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SEND Special Educational Needs & Disability

ISSUE 15 May 2017

I THINK I CAN The power of self efficacy


12-year-old autistic girl stars in new campaign video

TEEN ANXIETY Support during revision



Lorraine Petersen OBE guides readers through the review SEND Magazine www.sendmagazine.co.uk @sendmagazine

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Welcome to SEND Magazine

It’S exam time for many schools across the UK and very stressful for both teachers and students. the new issue of SEND Magazine aims to provide guidance and assistance throughout this time as well as providing quality articles and help across the educational board. Former NASEN CEO Jane Friswell writes an excellent article on anxiety through revision, offering advice to both teachers and students through this time. See pages 22-25. In our latest NEWS pages, we announce government plans to invest in SEND with extra funding, turn to Page 6 to find out more. A hot topic at the moment is the Rochford Review. In December 2015 the Rochford Review published a set of interim pre-key stage standards for the statutory assessment of those pupils who are not assessed using P scales but are working below the standard of the national curriculum tests. this is an opportunity for every school, teacher and parent with children working below the standard of the national curriculum to have their say about the future of assessment for this group of pupils. Lorraine Petersen OBE guides readers through the review on Pages 8 & 9. On Page 10, we raise awarenes of autism along with the National Autistic Society (NAS), talking about a new video starring a 12-year-old autistic girl, as she stands in front of her class to talk about the difficulties of living with autism. On Page12 Jane Friswell looks at participation. Participation means adults listening to young people’s views and opinions about things that matter to them, helping young people to contribute to decisions about things that will affect their lives and working with young people to improve the services they access. In 2014 the new children and families bill, addressed this, giving greater say and powers to both parents of children and young people within SEND as well as the children themselves. For those reading this issue at our first SEND Conference, turn to Page 18 for our conference guide. For those not in attendance, look what you have missed! Keep reading future editions of SEND Magazine, where we will announce future conferences throughout the UK. On Page 20 we meet Michael & John as we explore the signs and symptoms of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Heather Stack, MD of the Local Offer once again provides excellent advice, this issue, looking at helping children believe they can succeed, in her article entitled ‘I tHINK I CAN’. Dyslexia consultant Arran Smith continues to write about technological advances in Dyslexia on Page 30, so, along with our book reviews on Page 32, SEND Magazine is, once again packed with helpful advice and articles for teachers, parents and carers of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability. thank you for reading!

Nick Clarke


SMagazine END

Publisher Director Nick Clarke BA (HONS) 07984 306 664 nick@sendmagazine.co.uk SEND Consultant Simon Carnell

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Contributors Professor Barry Carpenter CBE, Lorraine Peterson OBE, Arran Smith, Heather Stack, Jane Friswell. ©SEND Magazine is published by SEND (UK) Ltd Managing Director Nick Clarke

The views and opinions expressed in SEND Magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible or liable for any incorrect information, opinions of any third parties or omissions. No part of this publication can be reproduced without prior permission from the publisher. Postal Address 42 Cumberland Way,Barwell, Leicestershire. LE9 8HX 01455 642 234

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Contents P6 NEWS

New government funding announced for SEND.


National Autistic Society accreditation for Liverpool school.


Chartered physiotherapist Caroline Russell takes us through the Ronnie Gardiner Method with a case study from a primary school therapist.

P18 SEND CONFERENCE MIDLANDS Programme from our first SEND Conference.


Help with spotting the signs of Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.


Dealing with student anxiety during the exam period.



Children and young people, and the power of self efficacy.

Guidance from leading SEND consultant, Lorraine Petersen OBE.


New awareness video from the National Autistic Society.

P30 CASE STUDY Spellzone


Latest book releases for SEND.


More say for parents and children with SEND. www.sendmagazine.co.uk


Dyslexia consultant Arran Smith talks about reading, spelling and technology typing. May 2017 SEND Magazine



New funding boost for pupils with SEND

Millions invested to create more school places and improve facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

A £215 MILLION funding boost to transform the lives of thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities, by increasing school capacity and making it easier for them to access good school places, has been announced by Edward timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families. Every local council’s allocation is at least £500,000 to enable them to expand and improve their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, with more than half receiving at least £1 million. Councils will be free to invest the funding as they see fit to help children and young people with education, health and care 6

SEND Magazine May 2017

plans to get a high-quality education.

The investment can be used in mainstream schools, including: • academies • free schools • grammar schools • special units • special schools • early years settings • further education colleges • other provision for children and young people aged from 0 to 25 It could be used, for example, to build new specialised classrooms for children with emotional, social and mental health difficulties, expand existing classrooms to increase their size

for those using mobility aids, purchase mobility equipment and even create new storage facilities for wheelchairs. Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, Edward timpson, said: “this government is determined to build a country that works for everyone - a country where every child has an equal opportunity to reach their full potential regardless of their background, and any challenges they may face. We have already made the biggest changes for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities in a generation, but we want to go further and build on that success. “Our multi-million pound

investment will enable local councils to build new classrooms and improve facilities for pupils , ensuring that no child is left behind. “ Councils will be expected to consult with local parents, carers, schools, and others on how their funding should be used. they will be required to publish a short plan showing how they will spend the funding. “this new fund follows the £23 million that has already been recently allocated to local authorities to support them to review their provision for children and young people with SEND and disabilities and make strategic plans to get the best out comes. www.sendmagazine.co.uk


Liverpool special school celebrate National Autistic Society (NAS) acreditation

AN outstanding Liverpool special school is celebrating after being officially accredited by the National Autistic Society (NAS). Abbot’s Lea School in Woolton has been awarded the Autism Accreditation mark yet again for its “effective child-centred package for pupils and students on the Autism Spectrum.” the Autism Accreditation mark is an internationally recognised quality standard by NAS which aims to set and encourage high standards of provision for people of all ages living with Autism. By achieving this prestigious accreditation, Abbot’s Lea School has been recognised as a place that puts the interests of autistic young people at the heart of everything they do. the school caters for pupils aged 3-19 with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a range of associated learning difficulties. Gaining accreditation has been the result of continuous hard work by a large team of staff. A team from the

National Autistic Society visited the school, interviewed members of staff, gathered feedback from the families and observed different lessons, ranging from early years to sixth form. Questionnaires from parents highlighted Abbot’s Lea School’s strong focus on the pastoral and academic development of the students. One parent commented: “My son and our family would be lost without the help and support of the amazing staff in school.” the NAS team praised the school’s excellent use of resources and multi-sensory methodologies;

the positive and respectful interactions between students and the staff, and the school’s robust model of training and support for staff. this marks yet another exciting milestone for the outstanding special school, as its new headteacher Mrs Ania Hildrey looks to develop Abbot’s Lea School into an International Centre of Excellence for Autism Education, Research and Development contributing to new developments within the growing and complex field of Autism. Commenting on the accreditation,

Headteacher Mrs Ania Hildrey said: “We are delighted to be officially recognised by the National Autistic Society for the excellent education and care we provide to our students. Our specialist staff, the governors, leaders, teachers and an army of support assistants deserve every bit of this recognition as they work hard to provide a truly autismspecific approach to teaching and learning. “this is an exciting period for us as we look to develop further and work towards our vision of transforming Abbot’s Lea from the outstanding school it already is, to the best special school in the world! this Autism Accreditation brings us a step closer on our journey! “I am proud and privileged to be the school’s Headteacher and I want to thank and congratulate every student, parent and colleague – this award is a recognition of more than just results. It is a celebration of the school as a very close community working together to make learning irresistible!”

SEN Assessment Toolkit Identify a need. Support the child

Mental Health

Dyslexia Numeracy Literacy

By bringing together a number of tried and tested products, GL Assessment has developed a one-stop-shop for SEN assessments. Lorraine Petersen, OBE


2017 Education Resources Awards Winner, Special Educational Needs – Non ICT

0330 123 5375 interest@gl-assessment.co.uk gl-assessment.co.uk/SENToolkit

May 2017 SEND Magazine



Primary school pupil assessment: The Rochford Review

Lorraine Petersen OBE lends a guiding hand through the Government consultation document. arrangements for those pupils working below the standard of national curriculum.

ON 30th March 2017 Justine Greening launched the long awaited consultation on the recommendations from the Rochford Review. this is an opportunity for every school, teacher and parent with children working below the standard of the national curriculum to have their say about the future of assessment for this group of pupils. this consultation sits alongside the consultation on primary assessment and I would urge early years and secondary colleagues to put their point of view as the final measures that come from this consultation will impact across all phases.

End of key stage statutory teacher assessment

The consultation documentation and on-line response can be found at: https://consult.education.gov.uk/ assessment-policy-anddevelopment/rochford-review/ the closing date for responses is 22 June 2017. I have prepared this synopsis of what the consultation document is asking you to comment on and giving you some points to consider.

Setting the scene

Statutory assessment plays an important role in ensuring that every child is supported to leave primary school prepared to succeed. It is crucial that every child is able to demonstrate attainment and progress. those pupils who have not completed the relevant programmes of study when they reach the appropriate age for statutory assessments are unable


SEND Magazine May 2017

to sit the national curriculum tests. this is a diverse group including those with SEND, those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with English as an additional language. Schools should be rewarded for ensuring that all children achieve their potential.

