Here are some extra learning materials designed to support children with additional needs, although many children that are not receiving SEN support may also find them useful.
Remember to make use of Bug Club and Purple Mash too.
Speech and language difficulties
Speech link parent portal have a range of free activities and interactive games to support your child with their speech and language. The interactive games are great at developing phonological awareness (the ability to recognise and work with sounds in spoken language).
Social stories, well-being and home learning resources
The Norfolk educational psychology service have compiled a brilliant bank of resources, these including tips for talking to your child about Covid 19, social stories, well-being activities and a really great directory of subject specific, home-learning resources.
Fine Motor Skills
The Imagination Tree website has lots of fun activities to develop fine motor skills (including playdoh recipes).
Here is a pack containing fine and gross motor skill activities.
The Oxford Owl website has video tips on how to help your child with handwriting and each a page for each year group with free worksheets to download. https://home.oxfordowl.co.uk/english/primary-handwriting/handwriting-year-1-age-5-6/
Phonics - 'Letters and Sounds' approach
At school we use the 'letters and sounds' approach. There are six phases. This website has a really useful guide to the order in which the sounds are taught.
These videos are handy for parents if you need to recap on how each sound is pronounced.
- The ability to recognise and work with sounds in spoken language.
Phase 1 of letters and sounds focuses on phonological awareness. This includes developing listening skills e.g. listening to sounds in the environment, instrumental sounds, rhythm and rhyme and alliteration. This also includes oral blending and segmenting, for example, asking your child to put on their 'c-oa-t', find their 's-o-ck-s', or "tell me the sounds in cat (c-a-t)".
Phonological awareness activities are especially important for children that have literacy difficulties or speech and language difficulties. This guide has some great ideas for developing phonological awareness.
The speech link website also has some interactive games to develop these skills.
The Norfolk local offer have created some home learning challenges with sensory, wellbeing and creative ideas but also some reading challenges (attached below). Click here to see all of the home learning challenges.
You can use bug club for free e-books.
Oxford Owl have expanded their range of free e-books at the moment. You can search by age range and they have lots of great titles.
Learning with games
The website 'Phonics play' is currently offering free access to lots of games designed to help your child to learn to read and spell using phonics. Use the following login details:
A wide range of free maths, phonics, reading and spelling games.
Nessy specialise in apps and games designed to support learners with dyslexia. Their online games involve a subscription fee but they do offer some free apps - search 'Nessy' on the app store.
Free phonics and reading games.
Literacy difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
If you are doing writing activities with your child, try using a word and sound mat, such as this one (you can edit it to include words useful to the piece of writing that you are doing).
Keep practising using phonics to read and spell as well as practising whole word reading of high frequency and common exception words.
Your child could practise their comprehension by listening to audio books and talking to you about the story, characters, setting etc.
The British Dyslexia Association have published a recording of a free 1 hour webinar on how to support your child during the school closures. It is a really useful recording for any parent of a child who finds reading or writing difficult, whether or not they have a dyslexia diagnosis. It has lots of practical suggestions for teaching reading and spellings and lots of links to free resources.
The British Dyslexia Association are continuing to post free webinars about how to support your child with literacy difficulties during the closures. The latest webinar focuses on ‘multisensory toolkit: ideas on a shoestring’. All of their recordings are available from https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/shop/webinars
- Make writing relevant to your child’s interests – e.g. writing a non-fiction book or fact file about something that interests them, writing an alternative ending to their favourite story, producing a comic.
- Try writing tasks that have a purpose – e.g. writing an email or letter to a relative, creating a story to send to a friend or writing to their favourite author.
- Writing a daily diary – even if it is just a sentence or two per day.
- Write treasure hunts for each other around the house, using clues.
- Create a time capsule about life in lockdown, include a poem, diary entry, photos with captions etc.
- Have a look at the various writing frames and activities available on Purple Mash.
- Create a story book - Check out the key stage 2 BBC bitesize creative writing videos: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zpccwmn
Many children with additional needs have difficulties with memory, for example: remembering sounds in phonics, recognising and spelling high frequency words, recognising numbers and remembering instructions.
There are four main strategies we use at school.
- Memory aids – try having a ‘mat’ that your child can refer to e.g. a writing mat might contain phonic sounds, capital and lower case letter formation, and some high frequency or tricky words for spelling. The mat could simply be a piece of paper that you and your child add tricky words to as you come across them, or try this one: word and sound mat. For older children, mind maps may be helpful, for example when making notes about a new topic. Drawing story maps or using technology to record ideas (e.g. on a mobile phone) can also help with children with their writing.
- Use of simple memory techniques – lots of these are things we might do automatically but may need to explain to children e.g. repeating something aloud, putting information into chunks (like you do when you remember a telephone number), counting off things to remember on our fingers (such as steps to instructions or sounds when spelling a word). Creating rhymes or songs to remember spellings can also be useful.
- Try and use a multi-sensory approach, using sight, touch and sound e.g. if teaching a new sound you might have various objects beginning with that sound for your child to hold, use a song or rhyme, play an online phonics game and practise writing the sound together.
- Memory games – such as matching pairs, remembering telephone numbers, hiding objects under a tea towel and trying to remembering which object has been taken away and giving your child a list of three or four items to remember and fetch from another room.
Enjoying nature has proven benefits for well being. The wildlife trusts have some great resources for outdoor home learning:
This link has some images that explain social distancing using lego.
A free e-book about Covid 19 can be downloaded here.