged with discovered the following:


On some occasions it is difficult to identify how to help children, in particular when children are facing bereavements or moving home/school.

  • Small acts of kindness could make a difference within children from peers or adults.
  • Schools have an important role when supporting children in this area.


I believe that mental health in children should be an aspect that is thought off vastly in schools because if it is ignored the implications could affect children’s development in many areas. Based on my professional development I would like to develop some ideas/practices that could support children with mental health illnesses.






Higher order thinking skills in the classroom


higher-orderHigher order thinking skills gives the children the opportunity to discover and have access to varied and many thinking skills as possible. It supports them in gaining a range of strategies, finding thinking that suits them and helps children meet challenges.

I believe that children should be given the opportunity to experience higher order thinking skills as it will develop their learning and thinking throughout the curriculum. In relation to techniques which support children’s higher order thinking skills I like De Bono thinking hats. It supports children’s learning and directs their thinking in particular areas. When I am attending a school setting I would like to use this techniques in a session I am planning and delivering.



Special Educational Needs



Children in our classroom will all be different.



These are the ways in which our brains work in relation to learning, how ever people’s brains will still act differently. 

Children’s brains can be different due to many factors –

  • children’s genes
  • early experiences

Premature babies are twice as likely to have Social/Emotional/Mental health issue later. Children born in August are about 3 times more likely to below average in reading at 7 yrs. Families affected by deprivation on average hear 1537 words than middle class children. Children who have free meals are twice as likely not to reach expected standards in reading/maths at 11 yrs. Reference

The above are some early experiences that could impact why children’s brains are different, this is a research and may not be accurate with the children I work with.


Not all children who have difficulty with learning HAVE a learning difficulty. 

This mean we need to alter are teaching to support this child instead of  labelling their difficulties, as this is not being inclusive.

Categories of Support

  • SEN support – extra/different help that is different to what is provided in the school. This help may/may not come from a teacher/SENCO/outside specialist, the school should develop their own skills to support this child. The children will not have a statement/education, health or care plan.
  • Statement of SEN or Education Health and care (EHC) Plan – a formal assessment has taken place. a document that is in place to set out what support this child should have.


This is the common SEN you may see in schools – including percentages of how many children receive support or have a EHC plan.

SEN code of practice categories of need – 

  • Cognition and learning (SpLD)
  • Communication and Interaction/ Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN)
  • Social, Emotional and Mental Health (ASD)
  • Sensory and/or physical (MLD)

Children will need to have a serve needs to receive a statement or a EHC plan. Children will not fit into one category. some children will have issues in more than one aspect, for example a child with communication needs may also have learning needs.

I have identified this when on PP1 when a child was on the Autistic Spectrum also struggled with hi learning, especially group activities.


Teachers should make creative adaptations to their practice to enable children with SEN to learn inclusively with their peers.

Schools – Staff will have additional training to enable them to assess pupils and oversee the delivery of support.

Identifying SEN – Some schools may use local services to provide professional support to staff or pupils.

Class Teachers – Pupils will receive inclusive teaching which is influence by the process of their learning. Teachers should have high expectations for all children and enable children to work at levels to challenged their abilities.

When on PP1 I as the trainee class teacher I supported a child in their work, ensuring plans  identified where this child needed extra support in activities, however still challenging their needs – can be seen in planning file. 

How do we do it? 

Assess – Plan – Do – Review 

  • Assess needs – specific
  • Plan differentiation to meet needs identifies
  • Carry out intervention/differentiation
  • Assess the impact, progress happened or refer to SENCO?

As a trainee class teacher it is necessary that I understand that I am teaching all children, using their needs to understand how to adapt teaching for them – TS 5. Also teachers will be learning everyday how to assess and support children with different needs.

It is important to focus on what the child can do not what they cannot do.


Needs I have encountered in the classroom are – Autistic Spectrum (had a EHC plan) also SEN support for children with needs of dyslexia and ADHD.



Characteristics that could be seen in children too identify needs







  • Teachers use well-judged and often imaginative teaching strategies
  • setting appropriate homework that, together with clearly directed and timely support and intervention
  • match individual needs accurately.
  • pupils learn exceptionally well across the curriculum

When n PP1 I used the strategies of support resources/support/context to support the child who has ASD needs.For instance, the child really enjoyed using Microsoft word and researching its history, one English session I incorporated a laptop for the children to use Microsoft to create their composition of a story.

TASK – Look through the plan to identify if the plan would differentiate for a child with the following characteristics.

  • A learner who has difficulty accessing written texts 
  • A learner who has difficulty matching phonemes to graphemes or holding the image of a word and reproducing it 
  • A learner who has difficulties with prediction/inference and imagination
  • A learner who becomes agitated and easily distracted if sitting for a long period
  • A learner who has difficulty holding and manipulating information


Here are our alterations we though would support a child with the above needs.






