What is the best way to support students on the autism spectrum with teen issues and relationships?

For many teenagers on the autism spectrum the world of feelings, emotions, relationships, and indeed the whole range of issues related to being a teenager, can be extremely difficult.

While many young people develop their ability to handle these topics and cope with such issues as sexuality, personal hygiene, body image, social drinking, fashion, self-confidence, and so on, for the student on the autism spectrum this can be difficult.

The same is true with everyday situations such as going to the pub, responding to suggestions that a friend is gay, speaking in public, having a tattoo, etc, etc.

As a result your SEN students can require a bit more support if they are to become able to form and maintain healthy relationships throughout adolescence and adulthood and deal with all the issues that can make the teenage years problematic.

Which is why we have devised the “Relationships” series and its companion “Teenage Issues” series of resources.

These are comprehensive resources offering guidance to teenagers with a reading age of around seven. The approach is one of being sympathetic to the way that autistic teenagers and others with related special needs typically view the world.

Each series consists of:

  • Two copies of each of six story books which support the ASDAN Transition Challenge and Towards Independence Life Skills courses.
  • A CD-ROM providing electronic versions of the six books, making it ideal for interactive whiteboard presentations and for students who would also benefit from listening to the text. It is also possible to edit and save the text to make your own story, create differentiated texts, and personalise the text.
  • Supporting resources for teachers including page-by-page notes for all the stories and assessment resources (feedback sheets and student record sheets).
  • An extensive range of activity worksheets and interactive activities that encourage reading comprehension.

Each of the two series come in Value Packs costing £139 plus VAT (save 10%). Individual elements from the two packs are also available separately. There is information on the contents of each pack through these links:

 Relationships Value Pack           Teen Issues Value Pack

Alternatively, please email info@senpress.co.uk or call me on 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

What is the simplest way of reducing anxiety levels among autism spectrum students?

Everyone suffers from anxiety at some stage in their lives.  Some of us feel more of it, some less.

As such, anxiety is a normal everyday emotion.  But too much anxiety can lead to a psychological condition that might need help and support.  Too little ability to respond to situations that should induce anxiety can lead to a foolhardy approach to risk-taking, which itself can be disastrous.

Students on the autistic spectrum can be particularly vulnerable to issues relating to anxiety, not least because, for some of them, much of the world can seem an unfathomable place. Thus autistic teenagers can continue to become anxious about situations beyond the age when their school friends have stopped being worried.

However, anxiety is never a fixed emotion. When anxiety levels do run a little too high they can be reduced, often through very simple means.

A series of resources from SEN Press helps autism spectrum teenagers deal with anxiety by taking examples from their everyday lives centred around themes such as “Scared of bullies?” “Scared of the dark?” “Scared of getting lost?” and so on.

With examples drawn from six different common sources of anxiety the students can not only be helped to overcome the anxiety that is portrayed in the materials, but they can also learn about anxiety.

They can thus appreciate that it is a natural human reaction to become anxious in certain conditions, and that everyone has some issues in life about which they might become anxious.

The aim therefore is not to remove the anxiety, but simply to make it more manageable and not detrimental to everyday life.

There are three different ways of purchasing the materials.

First it is possible to buy one copy of each of the six “Scary Things” readers in the “Readers Pack for £28.50. For further information please click here.

As an alternative there is the Scary Things Activity Pack which contains a CD Rom of e-books, worksheets and Teacher Book with copymasters for £55.

Finally the Scary Things Value Pack including all the materials from the Activity Pack above plus two copies of each of the six Readers for £105.

If you require further information please call 01582 833205  or email info@senpress.co.uk

What is the most effective way of improving handwriting and enhancing reading and spelling skills?

www.msl-online.net

MSL offers three sets of materials relating to handwriting, literacy and spelling, and details with example materials are available from our website.

First, we have the Handwriting Rescue materials which contain over 300 structured exercises that introduce cursive handwriting and correct poor letter formation habits.  There are also follow-on books for revision, with all the resources designed to establish the correct cursive letter formation, alongside reinforcing important literacy skills.

The Reading and Spelling Literacy Scheme covers every phonic and spelling choice in the English language, introduced step by step in a logical sequence and this allows pupils and students to develop whole sentences from the very start.   Each new phonic and spelling choice is introduced in such a way as to ensure that past knowledge is reinforced, and confusions eliminated.

To round off each teaching session there are the Dyslexia Games and Association Cards.  These secure the knowledge that has been gained through the Reading and Spelling Literacy Scheme and give the pupils and students a less intense, more relaxed game situation for the end of each lesson.

