Posts Tagged ‘PowerPoint’

5min PPT: #AccessiblePresentations

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2022 starts on October the 3rd.

At our last SENCo Conference, Anita Devi talked about how to provide short regular training to improve SEND throughout school. The Language. Literacy and Communication Team will be sharing regular 5 minute training presentations for you to use. The PowerPoints have notes to help with delivery. We are suggesting you use these and then review the following week to see how it has been put into practice.

All new resources will be posted on this blog. Sign up for updates by entering your address under the “Subscribe by Email” box on the right of this page.

Our first “5 Minutes for Inclusion” resource can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Make sure that you’ve checked out the other posts in our 5-minutes-for-inclusion series.

Stand and deliver





Creating accessible presentations to use in the classroom is only part of the process of teaching inclusively. Once you have created a presentation there are also things to think about when using it.

For a start it is better to stand at the board than to sit at the teacher’s desk and let the presentation take the limelight. Not only can you then use your finger to provide a focus, instead of the cursor which can be hard to follow, but also the teacher remains the centre of attention instead of just becoming a voiceover.

Sometimes the practical reason to remain seated is so you can ‘click’ for the next slide. There are ways around this. On an interactive whiteboard you can usually tap on the board, move your finger either right (as you look at the board) to move on, or left to move back, then tap again. Or you could invest in a remote ‘clicker,’ or a wireless keyboard and mouse. For a low-tech option appoint a pupil to sit at your desk and click at your bidding – one way to make sure they follow what you are saying.

When using the presentation:-

  • Take it slowly, giving the pupils time to absorb the information. It can be very difficult to read and listen at the same time  – for all of us, but especially if you have difficulties processing speech or text, or both.
  • When you open a slide pause and give time for reading before you speak. And, unless it is entirely necessary for the presentation, put up all the bullet points at once, so your audience can understand the direction of the lesson.
  • Read every slide. A practice that has helped get PowerPoint a bad name, but necessary for learners who may be struggling with the text, perhaps because of a learning difficulty, but also if they are new to English.
  • When you want the class to discuss a key point blank the screen, by pressing and then either ‘B’ for  a black screen, or ‘W’ for a white one. 

When using presentation software on the interactive whiteboard, or large screen display, in the classroom, whether that is PowerPoint, Smart Notebook, Promethean ActivInspire, or any of the many options available, bear in mind what the experience is for those on the receiving end – the children and young people in the room. These are powerful tools for teaching, and for learning, too, but we may need to give some thought about how we use them in order to get the best from them.

Inclusive teaching with PowerPoint

Much maligned  – who hasn’t suffered ‘death by PowerPoint? – but a classroom perennial, PowerPoint can be a really useful tool, but, like with all tools, it works better in the hands of a trained user. It can be a really useful tool for inclusion.

Teachers use it extensively: at  registration, for instruction, to structure lessons and help keep the pace, to introduce  each new topic, as a prelude for a visit, to give out notices, and to create personalised resources. You might also use them as a framework for activities, scrolling through automatically on the interactive whiteboard to give the class an immediate reminder, a prompt, of what they have been asked to do.

So the  first thing to be sure of is that what you are creating is accessible. Here there are three main considerations: can all pupils see it; can they understand it; is it ‘Goldilocks Compliant’ – content that is not too little, nor too much, but just right.

There are a number of things you can do to help meet those criteria;

For instance;

  • Make it plain. Don’t bother with ‘designer’ colour schemes and lots of bells and whistles.
  • Use a high contrast design, maybe with a ‘cold’ colour for a background, and a ‘warm’ colour for the font. Yellow text on a dark blue slide, for instance.
  • Keep the background plain, without effects or logos or other clutter.
  • Use a Sans Serif font, such as Arial or Comic Sans, that is at least 30 point so it can be read from the back of the class.
  • Put the text towards the top of the slide so it can be read over other pupils’ heads.
  • Use no more than six bullet points on a slide, with no more than six words in each.
  • Write in note form, you don’t need to use full sentences to get content across.
  • Use images and graphics to connect the learning, particularly symbols.
  • Be wary of using gifs and animations that might distract attention. And don’t use transitions or animated text either.
  • The presentation provides the framework to scaffold the learning on, you, the teacher, – along with the other resources you use – provide the substance.

Put simply – keep it simple. Remember, the focus of teaching and learning in the room should be the teacher, not what’s on the board, however, it may be your principle means of instruction, so you need to get the most out of it.