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Summer week 5

Mentor materials

Discussion - using the graduated approach to support a pupil

Practice focus




To have planned for and practised using the graduated approach to support a pupil.


In the online study materials, your teacher was introduced to an approach that puts the pupil at the heart of any adaptations to practice – the graduated approach.

The graduated approach follows an ‘assess, plan, do, review’ cycle. It is designed to help teachers quickly assess where adaptations to practice are supporting pupil’s learning, and crucially where they aren’t.

Your teacher has been considering which elements of the approach they have already been implementing into their practice. Discuss this activity with your teacher, praising their strengths and probing areas they are finding challenging.

Praise, probe and set precise actions

The following practise should be focused around the outcomes of the probe and precise actions, so that it is specific to your teacher’s developmental needs. However, below are some practise ideas based on the online study content to support you if needed.

Plan and practice ideas

Work with your teacher to develop their graduated approach cycle for the pupil they identified in the online study materials. You might ask your teacher to consider how to also gain input from:

  • The SENDCo
  • Parents or carers
  • The pupil themselves
  • Relevant outside agencies

You may also wish to share and discuss specific sections of the SEND Code of Practice such as relevant sections from:

  • Chapter 5 - expectations for early years settings such as nurseries.
  • Chapter 6 - expectations for schools
  • Chapter 7 - statutory duties in post 16 institutions.

If time is remaining, ask your teacher to identify another pupil who would benefit from the approach and practise planning the assess/plan phase with them.

Key questions and talking points

  1. Which stages of the graduated approach have you already started to implement into your practice, if any?
  2. Identify colleagues who can support your teacher with practical strategies and ideas to help adapt their practice and overcome any learning barriers individual pupils may have.
  3. Share that adaptive teaching is less likely to be valuable if it causes the teacher to artificially create distinct tasks for different groups of pupils or to set lower expectations for particular pupils.

Additional resources:

The SEND code of practice: 0 to 25 years