Blog

The Watford school tackling children’s mental health issues with a pioneering therapy technique

​(L-R) Gemma Williamson, Nicola Furey and Lizzie Butler. Laurance Haines Primary School.

Amidst a myriad of concerns regarding the state of the UK’s mental health sector - including a serious lack of funding and huge waiting times for access to services* - one Watford primary school is leading the way inearly-intervention by championing an informed therapy technique, Drawing and Talking. 

Laurance Haines Primary & Nursery School in West Watford, first employed the therapy method in 2012, when the school’s Nurture Leader, Nicola Furey, undertook the training. She comments: “The course was recommended to me by the Nurture Group Network and it’s been central to the wellbeing of the children at Laurance Haines ever since. We do use a number of therapy methods at the school but without a shadow of doubt, Drawing and Talking is by far the most effective.”

Great Turnout for ‘Disabled Access Day’ Event at Wrea Green Equitation Centre

Disabled Access Day’ Event at Wrea Green Equitation Centre

Wrea Green Equitation Centre, based in between Blackpool and Preston, recently held a successful event to mark Disabled Access Day.

Accessibility Mark joined forces with Disabled Access Day, which aimed at encouraging more disabled people to visit new places and take up new activities such as horse riding.

The Accessibility Mark accredited centre welcomed 20 potential new clients on the day, who thoroughly enjoyed the activities organised to highlight what can be achieved by disabled riders.

Throughout the afternoon visitors were given a guided tour of the yard, where they were encouraged to pat the ponies, before watching a riding demonstration by the centre’s Accessibility Mark riders.

Speech recognition unlocks new opportunities in education for students with special education needs.

DPI software

Alistair Robbie, from Nuance Communications, explains how

Few students relish the end of their holidays and the inevitable return to school, college or university that follows. The start of a new term is an anxious time for students who have a special education needs (SEN) like dyslexia, mindful that it could often hamper their ability to share their ideas, knowledge and enthusiasm for a subject when reading or writing about it.

The Benefits of Music for Autistic Children

Child playing the drum

A look into how regular exposure to music can be used to help children with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder)

Music is a powerful source of communication because it has the ability to reach anyone and everyone.  Quite like nothing else, exposure to music on a regular basis allows people of any age, gender, with or without learning difficulty, deafness, blindness or other disability, to experience its effects in some way.  Even though music is usually associated with being something you listen to with your ears, there are a series of pitches that can also be felt by touch, such as the vibrations caused when a drum is played which can be of great benefit to children with an auditory disability.

Apprenticeship fulfils lifetime dream for Lewis

A lifetime dream has been fulfilled for a 21-year-old man with Asperger’s syndrome and autism after he secured an apprenticeship with Channel 4.

Since leaving college, Lewis Barlow-Hyde aspired to work within the media industry but he never believed that he would realise his dreams due to the barriers he felt he had to overcome.

Employment Support Specialist Becky Mills, from Surrey Choices, works with people who have autism or a learning, physical or sensory disability to find work placements, training, volunteer opportunities and paid work. Whilst supporting Lewis she came across an apprenticeship opportunity as a runner in the Creative Media Department at Channel 4, who were encouraging people with disabilities to apply.

Managing mental health in school children

Lucy & Fagus

New educational resource monitors social and emotional development in pupils 

“Fagus” is an educational framework used in schools by teachers to monitor, review and support social and emotional development in school-age children. It has been developed by a team of educational psychologists at Beech Lodge School in Berkshire. The school was established in 2013 to support children with emotional and social difficulties and the resource was developed because nothing similar exists in the educational arena.

Edtech venture Quizlet takes first step into Artificial Intelligence

Quilt in Action

World's largest online learning platform launches Quizlet Learn, an individually adapted study tool to beat exam stress

Originally created in 2005 by a high school student from San Francisco, Quizlet is a peer-powered network which harnesses the power of study materials created by and for learners. Earlier this year, Quizlet celebrated its 10-year anniversary this year and reached the milestone of over 150 million study sets.

Autism East Midlands proudly launch Autism Can! with grant support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery

Autism East Midlands

With the grant support of £19,653 from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Autism East Midlands proudly launch Autism Can! Kick starting last month and with the planned capabilities to continue onwards until 2029. The grant will be spent on purchasing a variety of equipment, products, and supplies to enable a varied scheme of projects to run across Autism East Midlands flexible day service centres across the county.

Timber’s suitability for SEN builds

SEN builds

“When school leaders consider whether a timber build is right for their SEN school or project, they might be interested to hear about the factors behind timber’s growing popularity in this niche sector and its ability to enhance the pupils’ experience.”