Click on the links below:

Handwriting Rescue materials:

The Reading and Spelling Literacy Scheme

Dyslexia Games and Association Cards

Unlocking autism

What is the most effective way of encouraging students on the autism spectrum to read and engage with new ideas?

It has in recent years been increasingly understood that children on the autism spectrum can respond well to working with digital technology.

The problem, however, is often one that relates to the question of how digital technology can be introduced, both in terms of appropriate reading material and the IT processes themselves.

One approach is to offer short texts with illustrations that the students can not only read on any digital device, but which also can be manipulated, so that the events and information in the text can be reduced or expanded as the individual student requires.

At the same time such text can be listened to by the student, read aloud by the student, or followed on an interactive whiteboard or on the student’s own digital device.

Thus these stories, centred around key themes that affect the students’ lives, not only have an everyday relevance but can also be made increasingly to relate to them and their world.

SEN Press has produced 22 such digital readers which can be used as whiteboard presentations, and as changeable stories for other digital devices.  What’s more the stories have human voice read-throughs (rather than electronic voices) to add to the accessibility.

The e-book library from SEN Press contains editable e-books and corresponding pdfs for print out across four themes: Relationships,. Everyday Challenges, Work Experience, and Simple Meals.

Thus students can be introduced to 22 different situations and themes as varied as “Mum’s new boyfriend”, “Travelling by Yourself”, “Working in a charity shop”, and “Preparing a packed lunch”.

Additionally the pack includes one free copy of the printed edition of each of the books.

The full pack, including the printed copy of each of the 22 books costs £250 (plus VAT).  Full details can be found on our website.

Alternatively if you require further information please call 01582 833205  or email info@senpress.co.uk

We would very much welcome your input on current practice in working with students on the autism spectrum.

We are endeavouring to understand more about how special needs teachers such as yourself teach the concept of money to students on the autism spectrum.

We have therefore produced a very short questionnaire (it will not take more than three minutes to complete) and we’d be very grateful if you could complete this and email it back to us.

In return, if you would like to see what other special needs teachers in the UK feel about teaching money to students on the autism spectrum, we will be pleased to send you the results of the questionnaire once all the replies are in.

In the meanwhile if you have any questions about this survey, or about the organisation behind it, please do email me at info@senpress.co.uk or phone 01582 833205

LInk to questionnaire: http://schoolsco.polldaddy.com/s/money-autism-spectrum

FREE Visual Stress/Meares-Irlen Syndrome NHS prescription glasses

Read123 Opticians are providing FREE tinted prescription glasses on the NHS for Visual Stress otherwise known as Meares-Irlen Syndrome to all pupils aged between 7-18.

You can screen all your pupils using the free 30 day trial of our screening app (ipad based).

Pupils that are subsequently diagnosed with Visual Stress can be provided with FREE NHS glasses by us using their NHS voucher. This is a MASSIVE saving of over £250.00 for parents.

We also stock the latest Honeycomb technology lenses which are clear lenses for Visual Stress. This means colour vision is not affected, as well as avoiding the need for tinted lenses. These cost just £20.00 with an NHS voucher.

We are fully qualified UK Opticians and members of The General Optical Council.

You can take the free trial of our screening app here https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/read123-visual-stress-app/id1125574297?l=pl&ls=1&mt=8. Simply contact us on 0800 6890292 or support@read123.co.uk if you require more information.

More information on different packages can be found on our website at www.read123.co.uk

Helping ADHD pupils and students through school

There is little doubt that the most effective way of supporting ADHD pupils and students is not only to provide help within the special needs department, but also to work with colleagues throughout the school, to ensure that there is in place a complete strategy to help them through their school lives.

This means ensuring that not only you and your colleagues working in special needs have a full awareness of ADHD and how it affects young people, but also that everyone in the school has the chance to be aware of what ADHD is.

For ADHD pupils and students may well relate differently from others to such issues as the school’s behaviour rules, and special school days (such as school visits or days when a visitor arrives to work with the pupils or students).

Likewise just as you work with those who have ADHD to help control their impulsiveness, so others need to be aware of this problem too – and the best ways to manage the results of this behaviour.

Then there are issues relating to sports, the arts and other specialist activities, the issue of responsibility and so on.  At each point in the school, the ADHD pupil or student can potentially have a reaction that is different from that of others.

It is to help with this multiplicity of issues that we have produced “Helping ADHD pupils and students through school”.

It is a book which is available as a download, which means that you can then take any of the short articles that appear in the book and make them available for colleagues without any further charges for reproducing the information.