In relation to SEN and differentiation my SWOT is:

  • STRENGTHS – I believe that when on PP1, a strength I had was supporting a child with SEN to meet their needs as well as incorporating their preferences and interests. My class mentor made the comment that I have a strength when working with children with SEN and that is evident through working with this child and also when I have volunteered in lower years of the school in the past. I believe that I am strong in the area as I have had a lot of experience and have a high patient level. 
  • WEAKNESSES – A weakness I believe I have is ensuring my planning is differentiated and it meets all the children’s needs. I believe I can do this however, I would like to develop it further and become stronger in their area. 
  • OPPORTUNITIES – A target I would like to set myself for future practice is to proceed to differentiate my planned sessions. As well as this, I would like to work alongside a child closely with SEN to gain an understanding of their needs as well as their specific need (if have a EHC plan). 
  • THREATS – The barriers I may face with trying to meet my opportunities are the variety of needs I may have in the future, I may have no SEN children or all children may have learning difficulties. 




Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives are seen on a day to day basis by teachers and pupils. They link with Teachers Standard; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. 

Lesson objectives give the children and teachers a direction to what is wanted to be learnt by the end of the session and sets a focal point for the lesson. 

The following terms are goof for learning and assessing.

  • WILF – What I’m looking for
  • WIEFE – What I expect from everyone 
  • TSB – To be successful 
  • WWTK – We want to know 
  • WALT – We are learning to 
  • LI – Learning Intentions 
  • WALA – We are learning about 
  • WAGOLL – What a good one looks like 
  • WABOLL – What a bad one looks like 

When I was on professional practice 1 A I used WAGOLL and WABOLL and i found that it really supports children’s learning. I used it in an English session and I modelled with the help of the class changing a written passage which was a WABOLL to a WAGOLL. I discovered that this helped children understand what is wanted from them and also supports children capturewho are not as confident. I will be using this technique again. 

Lesson Objectives can be given at the end of session as an assessment criteria. This will also keep the children engaged and offer suspense to the lesson for the children. I have not yet put this theory into practice but I would like to try this with a session. 


It is important to ensure LO’s are not over complicated and are simple. This is because if children don’t understand the lesson objectives and they seem a lot then this may demotivate them from the beginning of the session. 

When writing LO’s always start with what children already know then what you want them to learn in the next session. Ensure LO’s are: creative, inspiring, inspire the children, outside the box, and imaginative. 

It is important to support children’s higher order thinking skills (Blooms Taxonomy), ensuring they achieve to their best ability.  This can be done in lesson objectives because the teacher could; include children in writing the lesson objectives, quiz children using lesson objectives or using pictures as lesson objective. These ideas will activate children’s higher order thinking skills because they will have to create, evaluate, analyse and understand the ideas they have learnt to discover the lesson objectives. 

I would like to use these skills when next teaching if possible as I feel it will engage the children in the session more and also inspire the children to think about what they have

When writing lesson objectives on PP1A I found it difficult to pin-point the specific learning intentions at the beginning however nearer the end of the phase it become easier. In addition I would like to develop further in this area. I found that it is important to make lesson objectives engaging because when children enter a classroom this is what they read first. Therefore, if children are not engaged then they may not want to participate in the session. 


Motivating Children

There are many ways to motivate children when teaching them. They could include: practical activities, being an enthusiastic teacher as well as acknowledging the pupils and also showing interest in their work and what they enjoy.

When motivating children a good technique is to let the children set their own goals. This is because it will offer them ownership which may motivate them to follow them m
ore. As motivationwell as this, if children create their own rules and goals they may be more achievable for the children.

There are two different types of motivation, extrinsic – motivated to do well for a secondary source EG the teacher, or intrinsic – motivated to do well for themselves. When working with children it is more vital for them to be intrinsically motivated and this is what schools and teachers will strive for. This is because the children will then take responsibility for their actions, work and learning, this them meeting teacher standard 2.

It is important that teachers show they are enthusiastic about learning because if their attitude shows otherwise this will affect the children.

As teachers we want our children to have a growth mindset where the want to achieve more and know their talents and abilities. Where as some children may have a fixed mindset which means they believe they cant develop or learn anymoredont-give-up.

Therefore, if children have a fixed mindset it is important that the teacher motivates that child in ways that will meet their needs, this will work well if the child is extrinsically motivated.

Triggers that could motiv
ate children are: imagination, curiosity, relevance, relationships, competence, choice, fun or challenge. When on professional practice I identified that the class I was working with, were motivated by fun activities as well as curiosity. Therefore, when planning lessons I ensured they were as fun and interactive as possible to support the childrnen’s need and learning.