Monday, 10 September 2012

CCET Follow-Up

From the end of March to the beginning of August, I have worked intensively on the Certificate of Competence in Educational Testing (known as CCET) delivered collaboratively by Real Training and Dyslexia Action, with accreditation from the British Psychological Society. The course was funded by the National Scholarship Fund for teachers and support staff.

I could already access many of the 'closed' standardised assessment tools used by educational psychologists due to my existing postgraduate qualifications in SEN and Dyslexia, but felt this course would both refresh my understanding and skills - and develop and validate them further. Having now completed the course, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone looking to go down the same CPD route, particularly colleagues who have to organise access arrangements. Although I would add that it is not a box-ticking exercise and requires real investment of time working in school - and brainpower - which is probably what ultimately makes it so useful.

As side note, at school I struggled at Maths due to being placed in a set too high for my ability, and certainly some of the theory took me back to a place where my brain seemed to immediately ache when looking at certain equations! I guess that's just how many of our students feel when confronted with tasks others can do with ease, and perhaps something we need reminding of from time to time. To help myself, and any colleagues who experience the same difficulty with Maths, I have put together 'revision guides' for this aspect.

Since undertaking the initial four day intensive course in Sheffield, I have assessed around half a dozen students on a 1-to-1 basis - not just to meet the criteria for a CCET pass and subsequent British Psychological Society registration, but more importantly, because the students concerned clearly needed some kind of support plan or intervention but we weren't entirely sure of the nature of their additional needs. The kind of things we were coming across was underachievement in written work in particular subjects (but not others), lack of concentration in particular classes, signs of anxiety and frustration with learning, and on a few occasions, an existing diagnosis for a specific learning difficulty that just didn't seem to fit. With each one, the assessments have confirmed suspicions, challenged existing opinions and, most important of all, pointed to a more targeted way forward. And, crucially, finely-detailed assessment of this kind can prove to be a powerful tool in encouraging students to understand themselves better as learners.

As with much of what I do, I tend to really focus in on the project at hand. As a result, I have spent great time and energy over the past few months trying out new tests (which I have profiled on an at-a-glance A4 document) and developing resources to assist with formative assessment in school - to make it as reliable and accurate as possible, and as easy to deliver as possible (keeping in mind that as a SEN Coordinator, I have a dozen other plates to keep spinning at the same time). I've also developed resources to help make the results of assessment, and subequent reports, as accessible as possible to parents.

I have to say a big thank you to the educational psychologist I work with, Michelle, who has been a constant source of advice, support and encouragement. What we hope to gain from this is a system whereby I can undertake a first wave of 'industry standard' assessment, thereby filtering our referrals to the educational psychology services and other agencies so those most at need are prioritised.

All the resources I have developed are now on TES:


Enjoy!

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