P Scales

P scales were introduced in 1998 to sit below level 1 of the old national curriculum. they were developed for those teachers working with children with complex needs who found the

national curriculum level descriptors started at too high a point for their children. Currently it is a statutory requirement to use P scales to assess and report the attainment of pupils with SEND who are not working at the standard of mainstream statutory assessments. the removal of levels and the introduction of the new national curriculum in 2014 prompted the government to establish the independent Rochford Review to look at the appropriateness and effectiveness of assessment

Interim teacher assessment frameworks were introduced in the 2015 to 2016 to enable schools to report end of key stage statutory assessment for pupils who are working at the standard of national curriculum tests. these interim frameworks will continue to be used in 2016 – 2017. In December 2015 the Rochford Review published a set of interim pre-key stage standards for the statutory assessment of those pupils who are not assessed using P scales but are working below the standard of the national curriculum tests. Each of these pre-key stage standards contain a number of ‘can do’ statements. If a school decides not to enter a pupil for the test or if a teacher does not have evidence that a pupil consistently meets all the statements in the interim teacher assessment framework, the interim pre-key stage standards should be used to provide a statutory outcome for the pupil unless their attainment is being reported using P scales.

Future arrangements as proposed by Rochford Review - Inclusive assessment

the final report recommends removing the statutory requirement for schools to use P scales to report the attainment of pupils with SEND who are not working at the standard of national curriculum assessments. the interim pre-key stage


THE ROCKFORD REVIEW standards create a common language and are designed to align with the requirements of the new national curriculum which will enable children engaged in subject-specific learning to progress on to mainstream statutory national curriculum assessments. For pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning an alternative approach to P scales is detailed further on. The DfE are seeking response to the following: • If there was no longer a statutory requirement to assess pupils using P scales would any important information not be available to you? • Are the pre-key stage standards clear and easy to understand? • Do the pre-key stage standards support progression on to the statutory national curriculum tests?

Points to consider

• P scales were based on the old national curriculum and are not aligned to the new national curriculum • they are not formally moderated and often used as ‘best fit’ rather than secure judgement • there was a significant gap between P8 and old level 1C there is now any even bigger gap between P8 and Year 1 • the expectation is that every child will achieve every aspect within a pre-key stage standard. For some pupils (because of their specific need) there may be aspects of the pre-key stage standards that they are unable to achieve which will mean that they can never progress to the next standard. • Need to consider if the progression within the pre-key standards and the move into statutory national curriculum tests is complete – are there areas of the curriculum that are missing? • the expectations within Foundation for the expected standard, Emerging to the expected standard and Entry to the expected standard are identical in both KS1 and KS2. Assessment for pupils not engaged in subject-pecific learning there are a small number of pupils whose special educational needs and disabilities are such that they will not be engaged in subject-specific learning by the


time they reach the end of key stage 1 or 2. the pre-key stage standards could not be used to assess these pupils. the Rochford Review is recommending that statutory assessment of this group of pupils should focus only on cognition and learning. this would support schools in ensuring that these pupils are developing the necessary building blocks to move on to subject-specific learning if and when they are ready. In order to offer schools a framework for this, the Review drew on the work of the CLDD Research Project published in 2011. More information about the project can be found here: http://complexld.ssatrust.org.uk / the recommendation is that schools will have a statutory duty to assess seven areas of engagement for cognition and learning for pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning. the seven areas are: • Responsiveness • Curiosity • Discovery • Anticipation • Persistence • Initiation • Investigation Assessing these areas of engagement allows staff to observe and monitor the varying degrees of attention, interest and involvement that pupils demonstrate when they are sufficiently motivated to participate in new learning. the DfE are seeking a response

to: • Should statutory assessment focus on cognition and learning? • Is assessing against the seven areas of engagement the right model to use for this group of children? • Will assessing children in this way give parents meaningful information about their child’s attainment and progress? • Could this methodology be useful for assessing the other areas of need (communication and interaction, social, emotional and mental health and physical/sensory)? • Would schools be able to assess children against the seven areas using the guidance provided by the Review. Points to consider • the introduction of pre-key stage standards and the seven areas of engagement will introduce two very different systems for assessing pupils with SEND. • Schools will need to consider the way that assessment using seven areas of engagement progresses into assessment using the pre-key stage standards – what are the challenges? • the seven areas of engagement will be a very different way of assessing for many schools, especially mainstream. Will training be required to introduce this methodology?

Reporting assessment data and Implementation

Schools currently have a statutory duty to submit P scale data to the DfE. For pupils engaged in

subject-specific learning the DfE proposes to collect information about which pre-key stage standard pupils are at. the Rochford Review recommends that for those pupils not yet engaged in subjectspecific learning there would be no requirement to submit data they collect when assessing against the seven areas of engagement for cognition and learning. However, they also recommend that schools must be able to provide evidence when required and must continue to meet their statutory duty to report to parents. the review also made recommendations that Itt and CPD should reflect that all those working in educational settings should have a greater understanding of assessing pupils not yet working at the standard of national curriculum (including those who do not speak English as their first language) and especially those not engaged in subject-specific learning.

The DfE are seeking a response to: • Should schools not be required to submit assessment information to the DfE for pupils not engaged in subject-specific learning? • What changes can be made to Itt and CPD provision to ensure that all staff have an understanding of assessing pupils who are not working at the standard of national curriculum tests? • How can schools be best supported to share good practice and work collaboratively? • What additional guidance should be available for those pupils who have English as an additional language and are also not yet working at the standard of national curriculum tests? Points to consider; • the expectation to report assessment information to the DfE will be different for those pupils engaged in subject-specific learning and those not yet engaged in subject-specific learning • there is currently no mandatory requirement within any Itt programme to cover SEND, inclusion or supporting vulnerable learners. • teaching School Alliances, MAts, Clusters and Families of schools are already sharing good practice and working collaboratively. • English as an additional language is not a SEND May 2017 SEND Magazine



Understanding Autism

Autistic girl, aged 12, addresses her class as she stars in new campaign film for the National Autistic Society (NAS).

HOLLY, 12, is autistic and stars in the National Autistic Society’s powerful new film and campaign about public understanding of autism, which was released during World Autism Awareness Week (27 March to World Autism Awareness Day on 2 April).

Holly held the first screening of the film at her Year 7 assembly this week, using the platform to talk to her classmates about her autism for the first time. She hopes this will help her classmates understand more about autism, in particular how autistic people sometimes need extra time to process information. Holly is also encouraging people to get involved in the National Autistic Society’s too Much Information campaign and to think about the small things they can do to make 10

SEND Magazine May 2017

• Holly, 12, is autistic and stars in national charity’s new autism film and campaign • She led a powerful assembly, using the film to tell classmates about her autism for the first time • NAS’ campaign encourages the public to think about small things they can do to make the world more autism friendly – whether in the classroom, at work or at the shops • New survey suggest significant number of autistic people and families avoid public places due to concerns about people not giving them enough processing time • Yet almost 80% of public say they would change behaviour if they knew autistic people needed extra time to process information

the world a more autism friendly place – whether in the classroom, at work or at the shops. the film follows Holly’s character on a single day, showing how overwhelming everyday

situations can be when autistic people aren’t given enough time to process information. More than 1 in 100 people are on the autism spectrum. this means that someone sees, hears

and feels the world in a different, often more intense, way to other people. Autistic people often find social situations difficult and struggle to filter out the sounds, smells, sights and information they experience, which means they feel overwhelmed by ‘too much information’ when out in public. this can also make it difficult to process information like questions and autistic people can sometimes need more time to reply. Almost everyone has heard of autism but the National Autistic Society says that a much smaller number of people understand what it actually means to be autistic. According to a 2017 survey of over 1,600 autistic people and their families in the UK: • 77% think the public don’t understand their need for more www.sendmagazine.co.uk


• Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. • More than 1-in-100 people are on the autism spectrum, including an estimated 700,000 people in the UK. • Every person on the autism spectrum is different. It can

What is autism?

present some serious challenges – but, with the right support and understanding, autistic people and their families can live full lives. • Although everyone is different, people on the autism spectrum may. • Be under or oversensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, smells,

phase of our too Much time to process information. Information public awareness • 82% said this makes them feel campaign, and encouraging anxious; 48.5% said it can lead to everyone to think about what a meltdown or shutdown. they can do to help. It’s often the • In the last year, due to worries smallest change that can make about not being given enough the biggest difference, like giving processing time. someone extra time to reply to a • 68.5% said they’d chosen not to question, using clear language or socialise. providing a quiet space at work or • 39% said they’d avoided going a party. We’ve got lots of ideas on shopping. our website www.autism.org.uk • 35% said they’d chosen not to about the small things people can go to a café or restaurant. do to help and would encourage • 28% said they’d chosen not to everyone to take a look. visit their GP or apply for a job. “We’re deeply grateful to Holly, Mark Lever, chief executive of our talented film the National star, and her Autistic Society, If just one person family for says that the helping us to public want to sees the film and share our help but often is more message. A basic don’t know understanding to understanding how, citing a autistic people, I’ll of autism could new public poll transform the showing that be happy. lives of autistic almost 80% people and their would change families, allowing them to go to their behaviour if they knew shops, the cinema, and work in autistic people needed extra time the way other people take for to process information. granted.” He said: “We know that people Jo, Holly’s mum, said: “We’re all don’t set out to be judgmental so proud of Holly. Lots of 12-yeartowards autistic people. the olds would be daunted by acting problem is that they often don’t in a big film like this and speaking see the autism, they just see the in front of her whole year group ‘tantrum’ or the ‘difficult person’ but Holly’s autism means she and this is making autistic people doesn’t get embarrassed as easily. feel isolated. “She’s so passionate about acting “So this World Autism Awareness and raising awareness of autism Week we’re launching the second


light or colours, which can make everyday life extremely difficult • Find social situations and change a challenge, sometimes leading to extreme levels of anxiety • Experience a ‘meltdown’ if overwhelmed by anxiety or sensory overload • Benefit from extra time to

and loved every minute of filming. “She’s come such a long way since her diagnosis five years ago. I feel like her autism could have been picked up earlier but, like many girls on the spectrum, she’s really good at masking her difficulties. For instance, copying the behaviour and reactions of children around her. “Her diagnosis helped us to understand Holly and her needs. We worked closely with the school to put in place lots of really small strategies, like letting her leave lessons 5 minutes early because she gets so overwhelmed by noisy and busy spaces, and it’s made such a difference. “I hope her film helps other people to understand more about autism and how they can help make life a little easier for people like Holly.” Holly said: “I love acting and want to be involved in musical theatre when I grow up. So it means a lot to be involved in the National Autistic Society’s film. “Sometimes I get really upset that people do not understand autism. But I hope this campaign will help improve understanding and make other people who are autistic feel more accepted. “If just one person sees the film and is more understanding to autistic people, I’ll be happy.”

process and respond to communication. • Asperger syndrome is a form of autism. People with Asperger syndrome are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer problems with speech but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing language.


