“Children with special educational needs and disabilities should have the same opportunities as their peers.”
Sarah Teather, Next steps on special educational needs and disabilities, www.education.gov.uk/news/news/sen-next-steps
Thinking Skills for SEN Learners is a practical resource designed to help pupils with SEN overcome barriers to achievement and support them in developing their personal, learning and thinking skills. By encouraging develo
pment in these areas your pupils will acquire the skills they need to think critically about their learning and assess their own learning progress.
Thinking Skills for SEN Learners contains three sections that will:
help you develop your pupils’ thinking skills so that they achieve a higher level of attainment
provide you with all of the material that you need to support your pupils
give you practical activities to develop pupils’ communication skills
inform continuing professional development within your staff.
Summary of contents
Part A provides an introduction to thinking skills in a SEN environment, including assessment, double exceptionality and alternative methods of recording.
Part B provides various strategies for developing thinking skills in SEN pupils, organised into the categories of learning difficulties outlined in the SEN Code of Practice: communication and interaction; cognition and learning; behavioural, emotional and social development; and sensory and/or physical needs. It also includes case studies of pupils with complex learning needs.
In Part C you will find a wealth of extra resources including:
glossary of learning difficulties and disabilities
resources, websites, books and publishers
bibliography and index.
Thinking Skills for SEN Learners will enable you to explore strategies to develop SEN pupils’ thinking skills. Strategies such as:
Young children have a natural curiosity and most ask questions all the time. As they grow older they often seem less interested in questioning.
This resource provides activities that encourage pupils to develop a ‘community of enquiry’ where they can both ask and answer open-ended questions together, in order to develop their thinking, open their minds and explore new ideas.
Making connections between previous knowledge, understanding and experiences and new areas of learning is an important part of preparing pupils for a task. In this way, pupils can explore patterns and relationships within a topic/subject.
This resource provides activities that develop this skill, which can then be applied in all areas of the curriculum.
We need to make choices in many of our everyday activities using evidence to inform our reasoning. When using evidence, pupils need to be able to draw inferences and make deductions to make choices.
This resource includes strategies to help pupils analyse and evaluate information before making decisions.
Writing frames help pupils to structure their responses and can act as a framework for developing their ideas. It is important that the purpose of the writing frame is explained clearly before beginning a task.
This resource contains writing frame resource sheets to help pupils who may either need a scribe or use labelled pictures/symbols and diagrams to convey information.
Create and make
Activities that involve creating and making help SEN pupils to apply their imagination and, at the same time, develop their manual dexterity. This is a great opportunity to encourage them to plan their projects, set their own objectives, evaluate their work, recognise/identify problems and find alternative ways of designing and making, all in a relevant, practical and highly engaging context.