Because each article is deliberately kept short and to the point, it is more likely that colleagues will have the time to read the briefing, and gather a greater understanding of what ADHD is, and how the needs of ADHD pupils and students can be taken into account to improve their learning in school.

“Helping ADHD pupils and students through school” is available exclusively as a download.  The text can then be copied in whole or in small units and distributed to interested parties within the school.

ISBN:  978 1 86083 855 2   Order code: T1789 – please quote with order.

You can purchase the download copy of the volume

  • On the phone with a school order number at 01604 880 927
  • By email to sales@schools.co.uk with a school order number
  • With a credit card via PayPal at our on-line shop

Could you help us improve the availability of materials that will help students with Down’s Syndrome and Autism to achieve independent lives?

In association with SEN Press we are looking at the number of pupils in schools who have Down’s Syndrome and Autism and at the sort of help they need, particularly around the age of 14-19, to prepare them for independent lives.

With this in mind I’d be very grateful if you could spend just a moment (it will only take two minutes maximum) to complete our short survey.

We are not asking for your school’s details – although if you wish to see a copy of our findings, we will forward these to you if you provide an email address.

You can find the link to the survey here.

Many thanks

Jenny Burrows
Hamilton House Mailings

A big thank you from the Education Management News team – in return we’d like to offer your school some free publicity

The Education Management News team would like to say a big thank you to the subscribers of the newsgroup who completed one or more School Awareness Week surveys this term.

You can see the outcomes of your contributions by clicking on the various report links below.

As always you can keep up to date with the various School Awareness Weeks (and any new research/findings) by visiting www.schoolawarenessweeks.co.uk.

By contributing to the School Awareness Weeks you have made it possible for us to continue offering this news service to you and your colleagues free of charge next academic year. In return we would like to offer you some free publicity for your school.

Each year a number of schools have details of their summer activities and achievements published on www.ukeducationnews.co.uk; all you have to do to get your press release published is to follow our guidelines below and send in the notice.

UK Education News will, of course, run any story you send in, but I thought it might help if I outlined a few of the topics that we covered last summer. They included:

  • Exam results released in the summer
  • Achievements of students on gap years
  • Stories about schools being oversubscribed
  • New buildings opening in September
  • Refurbishments being undertaken during the school holidays
  • Universities that students are moving on to
  • Achievements of past students

These of course are just examples – if you wish to deal with any other subject to do with your school just send the press release to Chris@hamilton-house.com

The press release must be written in Word and must only contain the story that you want to run. We will take the text word for word and publish it all without any editorial change – so please don’t add any extraneous comment such as “Dear Chris, could you publish this please” or “ends” at the end, since that is likely to be published too.

Please do include the name, address, phone number, email address, and website of the school, if you wish to. If you don’t, we won’t add it. But please don’t include any pictures as we can’t run pictures on this service.

Simply attach the Word file to an email and send it to Chris Searle at the email address above.

Once again, thank you, and enjoy your summer.

——————————————————————-

The Exceptional Teaching website (exceptionalteaching.org.uk) is a library of exceptional teaching resources divided up by subject area. It has been produced by the School of Education Administration and Management and Training in conjunction with Hamilton House Mailings.

Lucy Mister
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

Secondary schools will need to make a further 16,284 spaces available by 2023, according to the analysis of official figures by BBC News

Following the analysis of official figures by BBC News, which suggest that the number of children starting primary school exceeds the number of spaces in secondary schools, secondary schools will need to make a further 16,284 vacancies available by 2023.

The analysis covers a total of 134 areas in England and clearly shows that secondary schools in some areas are in more need of spaces than others with Surrey, Birmingham, City of Bristol, Leeds and Lewisham requiring more than half of the 16,284 spaces of themselves. You can see the full analysis at the end of this article.

Indeed, pupils transitioning from primary school to secondary school this year are already experiencing the impact of the rising pupil population in secondary schools with reports suggesting that one in six pupils missed out on their first choice of secondary school.

But whilst the DfE claim that LAs had plans for 52,000 more secondary school places by 2018 and is putting £7bn aside to help secondary schools to create more vacancies, it seems that this may not be enough for areas that are foreseeing the biggest increases.

Linda Kemeny, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, explains: “We need to create more than 11,000 extra school places over the next five years but, because demand is not being matched by extra funding from the government, it is leaving us with a shortfall of £30m in each of the next two years alone.”

In response to this report a DfE spokeswoman has commented: “Delivering good quality school places is a top priority for this government and the latest figures show that the system continues to work. The government has already committed £7bn for school places, which along with our investment in 500 new free schools we expect to deliver 600,000 new places by 2021.

