Shine news

Education Update November 2018

2nd November 2018



Education Update - November 2018

As the clocks go back and the dark evenings return, it’s time for Shine’s November Update, providing information, advice and support about Education for parents and professionals.

In this Education Update is:

  • Advice for stressful times 
  • Support for teachers
  • Choosing a new school
  • SEN magazine
  • Communication needs
  • Decision making
  • Early years and special needs


Stressful Season?

The autumn term is always very busy, with pupils settling into new classes or new schools. Some children with hydrocephalus or spina bifida find it very difficult to process the challenges of having new teachers, new classes, new rules and new things to learn.

Autumn half term is a time when children and young people sometimes express their anxieties about school, leaving some parents looking for support.

Take a look at Shine’s new website for advice during stressful times for families.

  • Advice on supporting your child’s development at home during the primary school years

  • Transition advice can be found by following this link on Shine’s website-

  • Advice on supporting your child’s development at home during secondary school is available by clicking this link -

  • Behaviour advice for hydrocephalus and spina bifida can be found via these two links –

There’s also the Challenging Behaviour Foundation for resources and ideas -


Support for Teaching Professionals to help Pupils with Hydrocephalus

Teachers often seek advice and support from Shine when there are new children in their classes with hidden disabilities, such as hydrocephalus. Children with this condition who receive Graduated SEN Support may require extra assistance when settling in a new routine or environment.


Choosing a new school for September 2019?

In the autumn, parents are often attending open evenings to choose a new school for their child the following year. Making choices like this can be difficult so Shine has advice to help parents make the right choice for their child’s new school.

  • Choosing a Primary School – Deadline to apply is 15th January 

  • Choosing a Secondary School – Deadline to apply is 31st October


SEN Magazine for parents and professionals

The latest SEN Magazine has published an article from Shine charity about Hydrocephalus and Early Learning -

You can catch up on previous Shine articles in SEN Magazine by clicking on these links -


Language and Communication Needs

Some children with hydrocephalus or spina bifida have difficulties with literal understanding of what people say to them, have problems with following instructions or may struggle in social conversation.  

Here are some links giving advice and providing resources on overcoming the communication challenges children can sometimes face.

  • Common challenges for children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs or SLCN

I CAN Communicate charity has advice for families with children who face challenges with Paying Attention, Vocabulary, Processing, Grammar, Asking for Help, Social Situations and Perseverance. Click on the link to find out more and also go to I CAN website for training modules in speech and language. 

  • Speech and Language Therapy Resources for parents and professionals

NHS Worcestershire has help sheets for Conversation Starters, Rules for Listening and Attention Levels.

Follow this link to download a wide range of resources for use at school and at home. There’s classroom support materials, as well as The Story of My Day to help children talk about school.

  • Personal Communication Passports

You can make personal communication passports for children and young people, using templates on this website made by the University of Edinburgh.

  • Shine’s Book of the Month continues!

Sharing books and reading together are great ways to develop your child’s language skills so Shine is continuing to recommend books with similar themes to encourage communication development at home.

This November, cosy up with the recommended books, which can be borrowed from most children’s libraries. Shine South families may recognise one book this month, following a trip to Hobbledown Farm.

Look on Shine’s website and Facebook page for more information about Shine’s Book of the Month for November.


Decision Making and Growing up with Additional Needs

  • Advocacy information from IASS and CDC

Children and young people with disabilities like spina bifida and hydrocephalus are encouraged to learn how to advocate for themselves as they grow older. The Council for Disabled Children and the Information Advice and Support Services have put together a document to introduce self-advocacy.

  • Advocacy Awareness Week

The National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi) introduced their Advocacy Awareness week from 22nd to 26th October using #HearmyVoice to encourage self-advocacy, community advocacy and peer advocacy. The results of their campaign can be found on the link below -

  •   Disability Matters e-learning and training

This NHS England website has on-line training opportunities on Decision making and Growing up - 

  • Doing Careers Differently

Disability Rights UK has careers advice for families, young people and adults. Doing Careers Differently is a publication over 70 pages long with careers advice for young people with disabilities.


Firework Safety and Sensory Processing

Children with spina bifida or hydrocephalus can often find this time of year and bonfire night stressful, due to sensory processing difficulties.

Quiet fireworks are available to buy in many stores and there are several ‘silent’ firework displays in towns and cities during this season. Here is some firework safety advice from ROSPA


Dates for your Diary

  • PDNet Regional Meetings 

PD Net has several meetings for practitioners around England throughout November and during 2019, in towns and cities such as Warwick, York, Solihull, Aylesbury and Oldham. See the website and join the forum for more details.


  • SEND Conference 14th November at Salford University

There will be speakers from the National Association for Special Educational Needs (Nasen) and national policy makers, as well as workshops on Early Intervention at this conference.

  • Disability Rights UK – free training on Inclusive Practice

Disability Rights UK has free training for school careers advisers in Taunton on 15th November and Birmingham on 15th January 2019.  Follow the link for more details about dates and venues -

  • National Education Show on Friday 16th November at Cardiff City Hall

Wales’ largest education show in 2018 aims to provide visitors with knowledge, resources and expert guidance to inspire, empower and develop great learners. Click on the link to register and book a free place.

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

Details about the event are available by following the link -


Early Years and Special Needs 

  • Team Around the Child Seminar in Manchester on Wednesday 12th December

This TAC Interconnections seminar is about bringing up babies with very complex needs is and is free for parents and accompanying practitioners.

  • SEND and Emerging Needs in Early Years NASEN Webinar on 13th December 

This webinar is for practitioners to develop confidence in identifying emerging needs in early years costing £10 for Bronze members of Nasen.



Thanks again to Sharon, Jo, Christine, Angela, Helen and to everyone else for their many ideas and contributions to the latest Update. Great ideas and suggestions keep on being shared by Shine’s experienced staff so the Update next month will soon be full.

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

All contributions are gratefully received and if not shared next month then they’re sure to be added to new education materials currently in production.

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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