Sensory learning: a practical guide for support staff
Discover why a sensory learning approach is crucial for learners with severe/complex needs and autism.
with Carol Allen and Richard Hirstwood
28 June 2022: 9am – 12 noon
By linking sensory learning activities to theory, we explicitly explain why this approach is crucial for learners with severe/complex learning needs and autism.
We start with how the sensory system works and its role in learning. Then, we introduce observation techniques to identify a pupil’s sensory preferences and highlight their potential learning barriers. We go on to use this information to create personalised sensory play activities.
How do we accommodate this in the classroom if a pupil’s sensory system is impaired? Our focus will be on the key issues affecting pupils with visual and hearing impairment, or both.
We finish by introducing a toolkit of sensory learning ideas and activities you can use confidently with your learners in your classroom tomorrow.
This session is for teaching assistants and support staff. The resources, ideas and activities shared throughout the sessions will support your team in understanding how to implement these in the classroom with intent and effectiveness.
9 am Admission and virtual tea/coffee to start!
9.05 am Warm Up Session!
9.15 am Session 1: Introduction to sensory learning
We start by introducing what we mean by sensory learning.
You will learn:
How your sensory system works and how it helps you learn
Why it is essential to know a learner’s sensory preferences/dislikes
What we mean by a ‘barrier to learning’ – and what these might be
Observation techniques to use to identify sensory preferences/dislikes and potential barriers to learning
9.50 am Chat Task
10.00 am Session 2: Working with vision
This session will consider the role of vision as the coordinating sense and demonstrate how common visual difficulties affect a learner’s engagement and response.
You will learn:
why visual stimulation is important
how visual impairment impacts learning
toolkit activities to support learners with a visual impairment in the classroom, including: mini visual environments, projected images, colour contrast and ideas to maintain visual attention.
10.35 am COFFEE
10.55 am Session 3: Working with hearing
This session will overview common hearing loss issues and their implications for working with our learners.
You will learn:
why hearing stimulation is important
how hearing impairment impacts learning
toolkit activities to support learners with hearing impairment in the classroom, including sound location, vibration, simple Big Mack ideas and how to find sound effects online
11.30 am Session 4: Sensory Play!
This session will consider the benefits of sensory play, both in terms of engagement and as a foundation stage for further sensory work.
11.50 am Q & A
12 pm Thank you and close of session!
This course will be appropriate for classroom practitioners from special schools and colleges, mainstream settings with specialist SEN provision and early years settings, and working with pupils with severe/complex learning needs and autism, or both.
The following resources will be available in your account for one week after the course date: a digital recording of this event, any resources shared/signposted during the session and a transcript of Zoom chat.
Each place costs £60 plus VAT (£72 in total.)
You can choose to pay by credit card for this booking. You can also request an invoice by confirming your booking by entering a Purchase Order Number on the booking form.
To make a group booking, please select the number of places you wish to book using the drop down menu in the ‘Book event’ section. Select ‘next.’ Complete the requested fields and the name and email addresses of those wishing to attend. If you don’t know the email address for any delegate, you can email this to firstname.lastname@example.org later.
‘It has been one of the best courses I have attended recently! Loved the enthusiasm’
‘It was very informative and has given me lots of further avenues to explore.’
‘The trainers are able to engage the listeners in an amusing way. Questions were answered promptly and links or resources are shared immediately.’
‘Practical ideas and a renewed understanding of sensory differences’
‘Learning about creating the learning environment and expanding use of sensory resources’