“Our reforms and our academy programme are raising standards for all children with 1.4 million more pupils in good or outstanding schools than in 2010. We will continue to invest and work hard to ensure every child has an excellent education that allows them to reach their full potential.”

Area Secondary school places in 2016 Primary school applicants 2016 Extra places needed
England

530,274

546,558

16,284

Surrey

                                        11,542

13,859

2,317

Birmingham

13,944

16,000

2,056

Bristol, City of

4,068

5,565

1,497

Leeds

8,615

9,956

1,341

Lewisham

2,568

3,838

1,270

Manchester

5,670

6,932

1,262

Ealing

3,321

4,370

1,049

Merton

1,699

2,728

1,029

Wandsworth

2,207

3,233

1,026

Greenwich

2,734

3,703

969

Leicester

3,721

4,647

926

Barking and Dagenham

2,829

3,745

916

Nottingham

2,980

3,846

866

Kingston Upon Hull, City of

2,810

3,666

856

Essex

15,887

16,686

799

Hounslow

2,887

3,635

748

Southampton

2,355

3,032

677

Milton Keynes

3,260

3,930

670

Sheffield

5,727

6,392

665

Reading

1,554

2,210

656

Waltham Forest

2,950

3,580

630

Swindon

2,327

2,945

618

Harrow

2,560

3,174

614

Brent

3,309

3,916

607

Northamptonshire

8,461

9,067

606

Salford

2,453

3,045

592

Croydon

4,454

4,979

525

Richmond upon Thames

1,869

2,393

524

Hillingdon

3,576

4,096

520

Knowsley

1,360

1,855

495

Wolverhampton

3,052

3,515

463

Thurrock

1,930

2,376

446

Islington

1,635

2,066

431

Portsmouth

2,018

2,425

407

Stoke-on-Trent

2,939

3,339

400

Enfield

4,121

4,510

389

Lambeth

2,590

2,968

378

Stockport

3,080

3,452

372

Newham

4,411

4,773

362

Sandwell

4,181

4,525

344

Middlesbrough

1,627

1,965

338

Bradford

7,400

7,724

324

Tower Hamlets

3,116

3,440

324

Luton

2,910

3,228

318

Southwark

3,016

3,332

316

Slough

2,084

2,397

313

Hackney

2,421

2,712

291

Barnsley

2,520

2,790

270

Rochdale

2,729

2,980

251

Blackpool

1,385

1,634

249

Haringey

2,604

2,836

232

South Gloucestershire

3,003

3,223

220

Bracknell Forest

1,347

1,547

200

Peterborough

2,664

2,863

199

Redbridge

3,959

4,147

188

Bromley

3,851

4,036

185

Barnet

4,379

4,555

176

Brighton and Hove

2,505

2,666

161

Coventry

4,330

4,479

149

Liverpool

5,211

5,358

147

Hampshire

15,306

15,426

120

Bournemouth

1,994

2,111

117

Plymouth

2,960

3,076

116

Medway

3,418

3,525

107

Derby

3,194

3,278

84

Stockton-on-Tees

2,363

2,446

83

Oxfordshire

7,277

7,356

79

Kingston upon Thames

1,921

1,990

69

Tameside

2,806

2,873

67

St Helens

2,012

2,077

65

Wokingham

2,072

2,136

64

Dudley

3,818

3,862

44

City of London

0

34

34

Kent

17,974

18,006

32

Darlington

1,212

1,240

28

York

1,933

1,958

25

Blackburn with Darwen

2,141

2,158

17

Hartlepool

1,159

1,160

1

Bury

2,355

2,336

-19

Bolton

3,809

3,789

-20

Camden

1,717

1,690

-27

Hammersmith and Fulham

1,563

1,524

-39

Warrington

2,567

2,513

-54

Buckinghamshire

6,389

6,335

-54

Herefordshire

1,866

1,791

-75

North Somerset

2,484

2,404

-80

East Sussex

5,584

5,498

-86

Kensington and Chelsea

960

835

-125

Norfolk

9,669

9,534

-135

Wigan

3,854

3,718

-136

Southend-on-Sea

2,289

2,148

-141

Gloucestershire

7,140

6,987

-153

Cheshire East

4,300

4,141

-159

Gateshead

2,244

2,077

-167

Halton

1,689

1,522

-167

North East Lincolnshire

2,003

1,829

-174

Wirral

4,064

3,872

-192

Havering

3,328

3,133

-195

Telford and Wrekin

2,401

2,202

-199

South Tyneside

1,828

1,619

-209

Rutland

570

358

-212

Nottinghamshire

9,487

9,271

-216

Trafford

3,214

2,995

-219

Torbay

1,636

1,400

-236

West Berkshire

2,106

1,865

-241

Rotherham

3,480

3,238

-242

Redcar and Cleveland

1,918

1,647

-271

Calderdale

2,837

2,566

-271

Sunderland

3,230

2,956

-274

Walsall

3,733

3,456

-277

Bexley

3,395

3,095

-300

North Lincolnshire

2,232

1,922

-310

Cheshire West and Chester

4,085

3,748

-337

Westminster

1,663

1,313

-350

Sutton

3,084

2,711

-373

Isle of Wight

1,651

1,266

-385

Warwickshire

6,683

6,287

-396

Oldham

3,438

3,023

-415

Devon

8,105

7,681

-424

Wakefield

4,199

3,773

-426

Shropshire

3,302

2,869

-433

Wiltshire

5,802

5,328

-474

Doncaster

3,763

3,237

-526

Solihull

3,349

2,662

-687

Sefton

3,545

2,835

-710

Durham

6,065

5,334

