Curious, Courageous, and Coaching Conversations in School. Leading conversations is not about power or forcing people to do as they are told. It is about gaining buy-in and building trust. When holding conversations around practice, or conflict there will be specific elements of people management but that is not leadership. As a leader you encourage… Continue reading Effective Courageous and Curious Conversations for Leaders in School.
This is a record of the #SENexchange discussion from 2nd February 2022. We based the chat on the article: The tip of the iceberg: SEND, masking and multiple needs written by regular discussion contributor Sara Alston. I have edited some responses for clarity. A Discussion on Masking and Learning Needs at School and Home. How… Continue reading Masking, Behaviour, and Learning Needs.
This is a record of the January 2022 #SENexchange discussion of themes from this brand new free document. A beginners guide to Ableism tapestry.info/a-beginners-gu… This topic is so important. Emily Lees, an autistic speech and Language Therapist wrote the guide. This should be read by everyone who works in the field of SEN. Our write-ups… Continue reading Discussing A Beginners Guide To Ableism
Individual interaction styles can have a huge impact on learning. When working with young people with SEN there are many different strategies and approaches to engage them in learning. What is often overlooked is the adult's interaction style. This can influence not only engagement but behaviour, wellbeing and, well all outcomes really. I would like… Continue reading Develop Authentic Interaction Styles To Improve Learning
A Reformed Functionalist. Acting in a certain way to get out of something is commonplace for many children and young people. And adults come to that. If you have attended a PBS (positive behaviour support) course or any behaviour training you may have heard the term functions of behaviour. Attempts to get away from, out… Continue reading Functions of Behaviour: Fear and Escape
It is not uncommon to see EHCP (Education, Health and Care Plans) targets linked to Social Skills, Play and Peer Interactions However these often present unique challenges to children with SEND and especially autistic children. These challenges go beyond “they don’t know how”. It is much more complex than that. When designing interventions to meet… Continue reading Peer Interactions, Social Skills, and Play: EHCP Targets
This blog on learning through play is a write up of the final #SENexchange of the 2020/2021 academic year. This chat was hosted by Georgina Durrant from author of 100 Ways Your Child Can Learn Through Play: Fun Activities for Young Children with SEN (Find out more here). There were a number of contributors so… Continue reading Learning Through Play – An SENexchange Discussion
The use of physical prompts which includes hand over hand and hand under hand is widespread and accepted practice. This includes but is not limited to, pupils with a range of disabilities including PMLD, SLD, and visual impairment. Described by VanDijk (1966) as forming part of a set of teaching strategies for supporting deaf-blind children… Continue reading Hand over Hand VS Hand Under Hand Support
Why should you give children breaks to help them learn? This post was inspired by an overheard conversation and links two issues. Access to planned interventions and the provision of learning breaks throughout the day. A parent of an autistic child was questioning whether a school should have stopped their child from attending their sensory… Continue reading Using Breaks To Enhance Learning
Mother of God it’s the Line of Duty Sensory Story! No copyright infringement intended (Sorry BBC, please don’t sue) just a bit of fun. I wrote this with older sensory learners in mind. Sometimes sensory stories are not fully age appropriate for adults with PMLD. There is no reason not to engage people based on… Continue reading Line of Duty: The Sensory Story
Our recruitment and interview process posts are very popular. However we haven't talked about the teaching interview activity. One of the questions we get asked is around the teaching side of the interview process. Candidates for teaching positions almost always have to demonstrate their teaching skills through an observed teaching activity. During the interview process… Continue reading The SEND Interview Teaching Activity
Personalisation and Purpose I am a fan of personalised reward systems as a way to achieve a very specific goal. As a behaviour modification strategy I have struggled to find a suitable system. I have found star charts or token economy systems a good way for some children to focus on expected behaviour. They can… Continue reading Rewards and Natural Consequences
Maths: Big and Small Big and Small These concepts are generally taught together but we also use them to describe objects without a comparative object. "wow that's a big smile" "what a big yawn!". In fact, we throw around size-related mathematical language with scant regard to accuracy. "I've made a huge mistake." "You are a… Continue reading Maths: Multisensory Activities for Teaching Big and Small
Diversity in society is a really important topic to start addressing with children as soon as possible. This is especially true for children in a special school they are already marginalised in certain sections of society. I found these books when looking to resource our RSE curriculum which in primary has a real focus on… Continue reading Diversity: 3 Great Picture Books
A guest post on great SEN apps. For many children access to school ended in March 2020 due to the coronavirus. Now that the spread is slowing down, however, they’re allowed to reopen fully. But a survey conducted by the National Foundation for Education Research found that 60% of school leaders feel ‘unprepared for some aspects of… Continue reading 5 Interactive Apps Geared Towards Special Needs Students
All children have a tendency to display oppositional behavior at times. After 13 years working with children with Autism, ADHD, ODD and other needs I have seen a range of reasons for opposition. With my own children I can identify factors that can lead to oppositional behaviour. This doesn’t make it easier to deal with,… Continue reading Control, Anxiety, and Oppositional Behaviour at Home and School.
The Value of Compassion This post is a reflection of the #SENexchange discussion on Quality of life and our favourite things. It took place during the Coronavirus crisis in April 2020. Our definitions of what education, life and security look like have been tested. Education was redefined overnight, the structures and routines we built over… Continue reading Quality of Life: Reducing Anxiety
The Mr Potato Head scavenger hunt is a great accessible activity that can be set up for AAC (Augmentative and assertive communication). There are many other activities you can use Mr Potato Head for: Following InstructionsDeveloping Fine Motor SkillsTeam work and interactionEmotionsPlaying with foodProblem SolvingSequencingSenses (Worksheet available below)Positional Language The scavenger hunt activities were developed… Continue reading Mr Potato Head Scavenger Hunt
Our Spitfire VE Day sensory story forms the third of a collection of sensory stories written to be delivered during the week of the VE day celebrations in May 2020. These have been written with a broader range of needs than some of our other stories. The vocabulary is a little more complex and the… Continue reading Spitfire: A VE Day Sensory Story
I teach in a autism specific classroom. The majority of the group are non-verbal and use a range of AAC (Augmentative and alternative communication resources). A common learning objective that links to a child's EHCP targets is social interaction. This requires a commonly understood communication method. The key to this is using simple symbol/images which… Continue reading AAC Game: Manic Martians: