Autumn 2021 CPD Course:

Welcome to the hidden web page of the autumn 2021 CPD course. The aim is to provide all the necessary slideshows, handouts and resources to enable delegates to deliver, share or cascade the information to colleagues back in school; indeed, a number of delegates have successfully done this with our Forum materials. Furthermore, it makes accessing resources and web links much easier, with everything stored in one place. Our copyright terms are that attending delegates are free to use the materials within their own school only. We hope you find this helpful!

The Vital and the Valuable in Visual Communication Strategies
Zena Martin & Neale Hayward-Shott



Update on OurBoards

Sadly, OurBoards went into administration on 17th November 2021. This means the loss of both the boards and the workshops that existed along with them. Consequently, for all our schools who attended the morning course on visual communication, we are offering our own workshops, led by Cole and Zena, to help you and your colleagues share and problem-solve through the most effective ways to use these boards. These are free to all schools who received a free board at one of our Forums.

Wednesday 26th January 2022, 1:30 – 3:00pm

Wednesday 26th January 2022, 3:30 – 5:00pm





Preparation for taking part in the online session

Before you take part in the interactive online session, please ensure you have the following resources prepared.

  • PC or Mac with internet access, speakers, microphone and web cam
  • Printed handout OR e-handout downloaded onto your tablet
  • This hidden web page open on your screen or on a second device (phone/ tablet/ PC/ Mac). You will need access to this hidden page during the session to take part in the activities.

Links to use


Slides and handouts




PowerPoint Slides




Resources and links

DLD Card 1

DLD Card 2

Graphics – Free Downloads – North Star Paths North Star Paths

Temple Grandin describes Thinking in Pictures:


Where to find visual images

The Noun Project provides thousands of icons and images to build a visual language. All available as free downloads or a licence can be purchased to give more options. From the same organisation, The Verb Project is a good recent addition to the website.

Microsoft have increased the quantity and range of visuals available to insert into documents. Go to the <Insert> tab in any Office application, then select <Pictures> then <Stock images>. Select from images, icons, stickers, cut-out people and illustrations.

Pixabay offers free images and royalty-free stock.

A wide range of images can be purchased from Shutterstock.

Widgit symbols have long been used for visual communication and many schools already purchase this visual system. They also produce Communication in Print to create visual supports and learning materials.  You can integrate your own images as well as access a range of standardised picture libraries. 

Clicker – Literacy Software | Crick Software  A well established teaching aid that enables teachers to create visually INTERACTIVE resources in any subject beyond the use of visuals for visual schedules etc.  It also comes with access to 100s of pre made materials shared by teachers across the country that can then be tweaked for individual needs.

DocsPlus – Educational Software | Crick Software   designed for use in Secondary or in my view also helpful for Key Stage 2 learners. 


Top tips

Video a modelled example of the task you want a child to follow and then screenshot the key elements of the task in as many stages as is appropriate for the child. PowerPoint creation mode allows you to have one image per slide and easily drag the images into different orders to help the child understand the sequence. Similarly, the SMART ART facility is easily accessed in PowerPoint. 

FONTS Dyslexia friendly style guide – British Dyslexia Association ( Consider how text is presented and the colour of the backgrounds to make visuals accessible to all.

MATT laminates are better for all as it helps with those that may have visual difficulties, as well as avoiding unhelpful reflections on those rare UK sunny days.

Lease or buy older generation iPads or similar tablet devices so there can always be one on every desk. This would allow last minute creation of visuals to support in the moment teaching with an individual or group. It’s never been an easier time on workload than now to access visual communication in lessons.



Sadly, OurBoards went into administration on 17th November 2021. This means the loss of both the boards and the workshops that existed along with them. Consequently, for all our schools who attended the morning course on visual communication, we are offering our own workshops, led by Cole and Zena, to help you and your colleagues share and problem-solve through the most effective ways to use these boards. These are free to all schools who received a free board at one of our Forums.

Wednesday 26th January 2022, 1:30 – 3:00pm

Wednesday 26th January 2022, 3:30 – 5:00pm




Cohen, A. & Demchak, M., 2018. Use of visual supports to increase task independence in students with severe disabilities in inclusive educational settings.. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities., 53(1), pp. 84-99.

Dettmer, S., Simpson, R. L., Smith Myles, B. & Ganz, J. B., 2000. The use of visual supports to facilitate transitions of students with autism. Health Research Premium Collection, 15(3), p. 163.

Forsyth, R. J., 2003. NEUROLOGICAL AND COGNITIVE DECLINE IN ADOLESCENCE. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, Volume 74, pp. i9-i16.

Fortnum, H. M. et al., 2001. Prevalence of permanent childhood hearing impairment in the United Kingdom and implications for universal neonatal hearing screening: questionnaire based ascertainment study. BMJ, pp. 323-536.

Georgiou, N. & Spanoudis, G., 2021. Developmental Language Disorder and Autism: Commonalities and Differences on Language. Brain Sciences, 11(5), p. 589.

Grandin, T., 2013. Dr. Temple Grandin Describes Thinking in Pictures, s.l.: Ted Talks.

Hodgdon, L. Q., 1995. Solving social-behavioral problems through the use of visually supported communication.. In: K. A. Quill, ed. Teaching children with autism: Strategies to enhance communication and socialization.. New York: Delmar, pp. 265-286.

Hoy, K., Parsons, S. & Kovshoff, H., 2018. Inclusive school practices supporting the primary to secondary school transition for autistic children: pupil, teacher and parental perspectives. Advances in Autism, 4(4), pp. 184-196.

iCan, n.d. Developmental Language Disorder: A guide for every teacher on supporting children and young people with Developmental Language Disorder in mainstream schools. s.l.:DfE.

