July Education Report

30th July 2018


Welcome to Shines’ monthly Education blog, with information and advice about Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.



  • NASEN Mini Guides for Early Years Practitioners

These mini-guides are useful for sharing with schools. Follow the link to view the resources available for childminders, EY settings and reception classes. You will need to register for Bronze membership, which is free, before downloading the materials.

  • Twinkl Resources for Transition from Early Years Settings to Primary School

Twinkl resources are used and recommended by many EY settings, special schools and mainstream schools with integrated resource units. There is a membership cost but the on-line support forums for SEND teachers to share ideas is free.

  • Advice on Early Years Child Development.

Zero to Three, an American website, gives information about EY brain development, outlining that experiential learning and play are important for learning.

  • Improving Access in the  Early Years Checklist

This checklist from quite a while ago was used by Sure Start and has a good list of prompt questions for EY settings, as part of implementing the DDA in 1995, which is still relevant today. Small Steps and Scope put the checklist together to encourage education settings to assess how inclusive they are.

  • Reading and Brain Development

There is an upsurge of interest in the benefits of reading with your child for brain development, improving literacy and enhancing your child’s vocabulary. Organisations and charities like Book Start and the Literacy Trust are promoting shared reading. Here are links to some websites with articles and research findings on the benefits of early reading.

    • Raising Readers

This website promotes a love of reading as well as explaining the benefits to a baby’s development.

    • What’s going on when you read a child a story?

This research reveals the ‘Goldilocks’ effect of three types of story-telling experiences: animations are ‘too hot’, audio-books are ‘too cold’ but shared reading with a real book is ‘just right’ for a child’s learning development. 



  • Memory games for older pupils

This is another American website and has some games about the human memory and the effort required to store an exact copy of what you want to remember. Good for explaining the reality of the possible effects of hydrocephalus.



  • IPSEA advice about non-statutory ‘EHC Plans’

A growing minority of children and young people with SEND require provision to be secured by an EHC Plan in England. Some local authorities are offering SEN Support plans, such as an ‘SEN Support Agreement’, a ‘Provision Map’ or a more ambiguously named ‘My Plan’, which some families believe are the equivalent of an EHCP.

IPSEA has provided information about this trend, which is similar to a pre-draft plan, and the SEND Code of Practice.

Follow the link for more information -

  • Helpful Technology for children and young people with hidden disabilities

There are many websites, which have recommended apps and technology for children and young people with additional needs. It is a good idea to research the usefulness of expensive assistive technology before purchasing and many organisations give you that opportunity. Here are links to a few that do.

  • org Tech Finder for Disabilities

This website is for children with learning and attention issues and grades the technology for its usefulness.{93B9135E-55BE-496C-BC3E-17EC69A0D01D}&gid={6054EFC9-9B86-46F2-B616-E953B25DA81D}

  • Control Alt Achieve- transforming education with technology

This website has Text to Speech and Speech to Text advice using Google Chrome.

  • Disability Rights fact sheets for students with disabilities

Here’s a reminder about students’ rights for families, who are preparing to wave their children off to university at the end of the summer break.



  • Summer Reading

Summer is a time when many of us enjoy reading while relaxing on holiday so, as the school holidays approach, Shine will have a book a month to recommend to families of children under 5 for the summer. There will also be some activity sheets to share, giving families ideas for enjoying and exploring the recommended story in different ways. SDWs are welcome to share these materials with families at under 5s groups and during clinics too.

As the school holidays start, look in your in-box, on Shine’s website and social media for the first recommended book to enjoy. Please let Shine know if you like this idea and, if so, which books you recommend for children with additional needs.

  • SEBDA Annual Conference 5th – 6th July at Coldra Court Hotel, Newport NP18 2LX

SEBDA focuses on social and emotional difficulties that children and young people face.

Autumn already?

  • Shine Hydrocephalus and Learning Seminars at Irwin Mitchell offices on Monday 15th October in Manchester and Wednesday 17th October in Sheffield from 4.30pm to 6.30pm

Shine is piloting 2 seminars for teaching professionals and SEN teams, with a view to providing further events next year in other parts of the country, if there is sufficient interest from schools and local authority teams. Hydrocephalus nurses from children’s hospitals in Manchester and Sheffield, Shine staff and parents will be there, making presentations and answering questions.

Packs of materials and links to services are being compiled for sharing with schools at the events.

If you would like more information and a poster to share then please contact or phone 0633 555988

  • Schools and Academies Show on Wednesday 21st November 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham

Details about the event are available by following the link -

  • Hope the weather keeps fine for all the Sunshine Walk and Wheel events planned over the summer around the country. Wonder how many miles will be walked by everyone?

Thanks to Kirsty and the Northern Ireland team for their lovely welcome and their help in June and thanks also to Jo, Sharon, Angela, Christine and to everyone else for their many ideas and contributions to the Update for July.

If you’d like to share information or advice about Education for Shine staff, parents and professionals in the next Education Update then contact Jan via

All contributions gratefully received.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this Update is accurate at the time of publishing. The information provided does not constitute legal or professional advice and opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher.




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