Updated for 2021!

With Richard Hirstwood and Carol Allen

25 February 2021 9am – 12pm

Why should I attend?

The transition from home to school and back again has been more complex since March 2020 due to the unprecedented disruption education has faced.  As some learners return to face to face learning in the classroom and some remain at home accessing remote learning, Richard Hirstwood and Carol Allen consider the importance of  providing consistent simple sensory opportunities for learners using targeted sensory tools.  This course will look at how to use sensory resources to engage, re-connect and enthuse learners whilst providing educators with a pathway to curriculum.

The course will be a mixture of three live taught sessions, interactive activities and access to a distance learning mini task during the coffee break. 


9.00 am Admissions and virtual tea/coffee to start the session

9.05 am Welcome & introduction to agenda and outline of Zoom routines and protocol. 

To cover:

  • Use of microphone; when to mute/unmute

  • Use of Video especially in breakout rooms
  • What happens when we breakout

  • Using chat

  • How to ask a question

  • Use of hands up/clapping symbols

9.15 am Warm-up session

9.25 am Session 1:  Transition and Curiosity – a new approach?

This session will look at curiosity and engagement as key success drivers for successful teaching and learning.  We will look at the features of experiential v precision learning and how both contribute to a holistic educational offering.  Linked to the Engagement Profile from The Rochford Review, we will consider the issues that transitions can cause and how precision teaching can support any barriers or gaps in learning.

9.45 am Follow-up Task: Practical

10.00 am Session 2: Sensory resources: in the moment planning.

This session will consider the key issues needed when using a child centred approach in sensory activities.  How can we get the timing of sessions right?  Can you plan for flexibility?  What role do the adults play in sensory activities?  What are the most effective locations for sensory work? How can we use video for assessment purposes in sensory work?

10.25 am Follow-up Chat Task When working practically with a learner or group of learners, what methods do you use for formative assessment during the session?  Have you changed direction/focus during a session as a result of such evaluation?

10.40 am COFFEE BREAK and mini online learning course 

11.00 am Discussion of key points from online learning course

11.10 am Session 3: Impact Ideas: Adding the sensory magic to your practice!

Richard and Carol will co-present this lively session where lots of ideas, resources and links are quickly presented to the group. As always, the focus will be practical and easy to replicate ideas so that you can put new things into your own work situation with relative ease.

11.35 am Questions and Answers 

Delegates to put questions in chat so that any unanswered live can be followed up after the session.

11.45 am Reflective Practice

Delegates to list 3 things they will followup/action/share/ as a result of this course – can be put in chat or resource of your choice.

11.55 am Plenary

Reminder of continuing CPD activities/ future collaboration/ reflective practice/ further resources/ contact details.

12 noon Thank you and end of session

Who should attend?

This will be appropriate for classroom practitioners from special schools and colleges, mainstream settings with specialist SEN provision and early years settings, who are new to working with pupils with complex learning needs and/or autism.



Any resources shared/signposted during the session (i.e. during Zoom chat) will be emailed to delegates as a pdf after the session.



If you wish to make a group booking for this course – we can do this quickly and easily for you!  Please email a spreadsheet with the first name/surname/email addresses of the delegates you wish to book for.  This should go to lois@hirstwood.com.  We will then create access to this course for your colleagues.  A Purchase Order Number will secure your booking and we can send you an invoice.

Important information before you book


The ‘Book now!’ button will take you to a new page where you can book and pay for this course.  Please note: if you are booking for someone else, please create the account using their name and email address.  You will still be able to pay by credit card (even it has a different name/school name on it.)

Cost: £45 plus VAT per place

(£54 including VAT)