According to a 2017 survey of over 1,610 autistic people and their families in the UK • 77% think the public don’t understand their need for more time to process information • 82% said this makes them feel anxious; 48.5% said it can lead to a meltdown or shutdown • In the last year, due to worries about not being given enough processing time • 68.5% said they’d chosen not to socialise • 39% said they’d avoided going shopping • 35% said they’d chosen not to go to a café or restaurant • 28% said they’d chosen not to visit their GP or apply for a job • The top three things that could help when someone needs extra processing time are • more time to respond (79%) • a quiet, calm setting (74%) • information in advance (71%) • 1,610 people in the UK responded • 893 were autistic themselves • 717 were parents, carers or a person supporting an autistic adult or child May 2017 SEND Magazine


Participation… ...that’s what you need! PARTICIPATION

With the biggest changes for many years taking place and a new Code of Practice for SEND in 2014 released, it is expected that parent carers and their children are given more say in the delivery of SEND. Former NASEN CEO Jane Friswell explains.

tHE Children and Families Act 2014 articulated the expectation that children and young people with special educational needs and/or a disability (SEN&D) and their parent carers must be given the opportunity to be involved in all decisions about them at an individual level as well as at a strategic level. So what’s so important about participation and why is it so important? What benefits does it bring, not only to children, young people and parent carers but to special educational needs and disability support services? And how well are we doing in achieving the ambition of the increased participation statute introduced? the SEND reforms implemented a new approach which seeks to join up support across education, health and care from birth to 25. there is now a much clearer focus on the participation of children and young people and parents in decisionmaking at individual and strategic levels. the Care Act 2015 requires local authorities to ensure co-operation between children and adults services to promote the integration of care and support with health services. this is to ensure that young adults are not left without care and support as they make the transition between child and adult social care. Section 19 of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes clear that local authorities, in carrying out their functions under the Act in relation to children and young people with SEND must have regard to: • the views, wishes and feelings of the child or young person, and the child’s parents • the importance of the child or young person, and the child’s parents, participating as fully as possible in decisions • ensuring that parent carers and young people are provided with the


SEND Magazine May 2017

them, helping young people to contribute to decisions about things that will affect their lives and working with young people to improve the services they access.

information and support necessary to enable participation in decisions • the need to support the child or young person, and the child’s parents, in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and to help them achieve the best possible educational and other outcomes, preparing them effectively for adulthood

the Act seeks to deliver cultural, as well as organisational change and makes clear that local authorities, in carrying out their function under the Act, must have regard to: • ensuring that children, young people and parent carers are involved in decisions about local provision, including the design or commissioning of services to meet

local need • making use of existing organisations and forums which represent the views of parent carers such as the Parent Carer Forum and developing a forum for children and young people where these do not exist

These principles are designed to support: • the early identification of children and young people’s needs and early intervention to support them • the participation of children, their parents and young people in decision-making

What is participation? Participation means adults listening to young people’s views and opinions about things that matter to

The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015

Covering 0 – 25 years, the CoP provides statutory guidance on duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and associated regulations. It relates to children and young people aged 0-25 years with special educational needs and disabled children and young people.

Participation means adults will: • listen to what children and young people have to say • help children and young people to express their views using a range of communication methods • involve children and young people in decisions that affect them • support children and young people to make decisions about things that will affect their lives and future • work in partnership with children and young people • ensure that children and young people know what has happened as a result of their feedback

Why is participation important? In 1989 the UK signed up to a bill of rights for children and young people put together by the United Nations. this states that children and young people have a right to ‘freedom of expression’ which means they should be allowed to give their views about things that affect them. What children and young people feel is important to their lives and futures can be different to what adults think. Adults therefore need to work in partnership with children and young people to make sure the services they access are relevant and meaningful to them. Children and young people, especially those with SEND, may have had very little experience of participating or having their views heard. this encourages them to rely on adults, making it harder for them in later life to make decisions for themselves. We need to support young people by teaching them skills from an early age which will help them to participate. this will enable young people to become more independent in later life.



‘As each child develops, parents usually expect to enable their children to develop decision making skills by practising making choices, developing their own awareness and recognition of possible consequences from taking different choices. This natural process can become more complex or problematic and take longer where the child has additional needs that impact the development of decision making’ National Network of Parent Carer Forum What are the benefits of participation for children and young people? the Children’s Research Centre has worked with young people on over 100 participation projects. Young people who have been involved in these projects told researchers that when they participate they feel: • more confident • better about themselves • their communication skills have improved • they can think more independently • more motivated • less reliant on adults

the adults involved in the projects told researchers that when they support young people to participate they see: • young people become more motivated • young people take more responsibility


• young people become more independent

the adults also said that they understood young people better. this helped them to make changes to services that benefited young people.

How will we know if SEND Participation and Engagement is successful at local level? • An increased number of children and young people and their families feel their contribution is valued. • children and young people with SEND report having an improved experience of SEND services and understand that adults respect their views and support them to participate in the way they want to without discrimination or judgement. • increased numbers of children, young people and parent carers are choosing to actively engage in meaningful participation and make informed choices at the earliest opportunity. • the skills, knowledge and confidence of children and young people have increased when representing their views or those of their peer group. • children, young people and parent carers report having an equal voice when decisions are being made that impact on them individually or collectively. • evidence will be available to demonstrate how processes and services have changed and

improved as a direct result of the involvement of children, young people and parent carers. • evidence of good practice is disseminated and celebrated throughout local areas and nationally. • professionals across all agencies will seek the views of children, young people and parent carers whilst supporting them to influence outcomes using engagement and participation pathways across education, health and social care. • an increase in the information about SEND is presented in child and young person friendly formats. • services give increased consideration to age appropriate environments and use a range of communication tools according to need. • customer satisfaction methods indicate that agencies are committed to the ethos of ‘no decision about me, without me’.

Engagement and participation of parent carers, children and young people is at the centre of the SEND reforms. But is it at the heart of local practices? Have parent carers, children and young people been enabled and empowered to have clear and active participation in the implementation of the reforms? What is clear so far, through the Joint Local Area Review of SEND outcomes published by the Care Quality Commission and Ofsted, is that engagement and participation is operating at varying levels of

commitment in many local areas who have undergone review. Evidence of participation and consultation, which are acceptable levels of working in partnership, exists, however honest coproduction is still a rarity. this has to change.

‘Participation is a process where someone influences decisions about their lives and this leads to change’. Treseder (1997) Person-centred planning (PCP) is a simple tool which can work in both children’s and adults’ worlds. PCP provides a way of helping a person plan all aspects of their life. We know that with the right support children and young people with additional needs can express creative ideas, dreams and hopes for their future. One way of doing this is to use person-centred planning. the person is at the centre of the planning process and with support decides who they would like to help them and who can help them make the plans possible. this approach is particularly useful at transition because it gives children and young people a chance to say what their hopes and dreams for the future are. Person-centred approaches maximise participation for children and families which leads to achieving co-produced solutions to the many challenges families’ and their young people may experience. Co-production is not just a word, it’s not just a concept, it is a meeting of May 2017 SEND Magazine


PARTICIPATION minds coming together to find a shared solution. In practice, it involves people who use services being consulted, included and working together from the start to the end of any project that affects them. there is no single formula for coproduction but there are some key features that are present in coproduction initiatives. they: • define people who use services as assets with skills • break down the barriers between people who use services and professionals • build on people’s existing capabilities • include reciprocity (where people get something back for having done something for others) and mutuality (people working together to achieve their shared interests) • work with peer and personal support networks alongside professional networks • facilitate services by helping organisations to become agents for change rather than just being service providers.

