How can personalisation support pupils’ aspirations?
Personalisation is all about ensuring that the education we are providing is meeting the needs of each pupil, recognising that each is unique in the way they learn, communicate and form relationships.
Person-centred thinking tools provide a methodical way to personalise the educational experience for each pupil, ensuring that their hopes and dreams are listened to and form part of the high aspirations that should be central to every pupil’s educational journey.
A one-page profile is a great way to gather and capture information about a pupil, so that everyone knows what is important to them, as well as what support they need to stay healthy and safe and to learn well. It creates a full picture of the pupil, and allows their education to be seen in light of what the pupil themselves sees as important to them, now and in the future – aspirations can be placed against a backdrop of what matters to the individual pupil. Looking to the future post-school, a one-page profile can support and inform CVs and career plans.
Person-centred reviews are an excellent way of ensuring that plans that are put in place to support the pupil are truly aspirational and focused on what matters to the pupil, both now and in the future, balanced with what is important for them. For many pupils in special schools, a great deal of time and energy is put into making sure that their experience of school day-to-day is positive and beneficial for them. Whilst this is clearly important, focusing only on the relatively short term means we are in danger of not paying attention to the pupil’s hopes for the future. Hopes and Dreams is a person-centred thinking tool that supports the pupil to explore hopes, dreams and aspirations, and where they are likely to prosper.
Through asking a series of key questions, the pupil can be supported to think carefully about their aspirations, and to see what steps they and others could take to move them closer to their dream. Feeding this into a person-centred review supports all involved with the pupil to think about the future as well what is happening currently. Action plans arising from the review can therefore support the pupil by ensuring that there is a long term focus, and that decisions made now will contribute to and support their future aspirations.