Sponsored Cycle Ride for Highfurlong School.


As has been widely reported in the media our school is receiving a new building next August. Our old building is no longer fit for purpose and is falling down around us. This of course is wonderful news and the staff and children are thrilled. However, as with most things, there is a slight downside to all of this, there is no money available for new furniture. We are in a position where we will have to take our old and battered furniture with us in to the new building. Much of this is also not fit for purpose and may not even survive the journey to the new building. Our Head Teacher, Mrs Rosie Sycamore has launched a fund raising campaign to try to alter this situation. The target is set for £100, 000 and many of our staff and students have completed wonderful feats to help towards this…

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The Night Walker

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

I love the holidays.  That moment when you close the door on your classroom on the last day of the summer term with all that time stretched unfilled before you is like no other.  These days, now that I am not just a primary school teacher but a mother with three children of her own (no relaxation of responsibility at three fifteen for me), that last day leaves me sweating with relief.  No more school runs.  No more remembering lunch money, reading books, PE kits or responding to sudden demands for money for cake sales, cakes for said sales or random fancy dress, let alone forgetting the random items I might need for the mummification of oranges (all a part of the life of your average primary teacher).  For six weeks I can hang up the school bags and set my own agenda.

I think it’s one of the things…

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Windows 8 – Special Educational Need focus

Dan's Ed Tech & CS Blog

Top Tips for using Windows 8 with students with Special Educational Needs

  1. Accessibility – Voice recognition, theme changing, font and icon sizes- http://www.microsoft.com/enable/products/windows8/  
    1. Narrator
    2. Touch enabled buttons and the magnifier
    3. Ease of access settings (high contrast, larger screen,
    4. Speech Recognition http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/using-speech-recognition/  
  2. Volume control – Very important as some students may accidentally turn up the volume.  This can be controlled within your sound settings and limited with software if needed. 
  3. Brightness control
  4. Cleaning – If devices are to be shared it is important that they are cleaned and suitable chemicals and materials are available.  
  5. Peripherals – Headphones, external keyboards, Bluetooth devices. 
  6. Assistive devices – Find an more about assistive technology here http://www.microsoft.com/enable/at/matvplist.aspx
  7. Setting boundaries with students usage and maximising impact in a blended approach
  8. House Keeping – mobile devices will get full of apps and software. Remember to keep the menus as clean as possible.  This is much easier…

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Mini-feely blanket

mrs b's room

Many of the children I teach are sensory seekers- they love to touch, stroke, mouth and twiddle. One of my little ones developed a fascination with the feeling of my leggings. Everytime I sat anywhere near him he would pinch a handful (sometimes trapping some leg skin too!) and start rubbing the fabric. After a few bruises I decided to have a go at making something that might fulfil this sensory need in a more socially acceptable and non-bruising way. I’ve made ‘taggie blankets’ for friends babies and toddlers in the past and thought something similar might work.

These are really simple to make- you just need a sewing machine, some strips of fabric and ribbon and two squares of fabric.

Place the two square together right (pattern) sides together and insert the strip of fabric. Then nearly all the way round and turn right side out through the gap…

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Announcing the #SENumbrella hashtag :)

The SEN Umbrella Group

twitter-hashtags-tweet-1024x936Dear supporters,

In our previous post we spoke about a need to bring everyone together in a collective voice – regardless of disability, age, gender, location etc.  We believe that a disability community united, is a disability community who can make a difference.  One of the first steps towards that is keeping everyone informed of whats going on in the news relating to special educational needs, disability, legislation and rights.  As we all probably know there’s a lot of new stories every single day, and it can be difficult to find the ones that need that additional coverage in order to raise awareness.  So what we’re going to do is start a hashtag.

The hashtag is #SENumbrella.

How does it work?

Next time you’re on twitter and you see a story that relates to special educational needs and disability rights, you can tweet it with the hashtag #SENumbrella.  If we…

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Tour de Town

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

I don’t often pick Sam up from school in the afternoons.  Actually, that’s not strictly true, I do it most of the time, what I mean is, I don’t often fetch him on my bike.  More often than not, when I meet him from school, I am festooned with other, younger children or I’m in a hurry to meet said younger children and I, rather to my shame, choose to travel via the car, squeezing the bike into the boot for the journey home.

Last Monday, however, I decided against the internal combustion engine.  The sun was shining, I felt the need for a bit of exercise, so I saddled up my trusty steed and pedalled up the road.  Of course, it is at this point that I should point out the main reason for my riding reluctance.  While Sam has been riding for some years, he has never been…

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My Visit to @jordyjax PRU


Despite being a teacher of children with special educational needs for 14 years I have never visited a PRU. I’ve long been interested in PRUs and how they work because I have a penchant for children with challenging behaviours. We have a few children in my school who display interesting behaviours but most are very poorly children. I wanted to visit a PRU but there are none nearby. Enter @jordyjax a Deputy Head teacher, and a lovely invitation to see her PRU in action.

‘Children and young people educated in alternative provision (AP) are among the most vulnerable.
Prus are one type of AP. They are Local Authority establishments which provide education for children unable to attend mainstream schools. There were 393 PRUs in operation in February 2013.’ (DfE April 2013).

As we all know every child is entitled to an education, whoever they are. That said there are some…

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