News

Inscape students hosting #BIGBLUEBAKE in celebration of world autism awareness week

Pupils baking

InCafe is hosting a Big Blue Bake to mark this year’s World Autism Awareness Week.

Pupils and staff are inviting the public to join them for afternoon tea with a difference offering guests a selection of blue cupcakes, sponges and cake pops.

The café situated inside Inscape House School, a specialist school for young people with autism spectrum condition, provides pupils with the opportunity to gain essential employability skills.

Students who work at InCafe not only learn culinary skills, but also time keeping, numeracy, problem solving, teamwork and the opportunity to interact with customers.

Headteacher Anne Price said: “Blue is recognised as the international colour to promote autism awareness.

Charity fundraising turns supporters purple

Purple Day sheep race Llwyngwain Fawr

Over a third of the 149 services across England and Wales run by private care-provider Regard are planning local fundraisers for Purple Day (Sunday 26 March) in aid of Epilepsy Action, the UK’s leading epilepsy organisation, with some of them already ahead of the action.

This year sees the ninth celebration of Purple Day, an international annual theme day aimed at dispelling the myths surrounding epilepsy and raising awareness in a positive manner.

Members of Regard’s OWL Town Farm Workshop in Sixpenny Handley, Dorset, raised nearly £70 through a variety of fun craft-based activities.

Workshop manager, Helen Ritson, said: “Lots of people tried their hand at hula hoop weaving and added some purple fabric to our still-to-be-completed community collage.

Vitamin D supplements help improve mental performance in young people

Supplements

Supplementing with vitamin D helps adolescents solve cognitively challenging tasks more easily and improves their mental well-being, according to a Norwegian study.

Young people perform better in cognitively challenging tests, have improved mental health and fewer self-reported behavioral problems when their blood levels of vitamin D are higher. Norwegian scientists demonstrated this in an intervention study of 50 male and female volunteers aged 13-14 years who received a vitamin D supplement (D3-Pearls from Pharma Nord) or a placebo. 

Don’t run away from mental health issues- just run!

John Aguilar, Principal of Padworth College

Mental health related issues in young people have been an area of concern over the last few years; in fact the issue appears to be escalating at quite an alarming rate. Over the last five years, 90% of head teachers have reported an increase in mental health problems among pupils and, over the same period, hospital admissions for self-harm have doubled for under 18s. 

Primula cheese and the NSPCC team up with children’s authors to help kids to dream big

Primula cheese and the NSPCC

Children’s authors have backed the Primula Cheese and NSPCC campaign to help kids stay safe from abuse and dream big things for their future.

Primula Cheese are 20% of the profits from their limited edition branded tubes directly to the NSPCC, which will help the charity in its work to protect young people from abuse and neglect and to help victims recover.

Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, said, “Every child is born with hopes for the future but if their head is full of fear, anxiety or loneliness these thoughts can get shunted to the one side. 

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.