I am really delighted to share this post about Step-back…
Check the powerful image…. says so much…….. of a lack of understanding of roles… who is doing what….. what is the purpose of this support?
Step-back changes the way in which we support children and young people with additional learning needs
Step-back is a programme for schools / organisations / services who work with children with additional learning needs
Step-back is a whole school approach to maximising independence for all learners. http://www.stepback.co/
Since 2018 Positive Eye has been developing the Step-back programme .
Step-back supports educators, parents, children, young people, therapists, family support workers, social workers, mentors to better understand through a structured approach how to successfully maximise the independence of children and young people with additional learning needs.
The Step-back programme was developed to support the implementation of the new Additional Learning Needs Education Act in Wales.
Now it is available from Positive Eye for any school, local authority, organisation that work with children, anywhere in the world. It is universal.
Step-back really does change the way we think about support for children with additional learning needs.
Step-back makes the child the starting point for planning.
Step-back and forward planning for teaching and learning go hand in hand with this approach.
One really important point to note: Step-back is for EVERYONE and categorically NOT just for teaching assistants or para-professionals.
Step-back is something that I think should be included at the teacher training point…. why…. because it teaches teachers how to be a teacher of children with additional learning needs.
The suite of Step-back resources I have developed at Positive Eye are as follows, there is something for everyone involved.
1. Step-back Train the Trainer course. – to train senior special needs teachers to become registered Step-back Trainers. (follow a marked/moderated course)
2. Step-back Practitioner course: Taught by the Step-back Trainer to practitioners in schools who at the end of the course become Step-back Practitioners and promote the strategies across all staff and children. (Step-back Practitioners follow a marked / moderated course
3. Step-back Mentors: One day course / or 5 x 1.5 hour online sessions – taught by Positive Eye, completion of a workbook that is reviewed and on completion the practitioner becomes a recognised Step-back Mentor.
4.Step-back for Parents: Parents can follow the Step-back Mentor Course or they can participate in some of the key Step-back activities and approaches.
5. Step-back Whole School Mark: 5 standards have been set for schools to evidence their commitment to Step-back.
6. Whole School Step-back course: Every member of the school staff takes the course. This is supported by a coordinated and collaborative approach to embedding Step-back throughout the school over the year following the initial training.
7. Step-back for Job Coaches: One day, or 5 x 1.5 hour sessions with a workbook to complete.
Why do we all need Step-back?
Everyone who works with children and young people with any form of additional learning needs … needs Step-back…. it is a culture change in the way support is thought about.
*It really gives the learner a voice
*It really gives the learner a huge part in the planning of their support
*It really involves everyone understanding their role and responsibility in supporting the independence of the learner.
*It offers a planned, structured approach to providing support to the child or young person, where everyone knows their role and responsibility.
On this link please scroll to Page 4 – 9 to read 8 amazing case studies written by staff at King Henry VIII Comprehensive school in Wales. They are all trained Step-back Practitiioners and share the positive outcomes from using Step-back with their learners. They are simply wonderful.
Here are some short snippets from the film I made to share with parents about how Step-back works…..
You can watch the Step-back Parent film here, although this is for the new Welsh Additional Learning Needs Education Act, the principles of the approach apply to everyone
Here are some key points shared during the film
1.Our ultimate goal is for your child or young person to gain the skills they require to become as independent as possible. Independence is not always developed in the best way when you have a person with you all the time. It can sometimes have the opposite impact as it means a child or young person can become reliant on support.
2.It is possible to over support, reducing the opportunity to problem solve which we know helps children and young people to develop resilience and independence. It is part of the growing up process and it is important in their development. Supporting your child or young person to understand what becoming independent means is important in the new Step-back approach.
3.Step-back helps us to think about our role and the purpose of the support we provide in enabling your child or young person to develop the skills they require to become independent.
Step-back helps us to look at how we deliver support. Our Step-back approach is guided by 10 Step-back statements – these form our Step-back Code. Each statement provides the guiding principles and ensures we adopt a person-centred approach.
5.We think it is very important to put your child or young person at the heart of their support, to listen, to consult and to include them in planning the ‘how’, the ‘what’ and most importantly the ‘why’ of support. For example Step-back Statement 5 from our Step-back Code provides us with the following guidance on this:
“Keep a clear focus on ‘what is important to the learner and what is important for the learner’. Adopt a structured approach whereby you listen, consult and respond appropriately”
6.To assist us to do this we are using an approach called the Easy-Easier Approach – developed by Positive Eye. This approach puts your child or young person at the heart of their support.
7.One of the benefits of this approach is that it helps your child or young person to recognise their own success and progress in reaching their goals. It is also an approach you can easily use at home. Throughout the use of this approach, it is important to us that we talk about ‘what is important to your child or young person and what is important for them’
8.The next stage of the Easy-Easier Approach involves the development of an action plan.
Scaffold tasks to promote increasing levels of independent access and plan regular opportunities for the learner to evaluate their progress and plan the next steps forward
At this stage we look at the tasks and activities your child or young person would like to find easier and we develop a Step-in, Step-back plan with them to scaffold support.
Scaffolding support means we plan how to Step-in to teach the skills required to be able to complete a task independently.
Then as skills are gradually developed and your child or young person’s independence increases we can plan with them how to Step-back. It is important to us at each stage of the Step-in, Step-back process that we consult with your child or young person. To summarise we:
Step-in to teach or support development of a skill/task
Step-back to enable the learner to complete skill/task/piece of work independently
9. We know that learners are more likely to develop a positive approach to their situation if they understand how they will benefit from learning a particular skill. By using this approach we are encouraging your child or young person to think:
What will it be like when I have learnt this skill?
How will it be easier to do?
What are the stages I need to take to reach this goal?
How will I recognise my success?
We are building your child or young person’s skills and abilities to problem solve and we are increasing the competencies they require to work independently.
10. Our goal is for learner’s to be able to ask for help when needed and recognise their own success, without additional support
Without being taught how to ask for help when they need it and recognise when they are meeting success without additional support is crucial to your child or young person’s long term success in life and ultimately work.
To conclude – we are guided again by our Step-back Code and by Step-back Statement 10
“Keep at the forefront that your interventions support the learner to realise the significance of becoming independent”
11. Here a useful analogy of ‘being in the driving seat’ is helpful. Together, with you, our long term goal is to ensure your child or young person is ‘In the driving seat.’
12. We are all working towards a long term goal of ensuring they have developed the skills and competencies they require to take their place in society as an independent citizen.
Text on image: How would you feel if you weren’t independent?
Image top right: Girl with hand on her chin with speech bubble that says: How would you feel if you weren’t independent?
There is the Step-back Logo that reads: Step-back
There is a picture of an educator cutting out a flower on behalf of a learner
The learner sits to her right, he looks really fed up and is fiddling with a ruler, he looks very bored. He has his hand cupped around his face and he is looking down at the table.