What people say about us!

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Could you pass on our thanks to all involved in today’s training – feedback has been exceptionally positive and there has been a real buzz around school!

Sara Cullingford-Agnew, Assistant Head

Kingsley Special Academy


The content was perfect: there was enough depth to challenge our more experienced and knowledgeable staff yet it was accessible enough to provide the essential new core information that we wanted for our newer additions to the team.

Following this up with a practical resource-making online course meant that we now have lots of new sensory strategies being implemented in our classrooms.

Thank you again for listening to our needs and being able to provide us with such high quality training. I feel it has been excellent value for money.

We were also impressed with how easily we were able to set this up and how well all the technology worked on the day (although it was reassuring to know that you were on the end of the phone should I have needed you!).

Rachel Hayden, Assistant Head

Medina House School


Updating Today…

St. Paul’s is a special school catering for 97 wonderful children with a moderate, severe or profound intellectual disability.  Many of the children aged between 4 and 18 years old also have additional needs such as medical or behavioural.  St. Paul’s has 15 class teachers and 44 Special Needs Assistants, each of whom are most anxious to upskill.  However, it can be quite difficult to source relevant Professional Development training for the staff for our cohort of pupils.

I was delighted to come across www.hirstwood.com as the variety of training they offered really suited the needs of the staff for our pupils..  There was something in there that would suit everyone of our 97 pupils. I contacted Lois who was more than helpful advising and amending as needed.  The cost was very reasonable given that all staff have 12 months to access the online training.  

Comments made to me about the courses are as follows:

“Finally! something useful for our children”

“It is great to do something you know you can do in class tomorrow”

“Wow, this really works for my class!”

I must also commend the after sales service as again, Lois was always quick to respond if there was any issue at all.  It was money very well spent and I recommend it without hesitation.

Anne Hartnett


St. Paul’s School



I think having a bundle of courses to offer staff as their twilights gives them the freedom to complete their learning in their own time. The training modules are so appropriate for our setting and are courses that staff would ask to go on, but this gives the opportunity to access learning which is relevant and meaningful . This ultimately benefits our pupils. 

It’s a very cost-effective way of delivering training to teachers new to complex needs as gives an insight into autism and sensory needs. 

I have done a short course on sensory stories today. It was good, a good overview, with ideas on how to make your own. I’m going to try to make one for the next topic!

 Excellent practical ideas which don’t cost much to do!

Cathie McLeod – AHT

Harford Manor School

Thursday 30th May – Update

Senses & learning

Very informative, set out in suitable, constructive way to absorb information. The course covers senses, needs and informative, important practices to put in place. – L Marshall

Easy to understand and learn. Gave a great understanding on a very basic level.  M Ahmad

Useful, practical and good explanation for sensory conditions that I work with in school.  Solution for working in my class with pupils of different sensory profiles and needs. J Houchin

Great course, goes very indepth but simple at the same time B Nowland

Very fascinating and helpful C Bennett

Really enjoyed this course, very informative on both a practical and professional level. J Vasconcellos

Presented well, hence easy to follow, understand and apply in the classroom G Strebel

excellent, easy to read with great audio L Quinn

Introduction to sensory approaches for learners with autism

This course was excellent and it’s content so appropriate for my role G Davey

I really enjoyed going through this part of the course. So much that can be put in to practice to help our learners. M Pexton

Lots of useful ideas especially sensory profiles V King

Information presented was relevant and important and easy to understand. W

Engagement – introduction

Great introduction, would be especially good for TA’s as an introduction to the model. R Parker

A clear descriptive course of what the Engagement Model is and how best to implement it to work alongside individual EHCP plans.  To remember to focus on the process instead of the outcomes and to use the findings to make learning more effective for the pupil.  It also made me reflect on pupils and think about my own teaching activities and whether or not it engages them.  I really liked the opting-in learning environment and will try to do this more consistently. A Broughton

Clear, interesting, and concise. K Donaghy

Thoroughly enjoyed the quick breakdown of the Rochford Review and the Engagement Model, gave a brief summary of how to use it giving me a better understanding of what is required of me in the classroom E Ford

Comprehensive information and clearly written. J Scarse


Very informative course M Brett

clearly presented, easy to understand M Henry


Outstanding M Porter

was really good to hear of different ways of how to communicate and how hearing impairments can effect learning T Duncan

