Additional Support Needs Resources
Home Learning Support for families and pupils with additional support needs in Highland
Although schools are closed, head teachers, teachers, support staff and specialist services are still providing support for parents and children/young people. Services will have to operate in a different way, but can still be contacted for advice and consultation if required:
If you have a general enquiry, there is a helpline available from 1pm – 4pm each Tuesday and this can be accessed on 07785477686. This helpline enables quick access to talk with an Educational Psychologist, Preschool Home Visiting Teacher, Speech and Language Therapist, Dietitian, Occupational Therapist, Physiotherapist, Primary Mental Health Worker or School Nurse
The Assistive Technology Service can be contacted by e-mail, either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and there is helpful advice and information here www.atss.wordpress.com
The Highland Deaf Education Service can be contacted via Sheila.email@example.com or by contacting the staff member already working with your child, This service will maintain contact with your child if they are already involved.
Similarly, if the Highland Vision Support Service is already involved with your child, the current member of staff will continue to maintain an interest in your child and can be contacted as required. If you require advice from this service and they are not already involved, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Highland Council Psychological Service has a website with helpful information https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/886/schools_-_additional_support_needs/36/psychological_service
If an Educational Psychologist is already involved with your child, please contact them if you have any queries relating to your child’s learning or emotional development. General contact with the service can be made via email@example.com
The Preschool Home Visiting Teaching Service has a variety of helpful information sheets and advice for parents and professionals on their website, which can be accessed here: https://www.highland.gov.uk/info/886/schools_-_additional_support_needs/43/pre-school_home_teaching_service General contact with the service can be made during term time via firstname.lastname@example.org
The Primary Mental Health Worker Service can be contacted via email@example.com
General resources for supporting emotional health and wellbeing are available on the schools hub and below.
Highland Council’s EAL website, is where you’ll find resources to help support your bilingual learners: http://www.ealhighland.org.uk/
We will continue to offer information, support and advice to families with children with additional support needs in Highland, and the professionals supporting them. Staff are working from home and CHIP+ will be operating a reduced service. We can be contacted by phone on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:30-12:30 and 13:00-16:00 on 07514 120288. At this point we will take some key details and you will be offered a telephone appointment with an Information and Support Officer. You can also contact us via the contact form on our website: https://www.chipplus.org.uk/contact-us or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note current changes to service delivery – We can be contacted by phone on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:30-12:30 and 13:00-16:00 on 07514 120288. Latest update on our website and Facebook page (details below)
CHIP+ The Pine, Drummond Road, Inverness, IV2 4NZ Tel: 01463 720054
Many families across the UK are now adapting their normal routines and staying at home in order to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). For parents and carers with children in the house – or preparing for the imminent closure of schools across the UK - this can present particular challenges.
We are all different and respond to uncertainty in different ways. When things feel out of our control, it is normal for your children (and you) to experience feelings of worry, anxiety or fear.
Paula Nagel, Place2Be's Principal Educational Psychologist, suggests some ways that you can look after your children’s, and your own, mental health and wellbeing at this unsettling time.
Stay on Schedule
Just because you are not at work and your child isn’t at school, it doesn’t have to mean the end of routine. As much as we like to think a break in routine can be good for us, it can sometimes add to our stress and uncertainty. Having some structure to the day can help children feel more secure. Try having a weekday routine in place and keep some familiar routines going, such as morning and evening routines.
Routines don’t need to be rigid and don’t think you have to replicate the exact school day, but perhaps try making a list of the activities you’d like to do each day. If you don’t manage to achieve them all, then simply add them on to the next day’s tasks.
Some children, especially younger children or those with additional learning or language needs, might respond to a picture timetable of the day, and older children might prefer the day to be broken into some 30- 45-minute slots.
Plan in time for lots of different activities, including things your children already enjoy. For example, if they like being creative, they could write a new song or choreograph a dance. Or perhaps they could try switching off by reading a favourite book or challenge themselves with daily puzzles and quizzes.
It can be easy when spending long periods at home to get stuck behind a screen, but this can be damaging to our mental health. Whilst some screen time during the day is fine, and a useful way to stay in social contact, try including it in your plan for the day and being vigilant of overuse!
And remember to make time for play breaks too - playing can be a great stress reliever for us all!
Staying physically active is a key part of looking after our mental wellbeing. Fresh air and being outdoors can do wonders for our mental wellbeing so if you can, try to schedule in some time outside, like a school playtime.
If it’s safe to do so, you could explore a local park with your family, kick a ball around in the garden (if you have one), or simply go for a walk around the block.