-731

Bath and North East Somerset

2,545

1,802

-743

East Riding of Yorkshire

4,167

3,388

-779

Cornwall

6,293

5,497

-796

Derbyshire

9,012

8,129

-883

Lincolnshire

8,853

7,807

-1,046

Lancashire

14,688

13,441

-1,247

Cumbria

6,162

4,604

-1,558

North Yorkshire

7,604

5,961

-1,643

——————————————————————-

You are reading just one of 12 different news services that we run. The topics covered range from careers to efficiency to discipline and behaviour, from school management to individual subjects.

All the services are free, and there is no restriction on how many services you subscribe to. You (and your colleagues) can subscribe at www.schools.co.uk/subscribe.html

If you find this service helpful, please pass this note on to colleagues at your school so that they may subscribe to our services as well.

Lucy Mister
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd 

Alder Grange School press release: Students are drawing on childhood to beat exam stress

GCSE and A Level students are escaping the stress during exam season armed with felt tips, pencils and crayons.

Alder Grange School have introduced colouring in sessions to help students combat stress and wind down from their exams.

Adult colouring books have become a craze across the UK as a method of relaxation. The school in Rawtenstall decided to embrace this approach in an effort to help students find peace and quiet while they take their exams.

After the colouring-in sessions started to become quite a success Jo Griffiths, Head of School, decided to arrange a ‘Mindful Day’ for all year 10 students.

The day will include various new activities including yoga classes, meditation sessions, calming walks and mental health awareness training.

“These different methods or relaxation are not only to help them wind down after an exam but also to encourage them to stay calm and positive before and during tests. Some students can feel a lot of pressure around this time of year and our role is to make sure they succeed and remain happy, healthy students,” said Head of School, Jo Griffiths.

Courtney Lea Reader, year 12 student at ag6, said: “It’s really nice and calming to sit and colour in. Obviously this time of year can be quite stressful for some of us and it’s lovely of the school to help us find some peace and quiet. It helps me feel positive about my exams.”

——————————————————————-

You are reading just one of 12 different news services that we run. The topics covered range from careers to efficiency to discipline and behaviour, from school management to individual subjects.

All the services are free, and there is no restriction on how many services you subscribe to. You (and your colleagues) can subscribe at www.schools.co.uk/subscribe.html

If you find this service helpful, please pass this note on to colleagues at your school so that they may subscribe to our services as well.

Tony Attwood
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd

Limiting the extent to which hay fever affects your students’ exam performance

A few years ago SecEd wrote an article exploring the extent to which hay fever can affect students’ performance at school, and more specifically, students’ performance in exams – a problem which is more prevalent than you might think.

In fact, according to the NHS, an estimated 20% of the population is affected by hay fever at some point in their lifetime, with the severity and range of hay fever symptoms often portraying themselves in very different ways from one person to the next.

But even the mildest form of hay fever can be distracting to students sitting their exams.

Indeed, through gathering information from a range of scientific studies, SecEd found that 16 to 24 year olds are most likely to suffer from hay fever, and in some studies up to 50% of students have reported symptoms of hay fever around the time of their exams.

What is really surprising (to me at any rate) is that their research revealed that hay fever sufferers are 40% more likely to drop a grade from January to summer.

So what can you do to limit the extent to which hay fever affects your students’ exam performance?

A few practical suggestions would be to provide plenty of water so students can keep well hydrated, ensuring that students aren’t queueing outside beforehand where they could be affected by pollen, and keeping windows closed if possible during exams.