Participation is the action of taking part in something. Parent carers, children and young people can engage and participate at various stages of the SEND Reforms as an equal partner and with a strategic voice. Consultation is the dynamic process of dialogue between individuals or groups, based on a genuine exchange of views and with the objective of influencing decisions, policies or programmes of action i.e. there is a decision to be made. the only level of engagement and participation which is unacceptable within SEND reforms is no engagement. How much are local areas doing to engage parent carers, children and young people through the use of new and existing forums? 1. Co-Production the forums work on the development of the decisions that are made in equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals parent carers right from the start

4. No Engagement the forums do not know who to contact and have no working relationship with the department/provider

the Rotherham Charter developed from research involving Rotherham children and young people with special educational needs, and their parents and carers, highlighting the relationship between parental involvement in learning, emotional wellbeing, and positive outcomes for children and young people. Parental involvement has a significant effect on children’s achievement and adjustment even after all other factors such as social class, maternal education and poverty have been taken out of the equation… (Desforges with Abouchaar 2003)

At first funded by the Department for Education (DfE) as an innovative project following publication of the “Lamb Inquiry: Special Educational Needs and Parental Confidence” (2009), what followed has enabled genuine and exciting partnerships to flourish between services, parents, schools, settings, children and young people. the Rotherham Charter way of working is recognised as best practice by the National Charities Council for Disabled Children and Contact a Family. It underpins

Rotherham’s Inclusion Strategy and contributes to Rotherham Council’s Participation and Engagement Strategy, making sure the voices of children, young people and their families are genuinely heard.

the 2014 Children and Families Act and SEND Code of Practice emphasise how genuine partnership working is the most effective way to make outcomes better for children and young people with SEND aged 0-25, and their parents and carers. the team in Rotherham quickly recognised that the Charter principles should be equally reflected in our relationships with all the children and young people of Rotherham, and their parents and carers. What is particularly impressive in Rotherham is their Charter, which is about all schools, colleges, settings and services showing commitment to parents, carers, children and young people that they will welcome and care; value and include; communicate; work in partnership and most importantly develop and nurture each of these significant cultural features to build trust. the Rotherham Charter is a model for building genuine, good quality partnerships with children and young people, and their parents and carers. Based on local research it is recognised as best practice in co-

production by the DfE (Department for Education), Contact a Family and the Council for Disabled Children. Rotherham Local Authority and Rotherham Parents Forum Ltd have been equal partners during all Charter developments. the team is large and diverse, involving parents, carers, practitioners from schools, settings and services, and young people. the Rotherham Charter has also led to the Genuine Partnerships model, which is the co-production model they use in working with other areas. take a look at the Rotherham Charter Model at www.rotherhamcharter.co.uk

It seems we may still have long way to go before we all can benefit from a Rotheresque culture within SEND embedded at local level for all of us to trust and have confidence in. to do this we have to continue to challenge the old ways of working and strengthen our collective commitment to genuine coproductive ways of working and in so doing strengthen local accountability for SEND with LAs, schools, health, social care and with families. the words of the late, great Roy Castle, of BBC Record Breakers fame, springs to mind here, “Dedication, dedication, dedication, that’s what you need!” Jane Friswell Director, SEND Consultancy

2. Participation the forums work with strategic groups and decision making groups to decide what should happen and shape services 3. Consultation the forums are asked what they think about particular developments or issues


SEND Magazine May 2017


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Rhythm is life and life is Rhythm The Ronnie Gardner method (RGM) is a multisensory stimulation method developed by the American drummer and jazz musician Ronnie Gardner. Caroline Russell explains.

"NOTHING activates the brain so extensively as music," said Oliver Sacks, M.D., professor of neurology at Columbia University and author of Musicophilia. Brain imaging shows how music lights up so many different areas of the brain so it is the ideal tool to use to encourage and activate neural networks when working with children with ADHD. Also pleasurable music increases dopamine levels in the brain; this neurotransmitter is responsible for regulating attention, working memory and motivation and has been shown to be at lower levels in ADHD brains. So these children can gain focus and self control and improve concentration and memory by using music at school or at home. Music is rhythm and rhythm is structure; an ADHD child struggles without structure so we need to provide a therapy that gives structure. A child with Asperger’s takes delight in structure while a child with dyslexia may have problems with phonological skills or timing de cits which relates back to the need for a therapy with structure and rhythym. The Ronnie Gardiner Method (RGM) can provide this structure; delivering a therapy programme that encourages concentration, attention span, reducing hyperactivity and strengthening social skills. RGM is a multisensory stimulation method developed by the American drummer & jazz musician Ronnie Gardiner. RGM uses several specially developed symbol/sound/movement codes which are used to perform exercises to the rhythm of music. The method was initially developed to help children understand rhythm & improve coordination problems before it was discovered to have such a major effect as well on many neurological conditions such as Stroke and Parkinson’s. RGM works to improve balance skills & coordination, increase concentration & memory, stimulate left / right brain communication in gross & ne motor skills, promote sensory information processing, assist with space-time

orientation (timing, pacing, sequencing, motor planning) encouraging tness & social skills. The Practitioner can control energy levels through the choice & pace of music which is a great option for ADHD. The joy of this method is that there are no limits to the creativity of the Practitioner or the class or individual. There is a lot of fun & laughter which encourages social communication in a group especially when working with games. A mixture of visual instructions or memory tests can be used to challenge or give more variety depending on what is required. Body percussion provides tactile feedback which helps teach & guide levels of physical stimulation. It is an incredibly simple method that has endless possibilities which is what makes it so versatile, especially when working with children.

For more information contact www.ronniegardinermethod.org.uk

RGM Case studies from a Primary School Remedial Therapist “I work with a young boy with reading issues. He initially resisted participating with the method during the rst 2 lessons but I calmly explained what the exercises were all about and what I was hoping achieve with him. Nowadays he enjoys RGM sessions and does well with the exercises. He reports that he can focus better when reading and has fewer problems

with longer words. There is still work to be done, but there is a distinct improvement.” “Another boy has di culty with understanding the content of what he is reading; the reading of the words themselves is not an issue. In addition to the RGM exercises we do together on a weekly basis, he also reads a few pages every morning. Asked at the end of the day what he has read,

I get quite a story nowadays, when previously he could hardly recall the content.” “A boy in special needs education told me unsolicited: “after I have done some of the ‘thingy-exercises’, I am much faster at learning!” – another reason for me to continue with RGM as part of my approach to reading and learning di culties.”

& worked well with the metronome. The sound codes were great for her as they are so simple. The one she struggled with was “CLAP”; to start with she was saying “PLAP” but we soon managed to correct this. Her focus & attention improved in each session & she looked forward to seeing me each week & learning new choreoscores. Her mother was very

pleased with her progress.” Teaching methods are increasingly using sight, speech and music to support learning abilities. RGM is a fun and e cient tool to help children with motor skill di culties as well as those with reading and/or learning di culties. For more information contact www.ronniegardinermethod.org.uk

From a Fitness Professional “I have been using the method on a 6 year old girl with a growth problem & who has also recently be diagnosed with ADHD & Autism. She has very delayed speech & feeding problems. It was clear from our rst session that she was going to enjoy the challenge. I kept it very simple & let her choose what music we were going to use. She managed to follow the symbols well

Caroline Russell is a Chartered Physiotherapist with many years experience specialising in the eld of Neurology. She trained at Guy’s Hospital and has worked in the NHS and private sector before starting her own company in 2007. She started working with RGM in 2008 and took over running RGM UK in 2014. She uses RGM in classes and one to one sessions with adults and teenagers with a variety of diagnoses and loves the variety it gives to treatment regimes. Her goal is to see RGM being used and enjoyed by all ages in all areas of the country and, personally, wants to stay as t as Ronnie is when she reaches his age!

For more information contact www.ronniegardinermethod.org.uk


Learning difficulties: Dyslexia & Dyspraxia

Looking at the different signs of dyslexia and dispraxia as we ‘Michael and John’.

Michael is very chatty. He is an exceptional artist who enjoys playing rugby and is a bright young man. But he can‘t always make sense of why he can‘t get his thoughts down on paper.


Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty that mainly affects the development of literacy and language-related skills. It is likely to be present at birth and to be life-long in its effects. It is characterised by difficulties with phonological processing, rapid naming, working memory, 18

SEND Magazine May 2017

processing speed and the automatic development of skills that may not match up to an individual‘s other cognitive abilities.

Associated difficulties:

• Developmental Co-ordination Disorder (Dyspraxia) — difficulties with motor skills. • Dyscalculia — difficulties with Maths. • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder — difficulties with concentration. Although Dyslexia often causes significant difficulties in the

classroom, it does not hinder the development of intellectual talents. Many famous people have overcome their dyslexia using their intellectual talents: Jamie Oliver; Kiera Knightly; Sir Steven Redgrave.


Children and young people with dyslexia may: • Have an uneven performance profile, with obvious good days and bad days; strengths in some areas and unexpected weaknesses in other areas. • Have continued difficulty

learning to read and write. • Experience persistent and continued reversals of letters and numbers. • Experience strange spelling, perhaps with letters missed out or in the wrong order. • Have difficulty learning the alphabet and multiplication tables, and remembering sequences such as days of the week and months of the year. • take an above average time over written work. • Have difficulty with processing oral instructions. • Have difficulty in multi-tasking www.sendmagazine.co.uk

Identification and making new skills automatic. • Find it difficult to copy from the board. • Find it difficult telling right from left. • Find it difficult to organise and sequence work. • Experience secondary emotional problems, such as low frustration tolerance, decreased self-esteem and lack of motivation. • tire more easily than their peer. • Have difficulties with friendship and social interaction. • Be creative in art and with construction materials.


Capitalise on the child or young person‘s strengths and minimise reliance on reading and writing by: • Understanding that dyslexia should be viewed as a learning difference and not a learning difficulty. • Not asking the child or young person to read out loud in front of the class. • Providing a reading partner or buddy. • By providing a word bank of common spellings and a glossary of subject-specific spellings. • Breaking down complex sets of instructions into smaller and simpler parts. • Using colour or imagery to highlight key points or important details. • Presenting information using a mainly visual colourful approach. • Allowing more time to complete an activity. • Realising the amount of written work required so that the child


can complete the task with his peer group. • Minimising time spent copying non-essentials. • Providing alternative ways of recording, such as mind mapping. • Develop ICt skills.

