Developing pupil motivation using 10 evidence based strategies. Teaching Assistants (TAs) play a vital role in supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs (SEN) in the classroom. One of the most important aspects of their work is to help these pupils develop a strong motivation to learn. This is crucial because pupils with SEN may face… Continue reading How can teachers and teaching assistants motivate pupils to learn?
Here are 10 interview questions that you may be asked when interviewing to become a teaching assistant (TA)/learning support assistant (LSA). I have also added a potential answer to a couple of the questions. Generic answers are good for ticking boxes but to really impress the interviewer you need examples from your previous experience. If… Continue reading Interview Questions and Answers for Teaching Assistants.
A Spooky Sensory Experience. Are You A Monster? Halloween Sensory Story is similar to Are You An Elf? and Am I a Pirate? These are "Dressing Up" Sensory Stories. The idea is that each element of the story will be revealed from a bag or box and worn by the learner, this means these sensory… Continue reading Halloween Sensory Story: Are You A Monster?
Free Christmas Sensory Story for PMLD/SLD pupils Slightly different from a more traditional sensory story Are You an Elf Christmas Sensory Story is one of our free "Dressing up" Sensory Stories. Throughout the story the learner will become an Elf. As with any activity the storyteller needs to be attuned to the learner's individual sensory… Continue reading A Christmas Sensory Story: Are you an Elf?
What is the Metaverse? The word Metaverse is being used a lot at the moment. It is a technology in its infancy, like many technologies it could be a gimmick. However as the technology develops I think we'll be hearing more and more about the metaverse. What it is, and how people use it will… Continue reading Sensory Stories in the Metaverse
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
Shopping for good-quality educational toys can be difficult. There are so many to choose from and the quality varies hugely. We have 5 children between us so have got a pretty good idea of what they have enjoyed at different ages. Working in A special school I am also always on the lookout for toys… Continue reading Magnetic Bird Educational Toy Review
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
This is a record of an #SENexchange online discussion on Making Schools Listen: Amplifying Parent Voice in Education. This aligns with value 5 of the School of Joy Approach - community and coproduction. A few years ago I co-wrote a post with Claire Ryan on school/parent partnership. I wrote it from the perspective of the… Continue reading Making Schools Listen: Amplifying Parent Voice In Education
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
Our Charles Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle multi-sensory story was Written for a Key Stage 4 class. To link with the cornerstones topic “Darwin’s Delight”. There is some quite complex vocabulary so this story fits into our stage 5 immersive storytelling band. I wrote this more for SLD pupils than PMLD but you can adapt… Continue reading Darwin: Voyage of the Beagle Multi-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
If your child has a disability or issues with mobility, it's important to make the home environment comfortable, safe and accessible. The traditional home layout will not always work. Especially if your child uses a wheelchair. When it comes to modifying the home it's important to create a space where your child isn't just safe… Continue reading Ways of Making Our Homes Comfortable for Children with Disabilities
Re-connection and Relationships in the Post Lockdown Return to School Re-connection and relationships. This is a record of the #SENexchange Discussion following the wider reopening of UK schools for the easing of lockdown on March 8th 2021. Many schools had been closed to most pupils from January. Children with an EHCP, vulnerable pupils, keyworker children… Continue reading School: Reconnection & Relationships #SENExchange
Easter Activities for SEND Children Easter games and resources are great for use in a number of SEND focused activities. I would use this with a wider age range than they are designed for. This raises questions about how age appropriate each resource an I discuss this issue in this blog. Context in choosing resources… Continue reading Easter Games: 3 Great Toys
Multi-Sensory Stories For Key Vocabulary These two super simple sensory stories cover just one concept each. Hot and Cold. This vocabulary is reinforced by everyday objects that are cold and hot. You shouldn't need any expensive resources and can adapt each line to fit what you have available. Please visit our main sensory story page for our… Continue reading Hot and Cold Multi-Sensory Stories
Whether an activity or interest is age appropriate is an ongoing argument in SEND education. Frustratingly it seems to only apply to children with SEN. Particularly regarding activities for PMLD learners and the special interests of autistic children. Even more annoying is when we label something "not age appropriate". The person doing so is usually… Continue reading The Age Appropriate Argument and SEND
This post on the design and delivery of an inclusive remote learning strategy for all our children is published in response to the latest Government lockdown. Many schools remain open to vulnerable and critical worker children. However for a significant number of children there is no on site access to education. This may be due… Continue reading An Inclusive Blended Learning Strategy for SEND.
Why Developing Child Voice in SEND is a safeguarding priority it is essential you ensure child voice is a top priority in the inclusive classroom. You cannot overstate the importance of providing children with opportunities to demonstrate choices throughout their education. In early years education, this is acknowledged through EYFS documents (Early Years Foundation Stage).… Continue reading Child Voice, AAC, and Safeguarding