education, special education, special needs, Teaching

Peer Interactions, Social Skills, and Play: EHCP Targets

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

Blogs, special education, special needs, Teaching

Learning Through Play – An SENexchange Discussion

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

education, special education, special needs, Teaching

Hand over Hand VS Hand Under Hand Support

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

education, inclusion, special education, special needs, Teaching, Wellbeing

Using Breaks To Enhance Learning

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

education, PMLD, sensory, special education, special needs, Teaching

Line of Duty: The Sensory Story

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

SEN interview teaching activities hints and tips
education, recruitment, special education, Teaching

The SEND Interview Teaching Activity

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

Autism, behaviour, education, PMLD, special education, Teaching

Rewards and Natural Consequences

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

education, resources, sensory, special needs, Teaching

Maths: Multisensory Activities for Teaching Big and Small

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

books, education, Family, Teaching

Diversity: 3 Great Picture Books

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

5 apps chosen to support SEN pupils with virtual learning
aac, app, Autism, education, Guest Post, ICT, special education, special needs, Teaching

5 Interactive Apps Geared Towards Special Needs Students

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

Autism, behaviour, education, special education, Teaching

Control, Anxiety, and Oppositional Behaviour at Home and School.

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.

education, special education, Teaching

Quality of Life: Reducing Anxiety

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

Teaching

Mr Potato Head Scavenger Hunt

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

education, resources, special education, special needs, Teaching

Spitfire: A VE Day Sensory Story

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

aac, education, special needs, Teaching

AAC Game: Manic Martians:

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:

education, Life skills, special education, special needs, Teaching

SEND: Encouraging Independence

Independence at School and Home Is is essential we educate our children for the life they will lead as adults. For safety, wellbeing and the ability to control their direction in life. Independence will be a sliding scale for many children but we need to enhance this wherever possible. Independence skills is a key area… Continue reading SEND: Encouraging Independence

Autism, resources, sensory, special needs, Teaching

Scavenger Hunt Communication Boards

This will be an ongoing post where I upload the scavenger hunt AAC communication boards and other activity sheets I make. I hope you find these useful and please share if you like them. We also have a post outlining 150 sensory learning activities you may be interested in. All the boards are fully editable… Continue reading Scavenger Hunt Communication Boards

Autism, behaviour, education, Life skills, special education, special needs, Teaching

How To Teach Children To Wait

Waiting: Strategies for use at home & school Waiting can be a challenge for many children. As a teacher and a parent I have had to find ways to teach children to wait for a whole range of things. Throughout the day in the SEN classroom there are natural lulls in planned activity. This may… Continue reading How To Teach Children To Wait

Autism, education, resources, special education, special needs, Teaching

Snack Time: Communication & Interaction

Using Snack time to enhance communication. Snack time can be a great opportunity to develop a number of key skills for our pupils. Given the regular nature of mealtimes in school settings and the inherent positive nature of mealtimes for most children, this activity is an outstanding context for social communication intervention (Gauverou 2017). Primarily… Continue reading Snack Time: Communication & Interaction

Autism, education, Guest Post, resources, special needs, Teaching

Transition: Primary to Secondary

Year Six into Year Seven Every secondary school runs a year 6 to year 7 transition programme of some sort, comprising a few visits, summer holiday events and open evenings. Children with EHCPs and on the SEN register generally get something extra. Fran from Square Peg shares her thoughts and led an SENexchange discussion. Read our… Continue reading Transition: Primary to Secondary