You can find more suggestions, which you might want to share with your students, on the Nursing Times website: http://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-archive/respiratory/managing-hay-fever-during-the-exam-period/5056514.fullarticle

——————————————————————-

A complete list of all the nation’s schools with links to their websites now appears in the Schools Directory at www.schools.co.uk   If your school’s website link is missing or is faulty, please let us know the correct entry and we’ll get it changed.  Tens of thousands of parents use this site every year to check potential schools for their children.  All listings are completely free.

Lucy Mister
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

Proven support for pupils with emotional and behaviour problems – Latest Evidence Base Results

Various sources suggest that 20% of primary school pupils have an emotional, behaviour or mental health problem that impedes their learning and sometimes results in disrupted classes.

An evidence base, built over the last 12 years using actual practice data from over a thousand primary school, shows that between 77% and 84% of those receiving play therapy delivered to Play Therapy UK standards show a positive change, as observed by teachers and parents. Now with over 20,000 measures, the evidence base is highly reliable.

If your school is not using play therapy, you have three options:

I ) Contact your nearest PTUK registrant to see if one is available: www.playtherapyregister.org.uk

2) Apply for a PTUK Trainee placement.  There is no fee – your school just has to provide a suitable room for the sessions with the children and some materials and basic equipment.  During a year you will see how successful Play Therapy can be for your school.  We have over 300 new trainees each year but it depends upon one being available in your area.

3) If you can find annual funding of about £5000 the best solution is to send one of your teaching staff to be trained as a Registered Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills and a Registered Play Therapist.

You can also experience how play therapy works and how we train by attending a one-day ‘Introduction to Play Therapy’ course held at 12 convenient venues throughout the UK. Phone: 01825 761143 to book.

More information: www.playtherapy.org.uk

If you would like to discuss these options in more detail please email Monika at:

mokijep@aol.com

The views of educators and GPs concerning the issue of poor mental health among young people are two of a kind and one of the same.

The results of a survey conducted by stem4, a charity that works to prevent mental ill health in teenagers, has revealed a consensus among GPs and educators in England on the issue of poor mental health among young people aged between 11 and 18.

It was found that 78% of GPs have witnessed an increase in the number of young patients they see suffering from poor mental health compared to five years ago, with 63% reporting that they had seen a patient with an addiction, 89% reporting that they had seen a patient with an eating disorder, and 97% reporting that they had seen a patient with depression in the last five years.

Furthermore, 97% of GPs have also seen a young person who self-harms in the past five years, with 61% reporting that they see more cases of self-harm among young people now, than they did five years ago.

However, the survey also revealed that 36% of GPs who have received specialist training to support young patients dealing with self-harm said that they don’t believe their training to be adequate as they don’t feel confident in their abilities.

Moreover, half of GPs surveyed said that they had received no specialist training.

As for their thoughts on the mental health services available to young people, with the rise in cases of young people suffering from poor mental health 87% expect pressure on services to increase.

As a result 90% of GPs fear that young people suffering from poor mental health may come to harm while waiting for specialist treatment – a waiting list which comes as a result of a lack of funding, specialist training, and access to services.

To elaborate further, 76% of GPs said that the funding for mental health services for young people is already above and beyond the amount that was initially promised to be adequate to improve such services. 54% reported that specialist training on young people’s mental health was necessary. And 56% said that they would like to see a complete overhaul of mental health service provision.

Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Founder of stem4, Dr Nihara Krause, commented:

“Young people’s mental health services are at crisis point. GPs are having to cope with the consequences of our failure to focus on prevention, and a lack of access to specialist services. We may not be able to change the world we have created for our young people, but we need to take action to ensure that help is available when they need it. GPs are at the forefront of addressing this crisis and they need far more support.

“The increase in mental ill health among our young people is exacerbated by our trophy culture. They are under enormous pressure to succeed in every way, not only at school where they are constantly tested and graded, but also by endeavouring to gain social cachet by competing to be ‘followed’ and ‘liked’ on social media.”

In response to the findings, stem4 will be hosting a conference on 22 June to provide GPs with the latest information on dealing with poor mental health among young people.

You can read the full report entitled “A Time Bomb Waiting to Explode” at http://www.stem4.org.uk/images/downloads/a_time_bomb_waiting_to_explode
_stem4_press_release.pdf

——————————————————————-

You are reading just one of 12 different news services that we run. The topics covered range from careers to efficiency to discipline and behaviour, from school management to individual subjects.

All the services are free, and there is no restriction on how many services you subscribe to. You (and your colleagues) can subscribe at www.schools.co.uk/subscribe.html

If you find this service helpful, please pass this note on to colleagues at your school so that they may subscribe to our services as well.

