Workshops at the SEN Conference 2018

Workshop: Session 1

Collaboration between services supporting positive mental health

Dr Heather Hanna, Siobhan Rogan & Rathore Special School

This workshop will focus on the mental health needs of children and young people with intellectual disability and how to cater for these within the classroom. The workshop will also look at the need for and the potential benefits of joint working between mental health services and schools.

Relationships and Sexuality Education

Majella Nugent, Middletown

Effective teaching of issues around sexuality involves close collaboration between schools and parents to ensure messages are clear for the students with autism. This session will examine the impact of adolescence on young people with autism. Participants will be shown how to incorporate behavioural interventions with visual strategies to help teenagers with autism cope with some of the typical issues of adolescence.

Using sensory resources: can the expense make sense?

Gillian Beck, NASEN NI (President)

This session will be an introduction to the issues underlying sensory provision in an educational setting. The use of sensory resources and even sensory rooms is becoming ever more popular but are teachers confident not only of the how but the why of this kind of SEN provision?

Promoting Inclusive Sport

Elaine Reid, Disability Sport NI

This workshop will raise awareness of the sport and physical recreation opportunities available to young people with disabilities and give teachers the knowledge on how to access these opportunities as part of school life and in the community. It will also give attendees the opportunity to view some of the state of the art new equipment which is available across Northern Ireland, in all of the District Council Disability Sports Hubs.

Science through Stories for learners with cognitive difficulties

Ruth Wilson, Kilronan School & Jody Marshall, Science teacher

Stories are an engaging way to spark thinking. CCEA have developed a set of science-based stories and related science activities for Key Stage 3 learners with cognitive difficulties.

 

This workshop will showcase the stories and demonstrate how the activities may be used in the classroom.

Computational Thinking and Scratch in the SEN classroom

Andrew Douglas, CCEA

This workshop will introduce you to the broad concepts of computational thinking and how this can be taught as a problem solving technique. The workshop will also show how Scratch can be used to enhance digital skills within an SEN classroom.

Workshop: Session 2

Spelling Difficulties: prevention, identification and intervention

Dr Sharon McMurray MBE

Research provides robust evidence highlighting the importance of integrating phonemic, orthographic and morphemic knowledge when learning to spell (McMurray, 2004; McMurray and McVeigh, 2015). All children taught using an integrated approach by the age of 8, show 3 times the gains compared to controls who spell by sounds alone.

 

Attendees will have the opportunity to consider and analyse spelling errors in writing samples collected from children in their 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of formal schooling. Good readers who are good spellers (5‐6 years), demonstrate the ability to spell drawing on phonemic, orthographic and morphemic knowledge without being explicitly taught these skills. They do this via implicit learning when reading.

 

Children who have difficulties processing orthographic and morphemic knowledge spell by sounds alone and therefore spelling errors abound. Children with dyslexic-type literacy difficulties must be taught these skills explicitly and in tandem. This workshop is suitable for mainstream and special school teachers.

Digital Skills in SEN

CCEA

This workshop will explore how the combination of a creative learning approach and the use of technology can positively impact on the teaching and learning of SEN pupils. It will also allow participants time to find out more about opportunities for support from various organisations throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.

Anxiety Management

Majella Nugent, Middletown

Children and young people with autism experience anxiety in many situations, with some experiencing significant difficulties with anxiety. This session provides a broad model of support and intervention to support anxious children in the school environment. Participants will be shown how to integrate strategies based on the core impairments of autism including sensory differences and based broadly on a cognitive behavioural approach.

Creative Engagement Through Sensory Theatre

Andrew Stanford, Replay Theatre Company

Andrew Stanford, Inclusion Lead Artist at Replay Theatre Company, will offer insight into sensory-based theatre experiences for disabled young audiences, while presenting filmed footage of the methods in action and providing participants with the opportunity to engage in practical examples to help broaden their creative engagement skills.

 

Based in Northern Ireland, Replay Theatre Company creates high-quality inclusive theatre adventures for everyone under the age of 19, from the tiniest babies to the oldest teenagers.

Communicating with Newcomer parents

Clodagh Daly-McKeown: EA Intercultural Education Service

This workshop will look at ways to improve school-home communication with Newcomer parents and avoid potential misunderstandings.

Science through Stories for learners with cognitive difficulties

Ruth Wilson, Kilronan School & Jody Marshall, Science teacher

Stories are an engaging way to spark thinking. CCEA have developed a set of science-based stories and related science activities for Key Stage 3 learners with cognitive difficulties.

 

This workshop will showcase the stories and demonstrate how the activities may be used in the classroom.

Workshop: Session 3

Digital Skills in SEN

CCEA

This workshop will explore how the combination of a creative learning approach and the use of technology can positively impact on the teaching and learning of SEN pupils. It will also allow participants time to find out more about opportunities for support from various organisations throughout Northern Ireland and beyond.

Creative Writing

Geraldine Wilkins, Fighting Words Belfast

Fighting Words Belfast is the creative writing centre for ALL children and young people in Northern Ireland. Join Geraldine Wilkins for a fun-packed interactive workshop - and leave a published author! Geraldine will also talk about some of the work that Fighting Words Belfast has recently piloted for children with autism/Aspergers, in partnership with Belfast Health Trust.

Enterprise in Action

Deborah Lamberton & Fionnuala McMenamin

A fun and interactive workshop that will demonstrate how to incorporate entrepreneurship in to the classroom in partnership with Young Enterprise. Learn about business and how to develop the entrepreneurial skills and aspirations of our young people through the principle of ‘learning by doing’. Local case studies will also be showcased.

Do you see what I see?

Shelley Black and Emma McConnell, Ulster University

Teachers will be provided with a better understanding of common eye problems and methods to address these in the classroom. This interactive workshop, which includes the use of virtual reality headsets, is led by optometrists who are working on a collaborative research project between Ulster University and Queens University Belfast. The Special Education Eyecare (SEE) Project is investigating vision in children with special educational needs. More information can be found at:

 

The SEE Project theseeproject.co.uk

SEBD: supporting mental health

Treasa Hawksford, CCEA Education Manager

This workshop will look at the issues facing children and young people today. Are teachers aware of the physical impact of stress on developing bodies and minds? How can schools best support learners through times of anxiety?

Recording observations using the Q Skills software

Andrew Douglas, CCEA

This workshop will introduce you to the new Q Skills software. You will be given a demonstration of its interface and features, and have the opportunity to sign your school up to use the software. Your school will need to be signed up for Google Apps for Education if you wish to get the full value of this workshop.