Influences on Learning

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Influences on Learning

As the school engenders pupil success through their experiences and needs, those individual needs must be identified. As a Roman-Catholic faith primary school, the setting catered for pupils from nursery age to Year 6, although investigation and teaching was carried out within the Year 4 cohort of 20 pupils. The school is based in a geographic location which has repeatedly encountered high levels of socio-economic deprivation (Spaven, 2011) and unlawful occurrences (Gazette, 2013). Many pupils are on registers with local agencies in order to combat varying levels of need, including learning, social and economic factors (Appendix K). Data concerning Year 4 is confidential, but 95% of the class were subject to one or more of those factors which Ofsted defines as being a barrier to inclusion (OFSTED, 2000). As exterior influences may impact on the effectiveness of the pupils learning and development, an understanding how these contexts affect the observed children can be gained by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Appendix 1G). Maslow argues that for an individual to focus on the highest level of needs, self-actualization, which can be translated to academic goals such as problem-solving or understanding facts, it is first necessary to ensure that the most basic needs are met (Maslow, 1943). These areas of essential-provision start with food and health, moving on to more emotive needs such as family and friendship (DesJardins, 2011). One teacher remarked that their role in the school went beyond that of a teacher, including aspects of social work and basic parenting. The school recognised these requirements by providing for them in real terms; a breakfast club was available from 8am (Appendix 1F), which pupils were officially expected to receive statutory benefits in order to attend, or pay for through the other means, yet the reality was that school staff ensured every pupil started the day with a full stomach, through means of the breakfast...
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