Learning Materials Ltd. Wolverhampton. tel: 01902 454026 SEN Marketing. Wakefield. tel: 01924 871697

the School SENCo/ALNCo the SpLD Advisory Service the Educational Psychology Service Useful Websites the British Dyslexia Association www.bda.org.uk Dyslexia Action www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk iAnsyst Ltd www.dyslexia.com SEND Group www.sendconferences.co.uk

Meet John: He is a good talker. He enjoys music and can be creative. But he can‘t always write things down well or participate as well


Useful Books

Pavey, B. (2007) the Dyslexia Friendly Primary Classroom, A Practical Guide for teachers, Paul Chapman Publishing, London MacKay, N. (2005) Removing Dyslexia as a Barrier to Achievement, SEN Marketing, Wakefield Ott, P. (2008) Activities for Successful Spelling, the Essential Guide, Routledge, Oxon Pollock, J. & Waller, E. (2001, Revised Edition) Day-to-Day Dyslexia in the Classroom, Routledge Falmer, London

Useful Suppliers or Specialist Resources

LDA Living and Learning, Cambridge. tel: 01223 357744 Ann Arbor Publications, Northumberland. tel: 01668 214460



Currently, there is no known cause for developmental coordination disorder (DCD). the difficulties are defined on the basis of a failure to gain skills in both gross and fine motor movements and which cannot be explained by a medical condition or by an impaired general learning difficulty. DCD can have a considerable impact on the children‘s lives as they struggle to master and participate in the routine everyday living and learning skills that those of a similar age manage with relatively little effort. DCD predominantly affects around 6% of children aged 5-11 years. the condition is more commonly seen in boys and frequently overlaps with other conditions such as Dyslexia. Children do not grow out of DCD.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR Difficulties with:

• Balance and co-ordination in PE • Ball skills in games • Pencil control for writing and drawing • Posture when working at the desk or in standing • tires more easily than peers • Frequent falls or bumping into object in and around the school • tool control such as scissors in art and Dt • Fine motor control for picking up, placing and manipulating objects • Organising and sequencing work and self • Play skills at break-time such as running games, skipping (difficulty with bike skills) • Personal care – dressing, feeding and toileting • Friendships or social interaction • Attention and concentration • Number and or language work What to do • Observe the child across a range of activities and settings • Differentiate work/activities by task, support and outcome

• Involve the child. Some strategies are: • Provide alternative means of recording such as ‗cloze type‘ worksheets. • Develop ICt skills • Consider alternative types of pens/ pencils or use pencil grips. • Use structural indicators to assist with the sequence and flow of the lesson • Consider the location and environment – seating, grouping, your position when teaching • Say things more than once. Allow time for the child to process information and to respond. • Use colour and imagery to highlight key points or important details. • Encourage other children to give assistance. • Use ‘talk‘ to demonstrate knowledge/ideas such as ‘listening triangles‘ and ‘mini presentations‘ • Choosing teams so that child is not picked last by peers in sport • Work through strengths, find what child is good at and use this to build self esteem.


the School SENCo Educational Psychology Service School Health Nurse Useful Websites the Dyspraxia Foundationwww.dyspraxiafounda tion.org.uk the Dyscovery Centrewww.dyscovery.co.uk www.canchild.ca

Useful Books

Including Children with DCD/Dyspraxia in the Foundation Phase – Sharon Drew Featherstone Education Developing School Provision for Children with Dyspraxia – Nichola Jones (Ed) Paul Chapman Publishers Making Inclusion Work for Children with Dyspraxia – Gill Dixon & Lois Addy Routledgefalmer

Useful Suppliers or Specialist Resources

www.specialdirect.com Smart Moves Motor Skills Programme www.smartcc.co.uk Clever Fingers Programme www.cleverfingers.co.uk Free typing Programmes Dance Mat (free) http://bbc.co.uk/schools/typing tux type www.educationalfreeware.com/ freeware/tux May 2017 SEND Magazine



Bringing together education professionals to share knowledge and demonstrate best practices

Friday May 5th 2017

Sketchley Grange Hotel, Hinckley, Warwickshire. LE10 3HU

£145 per person includes hot buffet lunch and refreshments throughout the day. KEY NOTE SPEAKER - LORRAINE PETERSEN OBE Leading SEND advisor and former NASEN CEO talks about the current policy and practice and the impact on children and young people with SEND. PROF. BARRY CARPENTER CBE In a career spanning than 30 years in SEND, Barry was also appointed by the Secretary of State for Education as Director of the Children with Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project.

BECCIE HAWES Head of Service at Rushall Inclusion Advisory team and author of ‘the Complete Dyslexia toolkit’ and co-author of ‘Getting it Right with SEND: A toolkit for All Primary Schools’.

CAROLINE RUSSELL Using music and movement within SEND - the Ronnie Gardiner Method. PETE JARRETT With over 27 years teaching and assessor experience, Pete regularly speaks to conferences and teacher training events around the country about Dyscalculia, maths learning difficulties and classroom practice.


NESSY LEARNING Nessy Learning has been making fun, educational software for children since 1999 and has developed a reputation for exceptional quality. Nessy offers the complete Dyslexia aware solution with a suite of multi-sensory products aimed at making learning to read, write and spell, fun. www.nessy.com C

S pp


CRICK SOFTWARE Raising literacy standards with Clicker 7 thousands of UK primary and special schools have already made Clicker 7 an integral part of their learning support toolkit. In this session, Jordan Butel will demonstrate how this much-loved software can be used to raise literacy levels across the school and make the curriculum more accessible for children with special educational needs.

TO BOOK CALL 0116 2988768 or visit www.sendconferences.co.uk

SEND Conference Programme 5th May at Sketchley Grange Hotel 9:00 -9:45am 9:45 – 10:00

Registration Welcome

Refreshments and Exhibitors

10:00 -11:00

Lorraine Peterson OBE

Current Educational Policy and Practice – The impact on children and young people with SEND.

11:00-11:30 11:30 -12:15

Break Prof. Barry Carpenter CBE

Refreshments and Exhibitors Changing Children - Changing Schools? The Challenge of Children with Complex Needs.

12:15 – 12:35

Crick Software

12:35 – 1:05pm

Caroline Russel

The Ronnie Gardiner Method

1:05 - 2:00 2:00 - 2:45

Lunch Workshop one

Buffet lunch and Exhibitors Pete Jarrett – Practical approaches to supporting learners with difficulties in learning mathematics. Beccie Hawes -The SEND toolkit: Getting it right for SEND Students

2:45 - 3:00 3:00-3:45

Break Workshop two

Refreshments and Exhibitors Pete Jarrett – Practical approaches to supporting learners with difficulties in learning mathematics Beccie Hawes -The SEND toolkit: Getting it right for SEND Students


Conference closes

Conference Supported By


Revision and exams: Anxiety & HELP!

With years 10 and 11 taking important exams during May, SEND Magazine looks at the anxiety of the troubled teen. Jane Friswell writes. RESEARCHERS at the University of Manchester have recently completed an investigation into suicide in children and young people, funded by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership. this is the first time experts have studied the contributory factors to suicide in people under 25 on a large scale. the full report was published in May 2016 and can be downloaded on: http://www.bbmh.manchester.ac.u k/cmhs/research/centreforsuicidepr evention/nci/

the findings of the study showed that for young people who committed suicide between January 2014 and April 2015: • 36% had a physical health condition such as acne or asthma • 29% were facing exams or exam results • 28% had been bereaved • 22% had been bullied, mostly face to face With respect to the impact of exams, the study identified that four young people died on the day of an exam or the day after. the report, the first stage in a UKwide analysis of suicides in people aged under 25, identified warning signs in some cases, and highlighted the need for proper support to be made available for children and young people at risk. In response, the Samaritans head of


SEND Magazine May 2017

external affairs, Jacqui Morrissey, said: "From the report, Samaritans is concerned that in the majority of cases there were clear warning signs that the young person was struggling to cope." She added: "the message is clear, we need to make sure that the right support is in place for all young people, that all parents, carers and teachers understand about suicide risk and that young people are equipped to look after their emotional well-being before life's pressures become overwhelming." Brian Dow, from Rethink Mental Illness commented; “the report sends a strong message that mental health services for young people need to improve. We must redouble our efforts to support children and young people and ensure that they are getting the help they need.” HOPELine UK, is a confidential support and advice service for young people who may be having thoughts of suicide. they have seen a large rise in contacts from young people and parents in recent years, quadrupling since 2013. It reports that most of the calls, texts and emails it receives relate to exam stress. this is a worrying context for our children and young people with additional needs. However, exams are an important part of school life which we know can be very stressful. Knowing that this

particular time of year students are preparing for the testing times ahead, what can we do to ensure to support for young people to maximise their success in managing their revision and exam anxieties?

Reducing Exam Stress All school staff have a responsibility to support all pupils in preparing for exams and managing anxiety associated with the assessment process. this can be achieved through helping pupils: • to identify the signs of stress • to identify practical strategies for dealing with stress and promoting student resilience and well being Schools should consider providing some or all of the following:

• assemblies or pastoral support sessions to address stress management, time management, self-organisation, exam planning, health lifestyle and developing personal resilience • practical guidance on exam and results arrangements, • drop in sessions, counselling support or access to nurture groups for pupils at risk • workshop events • training for staff in recognising the signs of stress and providing guidance on promoting resilience. • guidance and advice to parents on supporting their children through the assessment process, especially in primary settings

• ensuring working conditions in exam rooms are suitable, including making water available • for pupils with SEND, ensuring access arrangements are confirmed in good time, allowing pupils to work with designated readers / scribes prior to the actual exams and making visual timetables available if required • in primary settings, modifying the curriculum during assessment periods to provide greater support and more practical activities

Exams may well interrupt a student’s familiar routine; they can be unpredictable in their content and create extra demands on selforganisation. For many students with additional needs, executive functioning skills, those cognitive processes – including attentional control, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, as well as reasoning, problem solving, and planning - preparing for and sitting examinations can be overwhelming. So, what can we do in school to support our students with SEND – what advice can we offer our staff?

