New York 2014

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New York – Day 2 – Monday

Date: October 21, 2014 Author: Admin Categories: New York 2014, News

Today we visited our first schools. We have been allocated a mixture of Primary, Secondary and Special Educational Needs schools – quite a wide variety, across the length and breadth of New York. The schools we visited today were in the districts of Harlem and Queens.

The schools in Queens were Technical High Schools, where as well as being taught traditional subjects, students were able to learn the skills of trades such as motor mechanics. Students also take responsibility for much of the care and maintenance of the school and showed pride in their learning and high levels of respect for their school and the resources in it.

IMG_0478The school that we visited in Harlem was a large Primary School (called an Elementary School in USA) which catered for a wide variety of students, many of whom spoke English as a second language (Spanish being their first language). Some of the children were also autistic. All children were taught in small classes with lots of support. Many of the classes were taught in two languages. Parents were very much encouraged to be part of the school and were shown how to support their child’s learning at home. The school taught similar subjects to us and used many similar systems, with lots of writing in all classes. Because of the particular needs of the children in this school, there is a lot of government funding available for additional teaching staff, however Learning Support Assistants worked only with the very youngest children. From Year 2 all class based adults are qualified teachers.

Some teachers are specialists e.g. for Art, Maths and English.  The school also employs their own Reading Recovery teachers. They also have their own Educational Psychologist and Social Workers on site. Lots of parents work as volunteers at this school.