Very worthwhile and informative course B Jones


Very interesting. Information given I wouldn’t personally have really thought of. Will be considering some factors when supporting children in class. A Lyman

Very thorough look at the subject, and very informative C Bennett

Excellent delivery & easy to understand A Walker


I found this course helpful and reaffirmed my knowledge of the subject. It was set out in a way that was easy to learn and then like the little test, as this demonstrates what you have learned. Thank you. I have recommended this site to colleagues. K Astin

Informative and insightful overview of the impact external stimuli has on a person with heightened or lessened sensory perception. E Merriman

Interesting insight into this subject. Clear concise information and well set out E West

Informative and thought provoking – helped me consider how to make activities more engaging. K Reese

Definitely an introduction, but interesting enough to inspire further study S Morris

Best introduction I have seen regarding how our senses impact us and how this is particularly relevant to our AEN students. Brief – everyone has time to complete this! – but extremely informative and not the unusual more “clinical” approach, videos that actually demonstrate the role our senses play. M Sachdeva

I enjoyed the combination of printed , visual and spoken information presented in this course – it was very multi-sensory! It was interesting and pitched just right, neither too simple not too complicated.  Thank you 😊 E Farrell


great course  full of usefull info  and tips  cant wait to get stuck in at work  has really helped me understand the what why and how of sesnory storys C M Hardie

This course is really useful! A lot of great ideas how to engage SEN children with the stories. W Luka

Another inspiring course. Useable content. Enjoyable. P Blacklock

As a  school manager I welcomed the clear overview of why we use sensory stories.  I am  sure that our   new staff in particular will find this very useful. A Green

I really enjoyed this course as it reflects the work i do at school . I now have a long list of ideas and books i want to buy. L Morrison

It is an excellent course. I feel that it has given me great guidance to help differentiate a Sensory Story and make it suitable for learners with different levels of understanding. K Donaghy

Can’t wait to experiment with various ideas in order that I might be able to put them into practice Y McMurray

Excellent ideas/video examples, particularly those relating to the integration of technology to sensory stories. D Rodman


great overview of how to design install and maintain a sensory room F Cox

i found the text was very detailed, supporting with video was especially good to include when demonstrating apparatus because i am not always clear on ‘tech speak’ , but things clearly demonstrated.  M Henry

Really good and some great ideas N Piercy


it was great course! It helps define challenging behaviour and identify how the behaviour occured and how to respond after the behaviour. i could reflect it from my class setting. Y Jin Kim

I thought it was a very interesting and informative course L Harker

A Very interesting, and an in depth look at difficult behaviour. Great course.C Bennett

Really enjoyed this course, great variety in presentation of information and engaging throughout. Lots of useful ideas, articles and worksheets.  Thank you P Robinson

Very impressed H Courtney


Absolutely amazing to know that simple things that we have at home could be turned into a sensory tool using some technical support that would create and bring environment that otherwise could be unreachable for a learer into the room, in our home. This course was very useful to create some environements like coral reefs, sensory parachute, sound to light tool, creating lovely ligting. Will be looking forward to create a firework display in the room for our learner using the tool mentioned in the course. Thank you all for such a wonderful course! B Manandhar

Great resources at affordable prices R McDade

It was an amazing course. Love the ideas and resources shared for different types of learners. L Sim

It is exactly what I needed to learn. I can use these in work and at home, with my children. Am so inspired to use these. P Blacklock

I have to say i am so impressed with the amount of content on this course, it has given me so many ideas, I can’t wait to get started to investigate and make some of these items. S WARREN

i think was presented clearly and concisely, good use of video and modelling to support suggestions. M Henry


Very engaging easy to follow, clear instruction and good enthusiasm!! T Shepherd

I enjoyed this course as it has given me some great ideas to implement with my students. I especially like the home made spinner, what a fabulous resource. I can’t wait to make it. K ASTIN

Was set out in an understanding way to the reader, easy to follow, lots of information and ideas P East

Very useful course, clearly presented and easy to navigate. Would highly recommend this course R Khalid

A great ‘pulling together’ of cost saving ideas, with guidance on how to make sensory support and assessment child focused.  J Havering

Extremely informative, simply and thoroughly explained even if you are new to this field and way of working with hard to reach learners. J Redmond

Updating Today…

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