Special Needs


Primary, 6th grade teachers, 10 years experience


During the pandemic and the lockdown of schools, how did primary teachers respond in an online setting to students with special needs.

In what ways did you respond to this dilemma/difficulty?

The differentiation within the class was already very well built up, the children were very used to that method of the physical class day. We also had our care assistant software or from the support network or from the care team of the school that effectively also picked someone every now and then or who participated in the lesson. A kind of online co-teaching where, via the online platform Zoom, students divide into small groups in breakout rooms, differentiate and work 1 on 1 where it was necessary.

We also sent a diagram by e-mail in which a distinction was made between the must tasks of the day and the tasks that could be made as extensions.

If I planned an online class, my virtual classroom door would open half an hour earlier in advance. As a result, very often and certainly in the beginning, also with my sixth-year student, parents very often start up the computer and log in to make sure that their child ended up in the online environment.

At those moments by providing that extra half hour in advance, parents who had a question could also ask me a question.

What are the implications for teaching, learning and my understanding of the role of a teacher?

As a teacher you differentiate in a completely different way ,where you will use a digital tool to set students to work independently.

The digital skills and competences of the students also improved and after Covid, we also tried to implement them in classroom practice.

Keywords: differentiation, organisation, special needs

Erasmus+ Eotvos Lorand University Fontys University of Applied Sciences Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen Leeds Becket University Plato Seminar Tubingen Zavod Republike Slovenije za solstvo University of Aberdeen Universidade Aberta