Laser Learning Awards Level 3 Course for Teaching Assistants Supporting Learners with Specific Learning Difficulties
At Helen Arkell we have designed a course which gives candidates the essential knowledge required when working as a teaching assistant supporting learners with Specific Learning Difficulties.
Each week the candidates attend lectures which inform their learning. Hands-on activities and workshops help to make the course interactive and fun. There are always opportunities to ask questions and speak individually to the course tutors who are keen that all candidates become the ‘best of the best’ Teaching Assistants.
The course is accredited by Laser (London and South East Region) Learning. Candidates must complete all six mandatory units in order to receive the award.
Who is this course suitable for?
This course is suitable for anyone who is interested in working with learners with SpLD. Prior knowledge is not necessary, but candidates should have at least GCSE level of literacy so that they are equipped to cope with the written course work.
What the students say about the course
"I loved the continuous learning, each week I felt I grew as a teaching assistant with the skills taught."
"Amazing delivery. The two facilitators were brilliant. They made the content easy to understand, they were very clear and very helpful."
"Always clear - both tutors seem to be natural 'lecturers' and their passion and knowledge re: SpLDs is wonderful - a cracking 'presentation' team."
Read more about the benefits of training at Helen Arkell.
About the course
Each unit is supported by the candidate’s own ongoing experience of working with learners. As the course progresses, we ask the candidates to complete assignments using their experience in school to inform their work. For some assignments observation of classes or individual children is required. These activities are designed to help the trainee Teaching Assistant understand how classrooms work and how learning takes place.
The lecture programme is carefully planned. Each week has a specific focus and assignments are set following the lectures; regular attendance is therefore vital.
Please note we estimate that approximately 8-10 hours per week are likely to be required to complete the directed assignments.
A major element of the course is the writing of support logs. To enable candidates to do this it is necessary to have a school placement arranged either on an employed or voluntary basis. Candidates need to be working in a school for at least one day or two half days per week.
We recommend that candidates set up their placement so they can be working in a school before the course starts. This way they become familiar with the working of the school and the children they may be supporting. A placement that starts from the beginning of the school year, i.e. September for the September course and from the start of the January term for the February course, is ideal.
To be able to write the support logs candidates need to work with individuals or small groups of children, preferably those who are struggling with learning; a diagnosis of dyslexia is not essential. The support logs can be with a different child/children each time. We are assessing the candidate’s progress not the children.
Candidates will need access to a school/college in order to carry out the following assignments:
Support learner/learners for a total of 18 hours as follows:
- Reading – 6 hours
- Spelling – 5 hours
- Writing – 1 hours
- Numeracy – 5 hours
- ICT – 1 hour
- Observation of class lessons and children
Access to various school/college policies, e.g.:
- Special Educational Needs
- Access to school/college records
The Course Units
• Unit 1 – Legislation and Policies
This unit will give candidates an understanding of the main points of national legislation and policies in connection with Special Education Needs. They will be aware of how current initiatives are changing the educational environment and how the organisation in which they work operates its own educational policy.
• Unit 2 –Understanding Educational Theories and Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)
In this unit candidates will be taught about the nature of dyslexia and other SpLDs, and the importance of different learning preferences, stages of development and multi-sensory learning. They will understand how current theories of education impact on class teaching.
• Unit 3 – Supporting reading, writing and spelling
Here candidates are taught strategies for effectively supporting learners in reading, writing and spelling. They will be shown how to make and use their own resources and will be asked to evaluate the usefulness of their resources.
• Unit 4 – Supporting numeracy and ICT
Candidates will learn and be able to demonstrate effective support techniques in numeracy and ICT. Again they will be expected to create their own resources for numeracy and evaluate how effective these were.
• Unit 5 – Behaviour, Self Esteem and Motivation
Candidates will be taught about the importance of self-esteem and motivation and how these can impact on learning. They will learn about behaviour management issues and how these impact on learners and be able to use different behaviour observation methods to inform behaviour support.
• Unit 6 – Record Keeping and Reflective Practice
Candidates will learn the importance of keeping and maintaining accurate records. Also the importance of feeding back observations to appropriate professionals will be discussed. As part of this unit, candidates will reflect on the importance and purpose of evaluating the quality of their own work.
The course will run for 16 weeks and will be held at the Helen Arkell Centre every Friday morning from 9.30am until 12.30pm from 10 February 2017 to 30 June 2017.
Deadline for booking Friday 20 January 2017
The total fee is £595 including Laser Learning fees. Subsidised by Helen Arkell.
Candidates may wish to purchase books or materials themselves and these are not included in the course fee.