If you are working as a resource teacher you are probably in the middle of writing up your IEPs. These usually need to be completed by the start/middle of October. So instead of writing mine – I’ve decided to procrastinate…
The IEP’s are a programme of work that you design to cater for the needs of each individual child. Here is the way I try to fill in the information and where I get the key information from.
I use IEP Template 1 from the SESS website as I like the layout.
Page 1; Background
This is a place to write the child’s name and a brief summary of their diagnosis.
Some of this information may have come from an initial meeting with the parents and the rest is usually found in the summary/recommendations section of the psychological report.
Page 2: Summary Information
The first few boxes are self explanatory.
The next sections;
- Nature of Special Educational Need; why does the child receive resource hours? (Physical Disability, Emotional Disturbance, Severe Emotional Disturbance, ASD, Specific Speech and Language etc.)
- Impact of SEN on educational development; What difficulties does the child have in accessing the curriculum? This can usually be found in the report.
- Special Educational Provision; How many hours is the child entitled to? Does the child have access to an SNA? I also include the type of sessions the child has in the resource room e.g. 4 x 1:1 sessions and 1 group session or 3x 1:1 session, 1 in class and 1 group session etc.
- Other Relevant Summary Information; Any other information that is useful to know.
- Date of IEP Planning Meeting; This is the date where you meet the parents to go through some of the targets you have set for the child. The parents might have other targets which they would like to add to the IEP.
- Date of Review; the review is usually carried out in January or early February so this can be filled in then.
Page 3; Assessment of Educational Performance
Formal Assessment; this includes any standardised tests (Drumcondra/Micra T/ Neale Analysis etc.)
Informal Assessment; this assessment is a combination of observation/teacher designed tasks in the resource room, classroom and from the parents. The information can come from the child, the resource teacher, class teacher, SNA or the parents.
I usually give the class teachers a sheet to fill out with these headings; this makes this section much easier to fill out. You can download it below.
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Page 4; Abilities and Learning Needs
Summary of Abilities, Skills, Talents and Interests; this information can come from the child, parents, teachers, SNA.
Summary of Learning Needs; what needs does the child have? These may come from teacher observation/parents or childs observation or from the psychological report. There may be lots of needs in certain areas and none in others.
Priority Learning Needs; Each child will probably have lots of areas they need support in. However, you will not be able to help them in every single area so you need to decide (in collaboration with the class teacher, parents and the child) which areas to focus on this term. (October – January/February)
Page 5; Targets and Strategies
Targets need to be SMART.
This is a tricky section of the IEP. It can be tempting to write targets such as
“To develop decoding skills.” “To encourage use of eye contact.”
These targets are not measurable. In January/February you won’t know if the child has reached the target or not. Some examples;
To read Stage 9 Oxford Reading Tree with 90% accuracy.
To summarise the main points of the story using mind maps.
To write in a range of genres including recount, narrative, report.
To complete sessions 1-10 in the SNIP Spelling Programme.
In January/February I will be able to tick these targets if they are achieved or put a star beside them to continue for the rest of the year.
To add and subtract three digit numbers with renaming.
To read, write and order three digit numbers.
To solve two step word problems using RUCSAC.
Gross Motor/Fine Motor Skills:
To do 5 chair push ups in 30 seconds.
To walk forwards and backwards on a bench.
To run 1 lap of the playground.
This area is particularly difficult to write targets for so my targets as it is very tricky to measure a childs social skills. Instead, I write;
To complete the sections ‘Non Verbal Communication’, ‘Standing up for Myself’ and ‘Communication’ from the 101 Ways to Teach Children Social Skills Programme.
Taken from a powerpoint from the SESS website.
How will you enable the child to reach these targets? What strategies/methodologies will you use? What resources will you use?
SESS Powerpoint on IEP Planning
NCSE Guidelines on IEP
Limerick Association of SEN Teachers (writing language/target language for IEPs)
PDST Newly Appointed Learning Support Teachers (useful information here)