Seminar for Belsky Ustye staff


On 27th and 28th June, Step Up staff held a seminar for our colleagues at the Belsky Ustye orphanage. It was dedicated to our programme for young adults with learning difficulties and was held with the support of the Presidential Grants Foundation.

Step Up teachers spoke about their experience of teaching adults with learning difficulties. They shared their most successful practices and methods. The location took place at the Step Up house, located in the village of Novopetrovsk in the Pskov Region.

19 staff members from the Belsky Ustye orphanage took part in the seminar, along with 7 Step Up members of staff.

Darya Sergeyevna Andreyevna, a teacher from the Step Up Centre, spoke of her multi-sensory teaching methods and ways of incorporating all four types of perception (sight, hearing, touch, kinaesthetics) into learning. All of the seminar participants contributed by elaborating on the type of learning that works best for them.

Furthermore, Darya unveiled her own projects, the games “The Velcro Glove” and “Mathematic Bowling”, which she has found work well with students with learning difficulties. The aim of the seminar was to plan three multisensory lessons.

Irina Aleksandrovna Ladigina, a teacher with years of experience, also shared her experiences working with children with learning difficulties. Irina’s methods focus on the right side of the brain, on remembering dates, people and historical events through images. It is of utmost importance that students draw these images themselves, though, in order for them to become the key to remembering and visualising historical events.

The seminar was interactive; participants did not just listen but also spoke about what is important to them, what motivates them to teach, what hinders progress, and how to overcome these obstacles.

Speech therapist and neuropsychologist Elena Konstantinovna Lobacheva held a lecture on neuropsychology, namely on the different zones of the brain and various obstacles to brain development.

Seminar participants found out about the ten types of neuropsychological diagnostic, from identifying the dominant side of the brain to determining whether a child is ready to go to school or not. Everyone managed to master the exercises establishing connections between different sides of the brain.

Geography teacher Tayisia Evgeniya Yazrikova told us about teaching the basics of natural science. Her workshop was devoted to practical exercises, including organising experiments using scrap materials, such as assembling a globe from a sheet of paper or a map from a sphere. She also spoke about ways of teaching adults with learning difficulties about the world around them.

The Step Up Centre’s psychologist, Anna Valeryevna Ulyanova, conducted a seminar on the use of board games in teaching. Her historical game “Timeline” will help students at the orphanage to build a timeline and expand their knowledge. “Imaginarium” develops abstract and associative thinking, while “Dobble” teaches students to analyse shape, colour and size, as well as engaging their memory. “Activity” develops communication skills. Educational board games were donated to the orphanage.

In addition, the orphanage staff were given brochures outlining new methods of teaching adults with learning difficulties. The brochure was created using funds from the Presidential Grants Foundation and its material, knowledge and skills will be useful to staff.

Belsky Ustye staff then conducted a tour of the orphanage, expanding on their personal experiences there. They showed us students’ rooms, each of which was decorated according to personal taste, the greenhouse, the carpentry workshop, paintings and crafts. The staff have carried out some remarkable work- touch panels have been installed in the corridors so that children in wheelchairs can feel different patterns and surfaces.

Below is an outline of the seminar programme

Wednesday 27th June, 2018
10:00 – 11:00. Welcome and introduction to the new “Day to Day” programme. E.K. Lobacheva.
11:00 – 12:30. Multisensory approach to learning (international experiences). D.S. Andreyevna.
12:30 – 13: 30. Lunch.
13:30 – 15:30. Methods of teaching history to young adults with learning difficulties. I.A. Ladigina.
16:00. Tour of orphanage.

Thursday 18th June, 2018
9:00 – 10.30. Neuropsychological techniques for learning to read and write. E.K.Lobacheva.
10:30 – 10:45. Break.
10:45 – 11:45. Teaching the basics of natural science. T.E.Yazrikova.
11:45 – 13:30. Board games and development. A.V.Ulyanova.
13:30 – 14:30. Lunch.
14:30 – 15:30. Round table on the successes and results of the seminar. Moderator: I.A.Ladigina.