If getting outside isn’t an option, you could schedule in some indoor exercise time. You could challenge your children to make up their own exercise routine. Make it fun with your own choice of music, or maybe even just have a dance around the living room!
As well as encouraging children to keep up the hobbies that they already love, this could be a good opportunity to try something new.
Anything lying around the house could become a project: old boxes; toilet paper rolls; or even scrap paper can be transformed with a little imagination. Encourage your children to grab some paints, felt tips or pencils and find a space at home where they can make a little bit of mess.
For older children, activities like cooking can be a good distraction from difficult feelings. Try researching some new recipes or teach them how to cook their favourite meal. Activities with an outcome or ‘final product’ give an activity added purpose and brings a sense of achievement.
Stay in touch
If you and your children are at home, it’s important that you find time to stay in touch with your friends. For younger children, you may be able to contact other parents and arrange a ‘virtual playdate’ over a video calling service like FaceTime or Skype, giving your children a chance to see the friends they would normally be seeing at school.
If possible, try not to rely solely on social media to stay in touch with family and friends. Make time for telephone catch ups too!
Finally, it’s natural to want to keep up to date about what is happening and what we can do to stay safe, but try to limit the amount you and your children are exposed to social media, and make sure you only look at reliable news sources.
Remember to keep it simple and clear when talking to children with information that is relevant to their age and ability. And although your child’s school may not be open as usual, remember that in many cases staff will still be available for you to contact.
A selection of social stories and visuals relating to COVID-19 that may be helpful to use with some learners
A social story around Coronavirus
A Podcast around supporting an anxious child during this challenging time
Activities to support your child
Your child’s school will be available or will keep in touch to help provide some guidance for curricular resources and educational games and activities to help over the coming weeks and months. However, there are some additional materials and links below that you might find helpful to supplement what has already been offered and advised. It is important to remember that your child will work at their own level and at their own rate and they will learn a great deal from playing, being active and doing things that they really enjoy. Spending time with you will be engaging and fun, but they can also learn from trying things themselves.
Some activities for children and young people with severe learning difficulties can be found here: https://ccea.org.uk/sen-inclusion
General art or craft activities
For younger children - CBeebies ten minute craft ideas
and for older children, try BBC Food's recipes for teenagers.
Draw alongside an author/illustrator
All kinds of craft and making activities using Computer Aided Design
The Artful Parent
Good, free art activities
Red Ted Art
Easy arts and crafts for little ones
The Imagination Tree
Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.
Support for children who have literacy, language and communication difficulties
JoJo Gnomes Story Podcasts (ages 3-6)
Call Scotland: Books for all. For pupils with a print disability. There is the opportunity to create a free account and download copies of books for individual pupils
Resources for English language learning
Super Simple website with great action songs and activities https://supersimple.com/.
Oxford Owls website - free and great for home use to support reading https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ there are fiction and non-fiction choices.
Is a free online pack for primary reading.
This website is very useful for downloading visuals if you want to focus on particular things at home
Crick Software have announced that they are making Clicker completely free for any school affected by COVID-19. Click below to access: https://www.cricksoft.com/uk/clicker
Links to Information for Children with ASD
Advice/support for children with sensory needs
The link below provides access to a range of free games and activities which HelpKidzLearn are offering during the Covid-19 outbreak for those with complex needs using switches, eye gaze etc. The homepage has a section to go to School Closures and parents can then access the games etc. from there.
For pupils with Visual Impairments
https://www.pathstoliteracy.org/ excellent resource designed for those with a visual impairment but there are so many great ideas and resources that can be used for all children.
https://www.positiveeye.co.uk/ they will be delivering webinars (free) with ideas and stories to support parents
Cross curricular support materials
You can sign up to a free account- there are downloadable resources there.
Loads of activities for parents. Fact sheets that can be downloaded.
This site is old and no longer updated and yet there's so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.
These materials require a good level of academic and language skills, but would be good for those with special interests. Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).
All sorts of engaging educational videos, but these require a good level of understanding and language skills
National Geographic Kids
Activities and quizzes for children and young people
Learn languages for free. Web or app. A good level of understanding and literacy skills are required to use this app.
The Kids Should See This
Wide range of educational videos covering a variety of topics
You Tube videos on many subjects that require a level of understanding and a good level of attention
Crash Course Kids
As above for a younger audience
Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.
Paw Print Badges
Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.
Listening activities with a younger interest level
A lot of these activities can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location
Blue Peter Badges
If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.
Educational online games
DK Find Out
Activities and quizzes
Big History Project - Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.
Maths and Sciences
Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.
Science awards you can complete from home.
Free science lessons
Learn computer programming skills - fun and free.
Creative computer programming