November 2023 archive

Christmas by Signalong

Signalong-The Communication Charity- provides resources, training and free advice, and readily works with others in the field to promote communication skills for children and adults with speech, language and communication needs and English as an additional language. A central tenet of Signalong is “one concept per sign, one sign per concept” which is different to other British Sign Language based systems, which require an understanding of the context in order to distinguish meaning. 

Download your free Advent Calendar craft activity here!

advent 2021.pdf (

Educating your child at home

Give your child the chance to read each day (10 minutes is fine)
Read stories to your child (three short stories before bedtime goes down a treat)
Cook with your child (preparing a meal, operating the microwave or weighing and measuring are great opportunities for learning mathematics)
Buy bread and milk (or other basics) on the way home from school. Doing this in person at the shop using loose change is great ‘real life’ mathematics
Have fun. Playing games, taking turns, watching TV together and dressing up are great ways to support your child
Write shopping lists, keep diaries, write letters and invitations to inspire you child to write.

There are lots of ideas on this 50 Ways to Learn poster that you could also use at home.

Anson Primary school has a great range of resources. Check their website:

Maths at home – Support for busy parents (

SENCO Conference November 2023

Thursday November 23rd at the PDC Professional Development Centre (PDC): 229 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6AB

9:00-15:30 pm

Keynote Speaker: Dale Pickles

Dale, host of the SENDcast, works with schools all over the UK to help deliver best practice, reduce teacher workload and help schools move forward with assessment.

Topics on the agenda include Assessment and The Graduated Approach with Lindsey Kelly, The Tower Hamlets Dyslexia Pathway to assessment and support with the Language, Literacy and Communication Team and Behaviour and Attendance with BASS.

Conference Booking
To book your place:

For any further questions please contact:

UK Disability History Month 16 November – 16 December

This Autumn 2023 UKDHM focuses on the Experience of Disablement amongst children and young people in the past, now and what is needed for the future.

A filmed talk and Powerpoint by Richard Reiser, learning disability advocate, developed for a Hackney special school staff.

Please click this link for school resources: Schools and Colleges – UK Disability History Month (

Becoming Word Aware at Osmani Primary School

Linda Hall and Tracey Grant from the Language, Literacy and Communication Team led training on Word Aware, a structured whole school approach to promote the vocabulary development of all children. Focused on whole class learning, the resource is of particular value for those who start at a disadvantage – including children with Developmental Language Disorder, Special Educational Needs and those who speak English as an additional language, but it will extend the word learning of all students.

Practical, inspiring and fun ideas were explored that can be easily applied by busy classroom practitioners to develop both spoken and written vocabulary.

Remi Atoyebi (Headteacher), Helen Vail and Tracey Grant (Language, Literacy and Communication Team Learning Advisory Service Advisory teacher for inclusion).

Contact for further information if you are interested in booking this training for your school.

Developmental Language Disorder -DLD

Key facts

Developmental: starts in childhood, but continues
Language: sentences, vocabulary, grammar. Can be understanding and / or talking
Disorder: not something that a child will just grow out of
It is often called categorised as a ‘Hidden disability’.

Listen to lovely poem read by a child with DLD. (Dorset NHS Trust)

For more information:NAPLIC | Developmental Language Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – Afasic

Educating your child at home

Climate change and Environmental Science

Enjoy a light-hearted illustrated children’s book about climate change and caring for our animals that is perfect for inspiring the next Greta Thunberg or David Attenborough.

Listen to the author read it aloud-

Climate Change resources

Climate change resources for schools | WWF

Climate Change for Kids – Science Experiments for Kids (

17 Weather Science Projects and Lessons | Science Buddies Blog

Educating your child at home

Homeschooling your child may be challenging if your child has Special Educational Needs (SEN). But there’s online support and a range of educational and fun activities to help you.There are plenty of online resources, from teaching packs and activities to apps and online games.

Know the law

If your child has SEN and attends a special school, you’ll need to get the council’s permission to educate them at home. You do not need the council’s permission if your child attends a mainstream school, even if they have an education, health and care (EHC) plan

Educating your child at home – GOV.UK (

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)  – Education Otherwise

Online resources

Homeschooling your child | Disability charity Scope UK

Getting Started – Home Education Advisory Service (

Not SATisfactory-How the KS2 reading test fails working-class children

‘The 2023 analysis of Key Stage 2 SATs scores showed a correlation between levels of affluence and success on the tests. Schools in poorer areas did less well – an ongoing trend.This year, teachers and parents voiced concerns regarding the perceived unfairness and difficulty of the KS2 Reading test. These concerns centre on the length of the texts used, but some pointed out that the content reflected middle class experiences and language. 

If the desire is to continue with an end-of-key stage reading test then greater thought needs to be given to the content of the texts used. One option would be to provide Year 6 teachers with a theme at the start of the academic year which will eventually be used in the SAT. This would create a more universal knowledge base, and also mitigate against teaching to the test to some extent. 

Alternatively, topics should be chosen which a greater number of children are likely to have knowledge about. Over a million children in the last year have been supported by food banks. Perhaps texts about visiting food banks might reveal more about children’s actual reading ability than texts about visiting caves in Derbyshire.’

Primary Matters Autumn 2021 (,Dr Wayne Tennent- Senior Lecturer at Brunel University, London, England.

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