Planning exam access arrangements well in advance is a must. the Equality Act 2010 calls the arrangements that any education provider makes to meet students additional needs ‘reasonable adjustments’. www.sendmagazine.co.uk


certain areas of learning. Using Social Stories to explain the exam process to students with ASC can be very helpful to explain what exams are and what pupils need to do during an exam. Here’s an example:

All about exams Sometimes teachers give tests or exams to see what pupils have learnt in lessons. You can be given a test or an exam in any subject you study at school. When a teacher tells the class they have a test or an exam they often tell pupils what information will be covered. It is helpful to listen to what the teacher says and do some revision. Sometimes pupils feel nervous before or during an exam. It is OK to feel nervous.

During an exam Sometimes teachers give tests or exams for pupils to complete. During exams, it’s important to try and think about the questions and how to answer them. that way pupils can do their best in exams. Later, when the exam is finished, pupils may want to think about their special interests. It is OK to think about special interests after the exam. I will try to think about exam questions and answers during the exam.

Examining bodies have access arrangement guidelines the Joint Council for Qualifications produces detailed regulations and guidance in a booklet called Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration. this is available at www.jcq.org.uk.

the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), who set most Scottish national, higher and vocational qualifications, produces Assessment Arrangements Explained. this is available online at www.sqa.org.uk or tel: 0345 279 1000 0345 279 1000. Planning a revision timetable with students with preferably planned


time revision sessions of around 3045 minutes maximum builds the scaffold of support often needed for many students who may require this. Having a set of resources available eg. pens etc. and a place to store their equipment can promote and reinforce personal organisation and reduce the anxiety of arriving at the exam without the appropriate equipment needed. For students with ASC, using a social story to explain the examination process can be beneficial. Many pupils with an ASD are academically able, but will have difficulties with exams because: • they feel anxious • they do not understand why they need to sit an exam

• they do not understand exam questions • they have sensory issues and may not cope well with, for example a large exam hall • they have difficulty staying ‘on task’. Many students may struggle with motivation and seeing the point of exams, especially when they know they have acquired the knowledge but cannot understand why they have to evidence this on paper under exam conditions. Staff can support students by explaining the point behind exams; that having qualifications shows other people, including employers, that you have a good level of knowledge about certain subjects a level of skill in

How school can help • Help the pupil to set up the revision/relaxation timetable • Practise with past exam papers • Make an exam timetable • Have an exam equipment list written in their planner with their timetable • Role play an exam situation • Visits to the exam area • If appropriate encourage revision with another pupil or study support group • Read the Social Story regularly • Establish good routines supported by ‘rules’ for situations • Keep lines of communication open between home and school • Allow and encourage access to a “safe haven” • Use a reward system based on a pupil’s special interests after the exams • Have a named mentor

If appropriate the school should provide • A quiet ‘space’ and adult support (if needed) before and after the exam • Revision ‘clubs’ • A learning mentor to support home/school liaison • the use of a laptop • the minimum of change during the exam period Revision and study leave Pupils with additional needs may May 2017 SEND Magazine


ANXIETY find unstructured time – such as revision time or study leave – difficult. this is because they may not know how to plan their time, or their learning style isn’t suited to more traditional ways of revising. Pupils have different learning styles and it helps to consider these when planning revision sessions. Some might learn best by hearing or watching revision material, rather than reading it; others do better when studying at certain times of day, or in a group rather than on their own. Many people also find memory aids, such as flash cards, helpful. there are all sorts of ways for pupils to revise, some of which may be worth investigating. these include revision clubs, using the school library, practice with past exam papers, revision guides and computer programs, downloading podcasts. You will also find some useful revision resources online. Visit www.bbc.co.uk/schools/bitesize

Revision timetables will be of great help to pupils with an ASD, who may not be able to plan what to revise, when, in order to be ready for their exams. A revision questionnaire can help you understand how someone learns best and this information can be used to plan a revision timetable. See www.nas.org.uk/exams for a useful revsion questionnaire template to enable students to better understand how to approach revision according to their particular approach to their learning. Revision timetables can be especially useful during unsupervised time, such as study leave. It is always a good idea to include time for exercise, leisure, meals and snacks in a revision timetable. Support from teachers Once the technical aspects of exam preparation are satisfied and you know what courses pupils are taking, teaching and support staff can;

• draw up a weekly study plan which you give to pupils at the start of the course, so they can see what they will be learning and how they will prepare for exams • draw up a timetable showing when exams are taking place – keep it on display in your classroom • talk about how you’ll be preparing for exams at school, for example revision lessons; practice with old exam papers • for the last two-to-three weeks of a course, do practice papers or look at past papers to work on pupils’


SEND Magazine May 2017

exam technique • talk about what happens during exams, you could refer to the ‘social story’ • try to see pupils at the start of each exam: seeing a familiar face at this time can be comforting.

Support from home Some parents and carers can feel at a loss as to how to provide the best support at home during exam time. Helping our children prepare well is an important part of the support scaffold. Careful planning is essential when planning for exams. • teach your child simple relaxation techniques such as taking five deep breaths before entering the exam room. • talk to the school about relaxation so that your child can be reminded to use relaxation techniques at the right time. • Keep items relating to special interests at home as these might distract your child if taken into an exam room. • If it helps, play relaxing music in the house before your child leaves for an exam. • Encourage your child to get out and about: physical activity can reduce anxiety. • Make sure your child has as good a meal as possible before their exam. • try to make yourself available during exam times to offer support or talk about concerns.

• Make sure your child has an exam timetable to hand – perhaps put one in the kitchen or their bedroom. • Does your child know what they need to know? • What will actually be tested in the exam? • On what day is the exam? • When does the exam start and how long does it last? • Using a social story about exams. these are short stories, often with pictures, that tell your child why they are taking an exam, or what they can expect to happen on the day. • Help your child to set up a revision/relaxation timetable • Encourage them to revise by tASK rather than tIME. • Encourage them to see the ‘big picture’ by creating a time or ‘task’ table • Plan timed revision sessions (3045 minutes maximum) • Alternate revision sessions with a favourite relaxation activity e.g. music • Help make an exam timetable. Put it on their wall. LOOK At It • Have an exam equipment list written on their timetable • Practise with past exam papers • If appropriate encourage revision at home with a friend • Establish good routines supported by ‘rules’ for situations • Keep lines of communication open between home and school

• Prompt your child to check that they have the right equipment for each exam • try and provide regular healthy meals and snacks • Use a reward system based on your child’s special interests during and after the exams to motivate and incentivise when needed

We learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 40% of what see and hear, 70% of what we have discussed and 95% of what we teach to someone else! this means that the best method of learning is having to explain or teach a topic to someone else. Parents need to know what to do… …become the learner and enable your child to teach you what they know to support their revision technique.

Most importantly be positive about your child’s attempts to revise. Make an appointment with school if you are concerned about their progress. Be patient! Help your child to become an independent learner. Explain how to look up information or find a word in a dictionary rather than simply giving them the answer in order to get the task finished. Don’t let working together become a chore. Make it a time that you can both enjoy. turn off the television while revision is underway, but do let your child work to music if they find it helpful.



Agree a place and a time for help listening while you do another chore can work too. It doesn’t need to be a marathon session; little and often is usually best. Recognise your own emotional state - if you are tense or worrying about something else, it might not be a good time to work with your child. Don’t be afraid to StOP if it isn’t going well. try to agree what the difficulty is and when to come back together later. ALWAYS end with praise (they’ll feel good, you’ll feel good) It should be enjoyable… for both of you! Providing Feedback on Results All staff meeting with pupils to discuss exam results, and the implications for future study, should take account of their knowledge of the young person and personalise the interview as required. Parents / carers should be informed that interviews will be taking place and given the opportunity to attend with the student. www.sendmagazine.co.uk

School leadership teams should ensure that adequate numbers of staff, including teachers, counsellors and careers guidance personnel are available. In addition, appropriate facilities for confidential interviews should be provided, and a single point of contact for concerns or follow-up should be identified. Students should not attend interviews and then leave the school premises immediately. this allows a period for informal monitoring of reactions to results feedback. Staff completing interviews should be provided with the following guidance in advance of any individual interviews: • teachers delivering post examination feedback should be aware of the potential ‘warning signs’ that may be evident in a student’s behaviour, thus recognising when an interview needs to be suspended, a student afforded a private ‘break out’ room or be provided with access to an

impartial counsellor. • Similarly, teachers need to be alert to the need to contact a student’s parents immediately if a student becomes very upset • teachers (subject teachers or otherwise) should be aware of how to deal with post examination email communication with students. If relevant, this should be discussed in the post examination interview • Sufficient time should be set aside for post examination interviews. Five-minute slots provide insufficient quality time for students and staff. Over running due to tight timescales may create additional stress which could lead to a teacher’s judgment being impaired. • Consider carrying out the interviews with 2 teachers, where at least one of the teachers knows (has regularly taught) the student. this provides a greater chance of recognising unusual or strange behaviour in a student which is out

of character. Appropriate action can then be taken to ensure their safety. • Where a student is strongly resisting continuing with a recommended subject and this recommendation is causing the student severe distress, teachers must provide the opportunity for discussion with another adult. • teachers should not issue timetables for the next academic year to a student, unless the student is in full agreement with the recommendations at that time. this leaves open the opportunity for choice and reflection. So, as exam season begins once again, be ready to manage the inevitable stress and anxiety examinations can often bring, to provide the practical support needed and celebrate the amazing progress each and every student you are supporting has made to maximize their opportunities for success. Good luck everyone. May 2017 SEND Magazine


The Local Offer

I can

I think Children and young people and the power of selfefficacy – helping children believe they can succeed. Heather Stack, writes.


