Shine news

Education Update May 2019

30th April 2019


At this time of year there are many children and young people revising for assessments and examinations. Several Shine families have requested information about Special Consideration and Access Arrangements for pupils with additional needs so that they can perform at their best during tests.

Parents and carers can follow the link for the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) regulations booklet.

Drive for Literacy has an Access Arrangements Guide for parents to download and there is also some advice about computer readers for the classroom and examination reading pens for tests.

Shine’s website has information for teachers about different assessment strategies.


Teaching, assessing and assisting with revision for young people and young adults in secondary school, college or university

Hydrocephalus can affect a child’s or young person’s learning in a variety of ways:

  • Memory
  • Attention
  • Concentration
  • Flexibility of thinking
  • Processing information
  • Planning, organising and sequencing information
  • Motivation
  • Awareness of the passing of time and managing time

These effects can be addressed and catered for in order for a student to study effectively by providing extra time, quiet areas free of distractions and the structured avoidance of multi-tasking. Talking through a task with a support worker, recording, providing templates or colour-coding notes help with organisation.

When processing information clear demonstrations of tasks one at a time are needed. Note-taking and listening at the same time can be hard so recording devices allowing a student to review information are vital. Speech to text software, lecture-capture technology, screen readers, reader pens and photocopying facilities can be important tools for young people with hydrocephalus.

Study arrangements like reading lists in advance, support with planning assignments, fieldwork support, work experience guidance, extra time in examinations and during assessments provide a good start for learners with hydrocephalus.

Personal support such as help making notes with a scribe, assistance in the library with specially trained staff and a mentor for regular talks about progress all help good study habits to be embedded.

A strength of a student with hydrocephalus is their ability to remember by rote learning and associative processing, which is a good skill to have in many circumstances. Using routines, apps, repeated modelling, visual cues and timetables help to build up this skill for studying.

The effects of hydrocephalus on cognition are listed in greater detail, along in the Shine document link


Memory and Sequencing activities for young children

Shine’s Education advisers can provide ideas for games to help young children with attention, memory and sequencing, such as:

  • sorting different coloured pom-pom balls into different boxes
  • threading large beads on string in different patterns and sequences
  • creating models with Duplo and Lego following an existing model
  • spot the difference books
  • playing card games like ‘Concentration’ and other pair matching games
  • a memory bag containing things used in a morning routine for helping a child remember what to do when they get up (wash cloth, tooth brush, spoon for breakfast etc) and it goes with the song “this is the way I wash my face, wash my face, wash my face, on a cold and frosty morning”

See Imagination Tree for more Early Years ideas:


Understanding Complex Medical Conditions

There are animations explaining spina bifida and hydrocephalus and Shine charity has recently shared the following films:

Hydrocephalus / Spina bifida

Dates for your Diary
  • TES SEN North at Manchester Central on 10th-11th May This show has a special needs focus and is free.
  • Autism Conference at The Studio, Riverside West, Leeds, Wednesday 15th May 9.30-4pm

This conference is run by the Witherslack group and has a range of speakers, who are experts in autism and related neurological conditions. The cost is £10 to £12 per person.

  • Shine’s Hydrocephalus and Learning seminars continue

These twilight sessions were piloted in October 2018 and are now being extended around England. These FREE seminars from 4pm to 7pm are for teachers, SEN teams and parents and carers in partnership.

There will be information and advice about:

  • causes, treatments and effects of hydrocephalus
  • sensory, working memory, executive functioning and behaviour differences
  • guidance on classroom strategies
  • duties of schools when teaching children with hydrocephalus.

Speakers include hydrocephalus nurses from local children’s hospitals, Shine education staff and Irwin Mitchell education advisers.


  • 8th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Crawley/Gatwick
  • 15th July at Irwin Mitchell offices in Birmingham Early booking is advised by contacting or 01733 555988
  • The Children’s Trust National Paediatric Brain Injury Conference

On Friday 6th September at The Royal Society of Medicine, London. To register your interest email



Thanks to Jo, Liz, Christine, Angela, Kirsty, Laura and to everyone else for their contributions to the latest Education Update.

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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