Engage In Their Future (EiTF) Conference

“Well organised - very inclusive - Great speakers” “Great opportunity for sharing good practice”

The 2019 SE/S Regional Conference of Engage In Their Future (EiTF) was held at Muntham House School on Friday 15th March. EiTF is the umbrella association for leaders of schools and provisions for pupils with Social Emotional and Mental Health concerns.

Dr Darren Bowering led the day on Positive Behaviour Support and the Conference was concluded by Sarah Ayache on How To Build A Brain.

There were great workshops throughout the day showcasing the outstanding work of schools in the region.

  1. The MHS Wheel – Measuring what really matters – Lisa Matthews and Shane Kenny, Muntham House School: This is a tool that can be used comprehensively with both pupils, parents and outside agencies to give a clear and up-to-date reflection of your individual’s pupils as well as highlighting specific arears to target.
  2. Engaging the Disengaged – Vickram Gopaul, Muntham House School: Practical methods of engagement and behaviour management including elements of the ‘Science of Persuasion’ (Dr. R. Cialdini), reading non-verbal communication, attachment awareness (Bowlby et al), building relationships and mindful teaching (J Bowler).
  3. Preparing the Unprepared – Transition Planning at Muntham House School Extended Education Unit. Steve Hellyer (Head of EEU) and Helen Farminer (Partnership Manager) offer you an insight into how Muntham House School prepares some of its most reluctant students for life beyond school. Using real-life case studies and recent successes, they will demonstrate how the four Preparation for Adulthood outcomes area at the centre of every aspect of the EEU.
  4. Targeted literacy, numeracy, and speech and language intervention to close the gap for SEMH pupils – Andrew Barnes, Muntham House School: "Closing the gap" How using identified gaps in the curriculum as a focus for 1-1 intervention has led to improved teacher and LSA communication, accelerated pupil progress and clearer tracking.
  5. The Challenges of Governance in Special Schools (Morning session only) – Eileen Vose, Muntham House School: A workshop designed especially for governors, but may be a useful insight for others as to the continuing challenges facing governors. A chance to share experiences and learn from one another.
  6. (In)visible Bodies – Dr Michele Aldridge, Serendipity: Body image – whose problem is it really? Do we in education reflect or challenge the gender stereotypes and myths related to make body image?
  7. Storybook Maths –Pete Pickford & Emma Hudson, Waterloo School: Explore how using story books as a hook into the pupil’s learning of maths will engage pupils, offer a wide range of practical activity opportunities and promote an understanding of why this learning will help them in life. During this session find out how storybooks can be used and help to plan exciting activities.
  8. Funky Fingers - effective handwriting support - Manda Drake, Waterloo School: Funky Fingers is a series of fun activities for pupils to build up their gross & fine motor skills. The improvement of these skills will get them ready to write or improve their handwriting. There are many benefits to Funky Fingers that will become clear during this session. Activities to try out and assessment materials to track progress will be on offer.
  9. Effective Engagement with External Agencies - Paul Van Walwyk, Wolverdene School: We are increasingly having to work with other agencies and professionals outside of school, social care, CAMHS, consultants etc. This workshop will look at working practices that will help with making these working relationships most effective for the school in order to best support the pupil.
  10. Attachment based practice: PACE in Action-Emma Burton Wolverdene School: PACE training cover the following aspects:
  • Look at attachment and recognising different attachment styles
  • Looking at how attachment difficulties affect our ability to engage with others and vulnerabilities for future relationship development.
  • What is PACE – what does it look like
  • How does PACE work in terms of regulating emotions and supporting everyday interactions?
  • Specific PACE responses for complex, challenging situations.

The conference was well supported with over 200 professionals from the region in attendance. The feedback as usual was overwhelmingly positive and attendees were already booking their attendance for next year.

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