SEND Magazine May 2017

IN June 1995, when I was working for a local authority as a SEND advisory teacher, our team were sent on a 5-day training course, Investment in Excellence, by the Pacific Institute. Despite the usual team discontent about the duty to attend, it is one of the very few courses in my professional career that has had a profound and significant influence on my life and thinking. For those unfamiliar with Investment in Excellence topics covered include – credibility and self-efficacy, how our mind works, the success model, habits and attitudes, comfort zones, the power of self-esteem, the imprinting process, forethought and affirmation.

Given the heightened media focus on the challenges schools face in meeting the needs of children with SEND, an understanding of self-efficacy and how to foster it seems pertinent.

Firstly, how do we define selfefficacy? Self-efficacy is the belief in our ability to cause or bring about (desired change). Lou Tice, The Pacific Institute

The beliefs that young people hold about their capability to succeed in their endeavours are vital forces in the subsequent success or failure they attain… These self-efficacy beliefs are the foundation for motivation, wellwww.sendmagazine.co.uk

The Local Offer

If we want to build an inclusive society which values creativity and individuality, then we need to do more than just supply the tools. We need to give our children the skills and confidence with which to invent their own future. This is where the teaching of selfefficacy comes in.

being and personal accomplishment. Frank Pajares, 2005, Selfefficacy during childhood and adolescence. www.sendmagazine.co.uk

Case Study 1

Here are the words of a Year 5 pupil who saw her life as a series of daily disappointments. • I don’t have anyone to play with at break time and after school • I’m always the last one to be chosen for games, especially when we have wet play • What is the point? I can’t see what the point is of anything. Before my involvement as an external specialist, there were multiple missed opportunities over a protracted period for teachers, support staff, lunch-time supervisors and parents to observe the very real signs of loneliness in this young girl, who saw the transition to secondary schools as a further cause for worry. Recommendations were made which included the development of self-efficacy, beginning with small steps. What can make a difference to play times and friendships? What would you like to happen tomorrow? Who can you invite to play a game of your choice? What will the change you want look like, sound like, feel like? In visualising this change, the child is encouraged to create a new reality, one that better matches want, needs and aspirations. Self-efficacy is the optimistic selfbelief in our competence or chances of successfully accomplishing a task and producing a favourable outcome. Albert Bandura, 1997, Selfefficacy. The exercise of control. Self-efficacy beliefs are people's beliefs about their ability to produce desired outcomes through their own actions. these beliefs are among the most

important determinants of the behaviours people choose to engage in and how much they persevere in their efforts in the face of obstacles and challenges. James E Maddox, 2009 Selfefficacy How do children acquire selfefficacy? the originator of the theory, Albert Bandura, names four sources of efficacy beliefs.

1. Mastery experiences (Building Block 1) the first and foremost source of self-efficacy is through mastery experiences. Having a success, in whatever field, will build selfbelief in that area, whilst failure will undermine that efficacy belief. 2. Vicarious experiences (Building Block 2) the second source of selfefficacy comes from our

May 2017 SEND Magazine


The Local Offer observation of people around us, including those we consider as role models. Seeing similar people succeed by their sustained effort helps us believe that we can be successful too. 3. Verbal persuasion (Building Block 3) Significant others, parents, educators, friends and support staff, can strengthen a child’s belief in their own ability to succeed. Persuading a child that they can succeed leads to greater and more sustained effort when problems arise. 4. Emotional and physiological states (Building Block 4) All children experience

fluctuations in their mood state. Low mood states, unhappiness and agitation will dampen confidence, whilst joy, excitement and enthusiasm will boost confidence and belief in their own skill. Psychologist James Maddox promoted a 5th route to selfefficacy through ‘imaginal experiences’ the art of visualising yourself behaving or performing successfully in any given situation. Although written for tES teacher, in January 2005, Steve Voake’s article on Self-Efficacy – Dare to Dream, has value today.

“If we want to build an inclusive society which values creativity

Case Study 2

The mother of a ten-year old boy, with a great aptitude for all sports, felt her son was becoming increasingly agitated and anxious. He couldn’t ‘handle failure’ academically or in a sporting context. He had joined a tennis team at school, an act the mother felt was reckless as he would be ‘quite out of his league’. In discussing this with her husband, their decision was to book him onto an intensive, half-term tennis coaching programme, so that he wouldn’t let himself down. But his volatile behaviour at the tennis camp caused concern as he erupted in rage when he played badly. It is a familiar scenario. Who owns the anxiety? Is it the child or the mother? Who is afraid of failure? Who is letting down whom? Conversations, and having time to talk and unpick what is really going on, are invaluable in finding new and better ways forward. There are mixed elements of self-efficacy here, with the parents, on the one hand, creating opportunities for their son to develop Mastery (Building Block 1). But that good work is undone by the hidden message that this child has made a poor choice

and individuality, then we need to do more than just supply the tools. We need to give our children the skills and confidence with which to invent their own future. this is where the teaching of self-efficacy comes in.” Pajares’s paper gives advice for teachers, which includes 1. Engage in effective modelling practices 2. Select appropriate peer models 3. Praise effort and persistence, not ability 4. Make a moment memorable 5. Be alert to the unintended messages you send 6. Help young people learn to read their feelings

in joining a tennis team because he’s clearly not good enough. So rather than Verbal Persuasion, (Building Block 3) we have the undermining of confidence by both parents. To add to that, we have a negative experience in Building Block 4, Emotional and Physiological State. Rather than the child becoming more confident, successful and optimistic, this young man has become frustrated at the demands placed on him in a tennis-dominated half term. The parents were encouraged to value their son’s decision-making and to support and encourage without undermining his sense of competency. Having confidence that the school would not willingly set a child up for failure in matching him against much stronger players, is also a necessary ingredient. In this way, the need for the anxious, agitated child to develop self-efficacy makes perfect sense. The temptation to wade in and make a referral to mental health services to assess the child for an anxiety disorder before the problem has been fully understood must be resisted at all costs.

7. Foster optimism and a positive outlook on life 8. Foster competence and confidence 9. Ask young people about their self-efficacy 10. Make self-regulatory practices automatic and habitual 11. Encourage a proactive sense of personal agency 12. Build and nurture your own self-efficacy

I’m closing with a lovely extract from a favourite child’s book – the Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper (US, 1930). “Oh, Little Blue Engine,” cried the dolls and toys. “Will you pull us over the mountain? Our engine has broken down and the good boys and girls on the other side will have no toys to play with unless you help us. Please, please, help us, Little Blue Engine.” “I’m not very big,” said the Little Blue Engine. “they use me only for switching in the yard. I have never been over the mountain.” then she said, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” And she hitched herself to the little train. She tugged and pulled and pulled and tugged and slowly, slowly, slowly they started off. “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.” And the Little Blue Engine smiled and seemed to say as she puffed steadily down the mountain. “I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.” What are you doing today to give the children in your care a firm sense of belief in their own abilities? What are you doing to foster self-efficacy, in yourself and in others?

Heather Stack is Founder of The Local Offer, a social enterprise seeking to transform the landscape of SEND provision. She will be talking about Strategic Circles of Strength at a series of SEND conferences in May in York (12 May), Sheffield (18 May) and Liverpool (24 May). For more details please email heather@thelocaloffer.co.uk The website can be found at www.thelocaloffer.co.uk 28

SEND Magazine May 2017


Finding an effective spelling resource for your school tHERE are many considerations for a school to take into account before adopting a new spelling resource; will it be used purely as a SEND intervention, as part of a whole school provision, in school or at home, or all of the above? then there are the issues of staff allocation, training, support and of course, budget constraints. there may also be other factors such as the increasing emphasis on outcomes and a rigorous approach to the monitoring and evaluation of pupil progress. For example, in Scotland there is a requirement for schools to pinpoint areas for improvement and find the best resources to help achieve them as part of the Raising Attainment for All programme. this programme aims to support consistent improvement in attainment and achievement through the development of a ‘collaborative learning system’.

Spellzone report screen showing annual school activity including average student improvement and top student improvement.

Fiona Johnson the shared Head of Achahoish and Kilmartin primary schools, tells us: “Spelling is certainly one area in which students in both schools need help. Up until this year, we hadn’t had much luck finding a suitable resource that was both interesting for the children and gave teachers the data they needed to track performance, see how students’ spelling was improving and by what percentage.”

“the support we’ve had from the Spellzone team has been fantastic. As well as providing us with in-depth training to help us appreciate the full range of functions Spellzone offers. It is saving huge amounts of time as well as directly supporting learning."

Alison Ridyard, Director of Literacy, King’s Leadership Academy 30

SEND Magazine May 2017

Spellzone report screen showing an overview of an individual student’s results and activity.

Compared to resources used in the past, for both literacy and numeracy, Fiona and the teachers at Achahoish and Kilmartin noticed immediately that they could track and record individual progress easily and that students found Spellzone straightforward

and simple to use. this view is shared by terrie Penrose-Smith, teaching Assistant at Casterton College in Stamford and East Rutland. “As Spellzone is entirely web-based, it makes its use, administration, tracking and reporting much easier. What staff

at casterton like most about Spellzone is how easy it makes viewing and evaluating student activity, engagement levels and results - even giving staff the option to track how many days it’s been since individual students have logged on.“ www.sendmagazine.co.uk

CASE STUDY “In September this year, after eight months of using Spellzone every week, we tested him again and were thrilled to see that his score had risen from 38% to 97%. It’s a fantastic result that he can be really proud of.”

terrie Penrose-Smith, teaching Assistant, Casterton College

Staffing considerations Any new intervention must be championed by the school’s senior leadership team and a free 50-minute on-line demonstration provided by Spellzone can be the most timeefficient introduction to key staff. If the aim is for whole school adoption of the intervention, CPD training days are ideal for a free on-line training session to bring subject teachers on board. Further free refresher sessions can be booked at later dates to ensure ongoing engagement. to take pressure off teaching staff, a school may elect a teaching assistant as the main supervisor for monitoring Spellzone as no previous experience of teaching English spelling is required. Students are kept on track with little intervention. the Spellzone Spelling Ability test provides a base-line Spellzone score and a personalised Course Pathway for each student to follow. Any spelling errors made during work on the course pathway are added to bespoke word lists to enable focused practice of spellings that students find most difficult. Mary Griffiths, Director of Inclusion at Millthorpe School explains “Spellzone is incredibly simple, engaging and cost effective to use, and makes a big difference to literacy. It almost manages itself; all we had to do was monitor the students’ work and measure progress - which was quick and easy.”