Gareth Barber – MD of The Stable Company.

Timber SEN builds in practice - Keelman’s Way School, Hebburn

Keelman’s Way School is a special school that provides Early Years, Primary and Secondary Education for children with severe, profound and complex learning difficulties.

Built in an urban area, Keelman’s Way required additional space to provide changing facilities for its disability football team, combined with teaching space that would help to meet outdoor learning objectives.

University of Bath partners with FutureLearn to broaden understanding of how technology can support children with autism

University of Bath

The course on ‘Smart-ASD: Matching autistic people with technology resources’ is open now for enrolment and starts in April to coincide with World Autism Awareness Day

FutureLearn, the leading social learning platform, today announces with its partner, the University of Bath, the upcoming launch of their course: Smart-ASD: Matching autistic people with technology resources.

Misdiagnosis of SEN in schools means children with real problems are overlooked, teachers warn

pupils in the classroom

Well over half of teachers think parental pressure is leading to children without special educational needs being misdiagnosed while those with genuine problems miss out.

A large majority of teachers (57 per cent) think there is a misdiagnosis of SEN in children, according to the survey from GL Assessment, with a similar proportion (54 per cent) blaming parental pressure. Barely a quarter of teachers (26 per cent) say misdiagnosis isn’t an issue.

Over three-fifths of teachers (62 per cent) think those with genuine needs are missing out because resources are being diverted to children that don’t really need help, with less than a fifth (18 per cent) disagreeing.

Event celebrates launch of latest accessible car

car

Brotherwood have revealed that 2017 will see the launch of their most luxurious Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle yet: an exclusive lowered floor conversion of the Mercedes-Benz V-Class, complete with remote-controlled powered ramp, power assisted wheelchair restraint system, and patented self-tensioning restraint system.

The V-Class ‘Klastar’ coersion will be available with the Mercedes-Benz 7G-Tronic automatic transmission, and a choice of 2 powerful diesel engines. Clients will be able to select between the high-specification Sport and AMG-Line models to achieve the perfect Accessible Vehicle for their needs and lifestyle.

Inscape student stands as youth parliamentary candidate for Stockport

Beth Smith

Inscape student Beth Smith is standing as a candidate for youth parliament to give a voice to young people in Stockport.

Inscape is a specialist school catering for children and young people aged from five to 19 with autism spectrum conditions and related social communication difficulties.

Beth, 17, will be campaigning to create more awareness of mental health and the issues that can affect young people, positive body image and LGBT equality.

She is also supporting the youth parliament’s campaign to reduce the vote to 16 and create a curriculum for life, equipping young people with the skills for life outside the classroom.

She has been attending youth council meetings for the past six months, but it will be her first time standing for a seat.

Saddles Riding Centre Supports Disabled Access Day

Saddles Riding Centre

Saddles Riding School, based in Bexley, Kent, is holding a special event in support of Disabled Access Day. 

Accessibility Mark has joined forces with Disabled Access Day to encourage more disabled people to consider taking part in horse riding activities and learn about the benefits of spending time with horses.

Taking place from 10 – 12 March, 2017, Disabled Access Day aims to encourage disabled people to visit somewhere new. It could simply be a trip to a local coffee shop or restaurant or to places further afield like famous British tourist attractions.

10 ways natural playgrounds help benefit children’s development

Children in playground

Playgrounds aren’t just about entertainment – they’re a key part of a child’s development. From confronting danger with climbing structures to social skills garnered by interaction in a play environment, playing outside helps children grow.

Natural playgrounds and adventure playgrounds, built using wood, stone, sand and water, are a growing trend thanks to their sustainability and their suitability in a wide variety of landscapes. Put simply, they blend more seamlessly into different environments – from National Trust parks to school yards. However, the natural elements of play also benefit children’s development. Here’s how:

10. Versatility

RGB selects Children’s Hospice South West as its 2017 chosen charity

Mark Randle

RGB Building Supplies is delighted to announce it has selected Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) as its chosen charity and will be fundraising for the cause throughout 2017. 

Having had a phenomenal response to its Christmas Present Appeal in aid of CHSW at the end of 2016, when in excess of 250 gifts were donated by RGB customers and staff, the builders merchant is looking forward to continuing its support. 

This year RGB staff are taking part in a number of CHSW fundraising activities and will also be holding regular events to boost the amount raised. 

To kick-start the campaign RGB’s Health & Safety Manager Mark Randle is taking part in the Concept 2 201