I’m Rebecca Negrello, Deputy Head and Inclusion Leader for Abbots Langley Primary.

I’m involved in all aspects of school life and my goal is to ensure all children are reaching their full potential, both academically as well as personally. As a school, we do this through many different ways as you will see from this blog…

What is Inclusive Learning?

Inclusive learning means recognising and meeting the learning needs of all students. We all learn in different ways, influenced by the combination of our past educational experiences and our personal approach to specific tasks. It is important to acknowledge that pupils have a variety of individual learning needs and are diverse community members.

An inclusive learning environment is one in which all pupils feel able to actively engage, feel safe and feel welcome. An inclusive learning environment also acknowledges and celebrates difference as part of everyday life.

Inclusion is ‘responding to pupils’ needs and overcoming potential barriers for individuals and groups of pupils. Teachers should take account of their duties under equal opportunities legislation that covers race, disability, sex, religion or belief… Lessons should be planned to ensure that there are no barriers to every pupil achieving. In many cases, such planning will mean that pupils will be able to study the full national curriculum… Potential areas of difficulty should be identified and addressed.’

(The National Curriculum in England. Key stages 1 and 2 framework document. September 2013)


We have introduced challenges into many lessons:

Teachers present children with at least three challenges, which cater for all abilities. Children then choose the challenge they wish to work on.

We encourage children to take responsibility for their learning through the open choice of challenge. By calling them challenges, we are sending the children a message that they should be thinking hard and extending their skills. We help children learn how to pick the right challenge, whilst encouraging them to consider their learning needs. We also seek to give children the opportunity to learn from mistakes – the message we provide is that mistakes are simply steps to success.

Teachers monitor which challenges children choose. Children have the flexibility to change the challenge they are working on, should they find the original challenge too easy or too difficult. Changing a challenge is promoted and celebrated, whether it be changing up or down. We also encourage children to talk about the challenge they select and to evaluate if it was the right choice.

We find pupils feel valued and more involved in their learning if they have a choice over the work they undertake:

‘I found challenge 2 in maths really difficult but was determined to find an answer and felt proud when I found one.’

‘Challenge 4 really got me thinking.’

‘Literacy challenge 3 was hard today but it helped me to work with a partner.’

‘I like having the opportunity to challenge myself.’

‘Having a really tricky challenge can be a good thing.’

‘Teachers should set high expectations for every pupil. They should plan stretching work for pupils whose attainment is significantly above the expected standard. They have an even greater obligation to plan lessons for pupils who have low levels of prior attainment or come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.’

(The National Curriculum in England. Key stages 1 and 2 framework document. September 2013)

Learning Mentor

In September 2012, we introduced this new role to school and have found it to be invaluable! Mrs Livingstone works extremely hard to provide a wide range of support within school, which is offered to all of the families within our community.

Often she spends time with children who, for whatever reason, may need some support emotionally. This is always done in conjunction with families, who are involved in discussions, to help maintain strong home-school links. She is available daily for people to talk to should they feel the need to come and have a chat.

Mrs Livingstone also works closely with outside agencies such as our Family Support Worker, whose role it is to support families through personal situations.

What our families say…

‘I think that Mrs Livingstone’s new role is invaluable, and the way she offers her support in an empathetic and approachable way, is wonderful.’

‘I like talking to Mrs Livingstone about my worries and concerns.’

‘Mrs Livingstone has such empathy and really gets to know your child. She offers help and techniques, an amazing service to have at school. Thank you!’

‘I feel safe and comfortable to talk things through.’

‘Very supportive, very approachable and so helpful to the children and parents alike.’

‘I am more confident now with friendships and dealing with arguments with my classmates.’

‘I believe the role is a great asset to the school and a very necessary position.’

‘It’s great to know she’s there to go and talk to if I need it.’

‘I think that communication is key for children to express themselves and not to bottle up their worries. It’s so good to know they can confide in someone other than a family member that can offer sympathetic, impartial support and let them know it’s ok to feel sad sometimes.’

‘I think that having another adult to talk to has made a huge difference with different actions, reactions, options and explanations.’

‘I really appreciate all the help, support and advice from your team.’

‘Excellent support and knowledge.’


Teaching Assistants (TAs)

We are fortunate to have a very strong body of teaching assistants who support learning across the school in many different ways. They work exceptionally hard to help provide the best provision possible for our children.

-One-to-one support.

-In-class support.

-Learning mentor role.

-Small group work.


One-to-one support is usually for children with a statement of educational needs. These children benefit from specialised support from TAs skilled in providing the care and assistance they need to be able to access the curriculum as fully as possible.

Sometimes, other children will receive short bursts of individual support. This is determined in collaboration with teachers, Senco, Inco and parents if necessary.


In-class support:

Most classrooms benefit from in-class support provided by TAs who are directed by the class teacher. Children gain invaluable support this way, through working one-to-one with a TA or in a small group, within the classroom setting.


Learning mentor role:

Please refer to Learning Mentor role link above.


Small group work:

Some children may be supported in a small group intervention which runs outside of the classroom setting for a brief period of time. This is monitored and regularly reviewed to assess its effectiveness and to ensure children do not repeatedly miss the same lesson in class.



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