Spellzone can also be adapted to needs of individual students. If they are falling behind or not making expected progress, specific course units and word lists can be set as tasks for additional study. Student engagement is key Fiona Johnson says: “following a recommendation from a student at a school in England, who had been using Spellzone and was really enjoying it, we thought it was worth a try. The best sign for me was that we’d been told a child liked using it, as we know only too well that just because something is necessary, it doesn’t guarantee it will hold children’s interest when they’re using it regularly!” She added: “What we’ve found with resources in the past is that even those that seem great at first aren’t always sustainable over a long period of time. However, with Spellzone we noticed straight away how quickly the children were able to get into the swing of it and how happy they were to continue using it.”

Involving parents and carers Providing parents and carers with information about how their children are doing and how they can play their own part in helping their children to make progress with their spelling is crucial. As Mary Griffiths explains “Using on-line resources such as Spellzone at home reinforces learning. Once parents identified a daily slot for Spellzone it was incredibly successful. Parents were very supportive and saw their children reap the rewards of joint commitment.” “To secure commitment, a ‘contract’ between student, parent and school ensured buyin. A reward ladder incentivised the students to remain committed leading to some outstanding results.”

Creating curriculum resources is time consuming Staff at Casterton College like the Spellzone word list feature because it saves them valuable time. terrie PenroseSmith says “there are 1,000s of pre“the interactive nature of loaded word lists Spellzone makes it a valuable including Spellzone learning tool: it is easy for student’s course lists, to work at their own pace. Learning vocabulary lists and curriculum lists is effortless and fun.” including KS3 Mary Griffiths, Millthorpe High School subject spellings, Y1 - Y6 word lists


Millthorpe School in York introduced a ‘Reward Ladder’ as part of their Spellzone ’contract’ with students.

“thanks for sending me the preview for the Letters and Sounds guide it looks really good & will save us hours of preparation!”

Assistant SENCo, Learning Support, UK

(statutory and non-statutory), and a complete ‘Letters and Sounds ’ resource. colleagues can also upload their own subject-specific word lists for a project or exam revision for immediate use. All word lists can be used in spelling activities and games, and can also be downloaded as worksheets for offline use if required; providing added flexibility. ”

Summary If like Fiona Johnson of Achahoish and Kilmartin Primary Schools and many others, you would appreciate the chance to try out a spelling resource before making a commitment, why not start a free 30 day trial of Spellzone? During the trial you can add some of your students and monitor their progress over the month. If you are pleased with the results, and decide to subscribe there is a 20% discount on your first year subscription.

Prices start from as little as 33 pence per student per year! www.spellzone.com

Many schools now have a high percentage of students who have English as an additional language (EAL) presenting real day-to-day challenges for staff. the ability for students to translate Spellzone curriculum, course and custom word lists provides a simple but effective way of contextualising English words into any one of 92 languages.

“Spellzone will be a really valuable additional to our literacy, SEND and intervention programmes so I look forward to getting the students on line as soon as possible.” teacher, High School, UK

May 2017 SEND Magazine



Sandra Tucker - Autism in My Family

An interactive workbook full of dynamic activities for children with siblings on the autism spectrum. through individualized exercises in understanding and empathy, this book will serve to empower the child and strengthen their sibling relationship.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers £12.99

Patricia Babtie - 100 ideas for Numeracy Difficulties and Dyscalculia for Primary Teachers

Babtie focuses on counting skills, before moving on to place value, multiplication and division. As well as teaching key facts, the ideas in this book will develop pupils' understanding so that they become flexible thinkers who can use numbers to solve a variety of mathematical problems. the ideas require minimum preparation and resources, and are perfect for use in mainstream and specialist classrooms, individual tuition sessions or as homework assignments.

Bloomsbury Education £14.99

Davida Hartmann - Beating Anxiety: what young people on the autism spectrum need to know

A practical guide which clearly explains why young people on the spectrum feel anxious. Before giving real-world advice on how to deal with and beat anxiety. It offers numerous strategies for overcoming anxiety and comes in a style designed specifically for young people with ASD.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers £12.99 32

SEND Magazine May 2017


Janice Wearmouth - Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Schools: A critical Introduction

Explores current legislation related to special educational needs and disability (SEND) within a historical and geographical context setting out how SEND policy and practice has developed. Looks at assessment and planning in both informal and standardised approaches, and offers ways to engage with young people, peers and family views and experiences. Focuses on ways to understand, assess and address the most common forms of SEND: literacy and numeracy difficulties and behavioural concerns related to social, emotional and mental health. She discusses how ICt might be used to include young people with various degrees of difficulty in learning and explores professional relationships and partnership work with parents and families.

Bloomsbury £24.99

Penny Tassoni - Reducing Educational Disadvantage

Demonstrates how to provide a 'safety net' for children who are most at risk of underachievement. Highlights the different factors that positively impact upon children's learning (including adult interaction and literacy and mathematical experiences) and how they link to good practice within the EYFS. From ideas for creating a rich, and diverse play environment for them to enjoy, to suggestions on how to carefully guide activities and experiences, tassoni sets out a strong, long term education programme.

Featherstone Press £19.99


May 2017 SEND Magazine



Reading, Spelling and Technology Typing?

Would typing help and support our dyslexic learners? Arran Smith Dyslexia Consultant explains.

FOR as long as I can remember I’ve been around typing programs which has been most of my life. When I say typing programs I mean touch typing and learning to use the keyboard correctly. We often take typing for granted as the majority of us use the keyboard every day on a computer or a tablet device. Let’s first look at two of the key problems that dyslexic children and adults face reading and spelling. We all agree that most dyslexics have an element of difficulty when it comes to reading and spelling of course not every dyslexic is the same so they may be more severe than others. For me as a severely dyslexic adult, reading and spelling are both very difficult, I can read very slowly but spelling is my biggest problem and my biggest frustration so I use technology to support me. In this day and age there are lots of pieces of technology out there that can help us spell and read it can also help when it comes to productivity and removing frustrations and growing creativity. Without technology like this I wouldn’t be able to write this article. What about finding ways to teach our dyslexic children how to type to aid their productivity and to aid their life in the future? Why not find a program that also helps some to read and spell? As I mentioned I’ve been around typing most of my life, I started to learn to touch type when I was about nine years old and I’m a pretty decent typist but I have the added frustration that I have difficulty spelling which slows my typing down dramatically therefore, I get disheartened and don’t really want to do it. this is the same for many dyslexics around the country. A lot of typing programs


SEND Magazine May 2017

concentrate on speed and words per minute. After spending all this time learning to type and teaching young people to type using these programs I feel that looking at speed can be disheartening and lower confidence and self-esteem for some children, so is there another way? At this year’s Educational Resource Awards the judges felt there was such a program, touch-type Read and Spell has been around for many years and has been designed and developed by a specialist teacher who has devoted his life to support others. What is touch-type Read and Spell or better known as ttRS? ttRS is a multisensory typing program that aids students to help them to learn to touch type but also

improves their reading and spelling ability through the structured programme which is set. the programme starts with looking at letter names going all the way up to supporting students to spell days or weeks and months of the year. ttRS is an online typing program that has 24 levels with 30 modules in each level based on a dyslexia specialist teaching intervention programme, the programme has been designed with supporting dyslexic people in mind, the typing course also comes with an audio instruction on how to position your hands on the keyboard. You start by looking at the keyboard and looking for the F and J keys you’ll see the little ridges that are on them and are on every keyboard if you can see the G and H it means

you have got good hands and good home which are key phrases which are used during the program to ensure that students are using the right fingers when typing. throughout the modules, the students see the words and letters which are read to them and they follow the instructions to type them out ensuring that they do it at a steady slow space and to aim for the highest percentage of accuracy, on the fifth module words are not shown it is just dictation which is spoken allowing the student to type and over learn the words which they have already learnt, this is to help them learn the words they have already seen and typed in previous modules. the programme aims for every child to receive 85% above inaccuracy as the program grows it helps children and adults grow in confidence and self-esteem it also embeds spelling and reading within the programme, ttRS has proven with over 20 years of experience of developing literacy skills, confidence and motivation by using this product. Congratulations to touch-type Read and Spell in Winning the ERA in 2017 Special Educational Resource ICt Quote”A simple idea that is very well executed. Having a strong theoretical background, with a clean interface and lots of flexibility in its presentation that can be configured to individual needs. A welcome update to a tried and tested resource.” We can clearly see the typing can really support our dyslexic learners trialling yourself. to find out more about ttRS go to readandspell.com trial course use code “SEND10” to receive a 10% discount. www.sendmagazine.co.uk

Profile for SEND Magazine

Send Magazine May 2017 digital  

New edition of SEND Magazine.

Send Magazine May 2017 digital  

New edition of SEND Magazine.