Lucy Mister
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd

Lego identifies five different types of play – physical, symbolic, with rules, with objects, and with pretence.

Hanne Rasmussen, head of the Lego Foundation, recalls that as a child growing up in Denmark there was more time to play because there were fewer activities scheduled on the timetable. And the same applies in the UK, particularly when we consider that children in the UK start school three years earlier than their Scandinavian counterparts.

Thus many children are missing out on the early play-based learning that is known to promote the development of creativity, problem solving, and empathy.

So is it possible for children to learn about the “Three Rs”, whilst at the same time acquiring the benefits of play?

The answer is yes, yet there is little evidence to suggest the best way of going about doing it.

And so it is for this reason that the Lego Foundation is campaigning for there to be a change of mind-set about play in education around the world.

In their mission statement they say: “Our contribution to the world is to challenge the status quo by redefining play and reimagining learning,”

In response to a study conducted by Cambridge University, the Lego Foundation aims to look further into the benefits of play, not only in respect of learning but also in respect of well-being, by funding research projects at universities such as Cambridge, MIT, and Harvard.

The Cambridge study consisted of children creating, telling, and acting out a story with Lego before writing their story down. The results showed that the play they participated in beforehand enabled them to boost their narrative and writing skills, as well as interaction and cooperation.

Hanne Rasmussen says: ‘In the early years – up to around eight – a play-based methodology makes a lot of sense’.

“All over the world, we see parents spending much energy doing the best for their child, and play is not on that list because they don’t have the background to understand what it could do.”

Link to article: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/mar/15/children-learn-play-age-eight-lego

——————————————————————-

You are reading just one of 12 different news services that we run. The topics covered range from careers to efficiency to discipline and behaviour, from school management to individual subjects.

All the services are free, and there is no restriction on how many services you subscribe to. You (and your colleagues) can subscribe at www.schools.co.uk/subscribe.html

If you find this service helpful, please pass this note on to colleagues at your school so that they may subscribe to our services as well.

Lucy Mister
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd

It’s time for your SEND students to start developing some life skills. Starting with cooking.

Too many students with SEND who transition from secondary school to college and beyond haven’t developed the life skill of preparing meals, which can be something of a problem later down the line. And not just in relation to their eating habits, but also to their safety in the kitchen.

Indeed, with support and guidance, your SEND students can learn how to prepare meals (safely), just like anyone else.

Which is why SEN Press has devised an activity pack entitled ‘Simple Meals’ which contains a series of simple narratives exploring the different situations in which young people may be required to put their kitchen skills to the test.

The Simple Meals Activity Pack, which supports the ASDAN Transition Challenge and Towards Independence Life Skills courses, is suitable for students aged between 14 and 19 with SEN and a reading age of around seven, and consists of:

– Four story books: “Breakfast in Bed”, “Lunch for Guests”, “Packed Lunch” and “Tea”. These are not instructional cookery books, but descriptions of everyday situations in which young people have to prepare simple meals themselves.

– A CD-ROM providing electronic versions of the above titles, making it ideal for interactive whiteboard presentations and for students who would also benefit from listening to the text. It is also possible to edit and save the text to make your own story, create differentiated texts, and personalise the text with your students’ names to enhance engagement.

– An extensive range of activity worksheets and interactive activities which look more closely at practical skills and safety issues around preparing hot and cold food. Activities include: Words & Pictures, Picture Search, Keyword Flashcards, Wordsearch, Spot the Difference and How Well Did You Read?.

– Supporting resources for teachers including page-by-page notes for all the stories and assessment resources (feedback sheets and student record sheets).

The complete set of resources containing two copies of each of the six readers, the complete teacher book of notes and worksheets, and the CD Rom is available for £99 plus VAT.  Individual elements from the pack are also available separately.

You can find more information and see sample pages from the readers, and details for ordering individual items as well as the full pack, on our ‘Simple Meals’ web page.

If you have any questions or need more information, please email info@senpress.co.uk  or call 01582 833205.  We’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Janie Nicholas

Special Needs Report – Solutions to Problems

Special needs affect the whole school, not just the SENCo and their department.  Unless attended to, these pupils drag down the overall academic results, may cause disruption to other pupils, and may cause stress for teaching staff.

In March 2016 the Hamilton House Special Needs Week team sent questionnaires to SENCos in every primary school across the UK, inviting comments on the provision of special needs within their schools.

This identified a number of problems, many of which have immediate solutions which can be provided by Play Therapy UK registrants and/or by training for school staff – sometimes at very little cost to the school.