Jaime, K. & Knowlton, E., 2007. Visual supports for students with behavior and cognitive challenges.. Intervention in School and Clinic, 42(5), p. 259.

Johnson, J. W., McDonnell, J., Holzwarth, V. N. & Hunter, K., 2004. The efficacy of embedded instruction for students with developmental disabilities enrolled in general education classes.. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions., Volume 6, pp. 214-227.

Matsuzaki, J. et al., 2019. Abnormal auditory mismatch fields are associated with communication impairment in both verbal and minimally-verbal / non-verbal children who have autism spectrum disorder. Autism Res., 12(8), p. 1225–1235.

Naigles, L. R. & Tovar, A. T., 2012. Portable Intermodal Preferential Looking (IPL): Investigating Language Comprehension in Typically Developing Toddlers and Young Children with Autism.. Journal of Visualized Experiments, Issue 70, pp. 3791-4331.

NASEN, 2018. Childhood Acquired Brain Injury: The Hidden Disability, Tamworth: NASEN.

Nediger, M., 2020. How to Use Visual Communication: Definition, Examples, Templates. [Online]
Available at:,to%20indicate%20importance%20and%20draw%20attention%20More%20
[Accessed 7th September 2021].

North Star Paths, n.d. North Star Paths: Supporting Positive and Possible Futures. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 7th September 2021].

POST, 2020. Autism. Postnote, January, Issue 612.

Strand , S., Malmberg , L. & Hall, J., 2015. English as an Additional Language (EAL) and educational achievement in England: An analysis of the National Pupil Database, s.l.: University of Oxford, Department for Education.

Venker , C. E., Bean, A. & Kover, S. T., 2018. Auditory–Visual Misalignment: A Theoretical Perspective on Vocabulary Delays in Children with ASD. Autism Res., 11(12), p. 1621–1628.


How might we support you next?




Inclusion Forums Inclusion Forums – Inclusive Learning North​​​​​​​​​​

ILOP ILOP – Inclusive Learning North​​​​​​​​​​

Group consultations Training & Consultancy Booking – Inclusive Learning North​​​​​​​​​​

Training courses Training & Consultancy Booking – Inclusive Learning North​​​​​​​​​​


Coming in the Spring Term 2022

Morning CPD Course:

The Curriculum through a SEND Lens

Principles of planning and delivery for Primary subject leaders and Secondary Heads of Department

Presented by Cole Andrew

Aims of the course

  • To provide delegates with key training to share with their classroom practitioners
  • For curriculum leaders to understand how to evaluate the impact of their subject for pupils and students with SEND
  • Provide practical strategies for applying relevant research around metacognition to designing the content, pedagogy and sequence of learning in subjects

Target audience

Secondary Heads of Subject Departments

Primary Subject Leaders

Specialist Provisions

Curriculum Leaders

Head teachers



Headteacher standards (version 2020) and the Code of Practice (2015) reinforce the legal expectation that all teachers and leaders in schools/colleges share equal responsibility for the leadership of the curriculum for students and pupils with SEND. We have all got our heads around the research underpinning the current OFSTED Inspection Framework (Research and analysis overview: Education inspection framework (2019)).

Rather than practice Deep Dives, let’s get it right for all pupils first time.

How do you evaluate the effectiveness of your subject on learners with barriers to learning?

What is the impact of current perspectives on reading as the key to accessing learning across all subjects, increasing adult life chances and improving curriculum access for pupils with SEND?

This course will provide recommended strategies to apply back in schools/colleges to strengthen subject leadership in the light of the research base around metacognition and building impact on long term memory. It will give you the opportunity to reflect on the application to your setting and to engage in dialogue with other settings.

This course is for anyone with responsibility for subject leadership, design and impact!

Booking details, dates, venues & on-line here


Afternoon SEND Forum:

Myth Busting Sensory Strategies Big and Small

Are you getting the most out of your multisensory rooms and sensory strategies?

Joanna Grace, The Sensory Projects (virtual)

Facilitated by Zena Martin and Cole Andrew


Aims of the course

In this workshop, Joanna Grace, renowned specialist, trainer, researcher, TEDx speaker and author, explores current practice in multi-sensory rooms, improvised spaces and sensory strategies. Together, we will review the research and identify the fundamental principles and latent potential in these approaches. This is an opportunity for those working in specialist settings to reflect on and develop the quality of their sensory provision, and for those working in mainstream settings to establish strong provision for a school population with increasing levels of sensory needs.


Target audience

SENCOs & other leaders of SEND in mainstream schools

Teachers and leaders in specialist schools and settings


Joined virtually by Joanna, Zena and Cole will facilitate this exploratory workshop that challenges some of the myths surrounding sensory strategies.

The Sensory Projects run on the principle that with the right knowledge and a little creativity, inexpensive sensory items can become effective tools for inclusion.

The individual projects that make up The Sensory Projects have won awards and influenced practice nationally and internationally.

This course if for you if …

  • Your pupils use sensory strategies and multi-sensory spaces, but you feel there may be untapped potential in what they have to offer
  • You would like to develop these strategies and spaces and would appreciate some expert guidance
  • You would like to know more about what these strategies have to offer to pupils in your setting

You don’t know what you don’t know about multi-sensory rooms and sensory strategies


Booking details, dates, venues & on-line here


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Summer Term 2022 Inclusion Forums in-venue & on-line

Our Summer Term Inclusion Forums 2022 are in-venue & online and feature:  Morning CPD: Emotion Coaching – Developing social & emotional communication skills Afternoon SEND Forum: ‘It’s the Relationship that Heals’ – Fostering a relationships policy Details here To book here

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June 2022