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Summer week 6

Mentor materials

Observation discussion - adapting practice and learning environments to support targeted pupils

Teaching techniques to focus feedback on




To have planned and practised adapting elements of your teaching practice to further support the needs of a pupil with SEND.


In the online study materials, your teacher has seen further examples of teachers using the graduated approach to support the needs of pupils with SEND. The cycle has supported them to make adaptations to their practice and the learning environment that positively impacts upon the pupil and their progress.

The teacher has also been introduced to the concept of universal, targeted and specialist provision as a model of how support can be tightened around a pupil who requires a greater level of support.

During the observation, focus on how the teacher has adapted their practice is support a pupil with a learning need. What was the reasoning behind these targeted adaptions and how effective are they in promoting pupil progress?

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

Based on the outcome of the observation, you may wish to focus and practise elements of the teachers:

  • Questioning
  • Scaffolding
  • Grouping
  • Explanations

Key questions and talking points

  1. What elements of your teaching practice do you feel are supporting all pupils to succeed? (Prompt your teacher to consider the ‘universal’ provision they are offering)
  2. Where have you needed to offer targeted support to pupils, what did this look like and how did you know it was working?
  3. Where do you feel you need further support with your knowledge of SEND strategies?
  4. Where have you been able to build relationships with stakeholders? (e.g. Pupil, TA, specialist support services, parents or carers)
  5. How have you included the pupil, as the key stakeholder, in discussions around their learning?

Additional reading:

A useful website to access is the ‘What Works?’ SEND gateway, which is supported by NASEN (National Association for Special Educational Needs). The information and interventions on this site have been peer-reviewed and subjected to a panel process in order to be included. The resources are broken down into each of the four broad areas of need, and then further categorised into universal, targeted and specialist support.