SENCos were asked if they felt they had any pupils who had a condition and for whom they did not have adequate resources to help this pupil.

In 57 of the 67 categories the answers of the special needs teachers who completed the survey was “yes” for at least one pupil in at least one school. The most common areas for such difficulty were

●       Attachment disorder (66% of schools)

●       Behavioural emotional and social difficulties (53% of schools)

●       Anxiety disorder (40% of schools)

●       Mental health issues (38% of schools).

A proven solution is Play Therapy. When delivered to Play Therapy UK (PTUK) standards, it results in a 77% to 84% positive change, as observed by teaching staff and parents based on over 12,000 cases.

The survey found that nearly one third said that demand was outstripping the ability to meet the special needs they were faced with.  A short term solution is to apply as a placement organisation for a PTUK Trainee.  There is no fee – your school just has to provide a suitable room for the sessions with the children and some materials and basic equipment.  During a year you will see how successful Play Therapy can be for your school.  We have over 300 new trainees each year but it depends upon one being available in your area.

If you can find annual funding of about £5000 the best solution is to send one of your teaching staff to be trained as a Registered Practitioner in Therapeutic Play Skills and a Registered Play Therapist.

More information:

www.playtherapy.org.uk    Play Therapy Register

Email: mokijep@aol.com    Phone: 01825 761143

“Are there any assembly resources about special needs that you can recommend for us to use during Special Needs Week?”

My colleagues and I often get approached by SENCOs, many of whom are also subscribers of the SENCO Newsgroup, with questions.

Some questions we can answer immediately, others we have to search around a little bit and use our connections to find the answer, and sometimes we prefer to pose the question to the subscribers of the Newsgroup – just like with this question.

So here it is.

“Are there any assembly resources about special needs that you can recommend for us to use during Special Needs Week?”

I would be really grateful if you could let my colleague, Jenny Burrows, know if you know of (or, even better, recommend) any resources about special needs that can be used for assemblies during Special Needs Week. Her email address is jenny@hamilton-house.com.

And of course, if you haven’t already, please do take a look at the Special Needs Week website where you will find the Special Needs in Schools Reports, an index of special needs and information about managing parental expectations and about what the law says.

Thanks

——————————————————————-

All today’s educational news stories appear on www.ukeducationnews.co.uk – the free news service for UK schools. 

Lucy Mister
Hamilton House Mailings Ltd
 

We’d appreciate your help in completing the Special Needs Week Survey of the work of SENCos in schools throughout the UK.

Special Needs Week takes place between 13 and 17 June, and as part of this event we are conducting research into what special needs SENCos have to deal with, which special needs cause particular difficulty, whether colleagues in the school have a full grasp of what SENCos like you do, and whether demands on your time are expanding.

To help us gather this information – the results of which will be published on the Special Needs Week website – we are asking all SENCos to complete a very short questionnaire. It will only take two or three minutes at most to complete.

So if you would like to participate in this questionnaire, which is of course completely anonymous, please click here.

Once we have gathered in the results of the survey we’ll be writing again with details of the results and also putting these results on line on the Special Needs Week website.

Special Needs Week is being sponsored by Aspire GB, Clicker-7, Dysgraphia Help, Dyscalculia Centre, Multi-Sensory Learning, PTUK, Robinswood Press, SEN Press, and Turnabout Programme.

If you have any enquiries about this research, please do write to HQ@specialneedsweek.co.uk or call 01536 509822.

Tony Attwood

Do you have something to say to teachers in the UK?

In addition to publishing stories from the BBC, various newspapers, specialist magazines and the government education departments, we like to publish other stories too.

Stories from schools, colleges and universities, and information from suppliers about products and services in the UK that will be of interest to teachers.

If you have a positive and interesting story about your school, that you feel might interest some of the teachers who read our site each week, (we’re currently getting over 300,000 visits a month) we’d love you to send it in.

Likewise if you have a product or service that could be of interest to teachers, please send information about that in too.

We do ask for a small (and it is small) contribution to our running costs from companies that are selling education products but information from educational institutions and information about free products and services is normally published without charge.

To submit a piece for inclusion on UK Education News just email Chris@hamilton-house.com and attach the story as a word file.  Please write, at the top of the file, the headline that you want to appear on the site.  Unfortunately we can’t include any pictures on this service, but you can include a link to your website in your text, and of course that can lead to a website containing as many illustrations as you like.

If we feel that a fee would be appropriate, we’ll email you back with details – we won’t publish it without your agreement.

If you would like to talk to us about any aspect of UK Education News please call 01536 399 000 and ask of the UK Education News team.

Tony Attwood