Keeping careers advice accessible: Top tips for SEND teachers

careers advice tips for SEND teachers - young people at work

Kirstie Mackey, Head of Barclays LifeSkills, on how relating careers advice to real-life school situations can help pupils with SEND to explore their employment potential… Helping young people realise their aspirations and reach their full potential is a universal aim for teachers. Particularly when it comes to careers education and building the life skills that will prepare young people for the world of work, we know that educators are constantly on the look-out for better ways to equip their students for this next phase. And this is no different for educators of young people with special educational needs and disabilities. In the era of a changing world of work where the nature of future job roles is increasingly uncertain, every young person deserves to have access to quality careers education. However, from five years of working alongside educators through our LifeSkills sessions, we know that with already busy teaching staff and a packed core curriculum, it’s increasingly difficult to devote time specifically to this. That is why we were delighted to partner with Talentino, who specialise in developing career development programmes particularly for students with SEND, to develop a suite of high-quality SEND-oriented LifeSkills careers resources. As educators already well know, careers guidance isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, and that’s why it is important to put together flexible, adaptable lesson plans and resources that teachers can easily work into the existing curriculum and apply to both mixed-ability and exclusively-SEND student groups.  From our experience of producing SEND content for educators that focuses on building key 21st-century skills, we have put together some top tips for teaching specific transferable skills to students with special needs that will help prepare them for the world of work. 1. Help students to recognise their transferable skills Building employability skills can often seem daunting to SEND students, as they may not see themselves as possessing skills that are relevant to the workplace. It’s important to show students that employability skills can be developed through a variety of experiences, and to help them recognise the value of what they have already learnt at school. Ask your students to list out various activities they’ve done at school recently, from presenting an idea in class, volunteering to help a teacher, or playing a team sport. Then give them examples of common workplace tasks – such as serving a customer or working in a team – and help them connect the skills they’ve used in their school life to the workplace examples. Doing so can make the world of work seem much more relevant and far less daunting. 2. Creative careers advice sessions which foster an entrepreneurial mindset Developing an entrepreneurial mindset isn’t just important for students who might want to set up their own business. It’s also an effective way of building valuable resilience and problem-solving skills. Putting creativity at the heart of teaching enterprise skills can bring these skills to life through exercises like coming up with a need or problem and then working about a way to solve it. Supporting students to work through various problem scenarios in fun and imaginative ways keep them engaged, shows them how to be creative in their approach to solving issues and fosters an entrepreneurial mindset that will help them succeed in any workplace. 3. Boost self-confidence by learning from past experiences Building self-confidence in young people with SEND is particularly important. Here it’s helpful to encourage students not to shy away from situations that make them feel nervous, but instead to see them as opportunities to learn and grow. Try asking students to share a challenge they’ve faced and overcome at school and have other pupils pick out what they did well and the skills they used to succeed in that situation. Not only will this help to boost their self-confidence to be complemented by their peers, but it will also help reinforce to the student that they are capable of overcoming obstacles, and that they have grown as a result. Whether you’re an educator working with mixed ability groups or delivering lessons to groups of young people with additional needs, employing these methods can make teaching life skills easier and more effective. Through tying key life skills to young people’s everyday life experiences and making content simple and easy to understand, quality careers education can be made available and accessible to young people of all abilities and needs. The LifeSkills programme offers careers advice lesson plans and teacher resources for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The lesson plans can be used alongside mainstream LifeSkills content with mixed ability groups or separately with exclusively SEN-focused groups. These resources have been created with experts at Talentino, are supported by the National Development Team for Inclusion, and have been tested with staff and students at several different schools.

Plastics recycling education programme launched

The R-Generation plastics education pack can be downloaded for free

The recycling plastics education programme R-Generation is widening its reach for 2018, and will now be available to every primary and secondary school in the UK.  Following its launch in 2016, Nestlé Waters UK is continuing its partnership with recycling charity, RECOUP, and environmental education organisation, Wastebuster, to deliver an updated programme for 2018. This year will see the national roll out of the initiative, which aims to help children understand the responsibility they have in becoming more environmentally aware citizens. There is a still a role to play in encouraging consumers to increase their recycling behaviour. The average UK household uses nearly 500 plastic bottles a year but recycles just over 280 of them[1]. This latest initiative aims to help children understand the responsibility they have in becoming more environmentally aware, both at home and in their communities. The programme gives school staff teaching Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 education access to a host of materials and resources which will help put recycling firmly onto the agenda for their schools. The 2018 programme features a host of new digital materials which will help create excitement in the classroom and deliver relevancy for today’s students. Resources include teacher notes, assembly guides, games, quizzes and fact sheets and aim to help inspire young recyclers of today to become recycling champions of the future. As well as classroom resources, the packs also include step by step instructions on assisting schools in setting up successful recycling schemes in their schools.  Priya Hamilton, Corporate Communications Manager, Nestlé Waters UK comments: “As a business we are passionate about driving education and encouraging individuals to take action and responsibility to protect the environment through recycling. Having launched this initiative in 2016, we are delighted to be continuing to spearhead such an important initiative in driving the recycling agenda. Our commitment to recycling was also reinforced earlier this year, when we announced the roll out of the introduction of recycled plastic to all water bottles produced at our UK site. As well as the actions we take at a manufacturing level, we believe we also have a major role to play in helping to drive the uptake of recycling in the UK and this latest programme will certainly help address this amongst our youngest generation.” Anne Hitch, Communications Manager, RECOUP comments: “We are delighted to be able to work with Nestlé Waters UK and Wastebuster on this initiative. Capturing the imagination of young recyclers to encourage plastic recycling is essential for the future in driving a circular economy and long-term sustainability. “Plastic is a valuable material that can be reused if we only do the right thing with our waste. The tools within the packs give a complete understanding about different types of plastic and I hope they will motivate students and staff to recycle more at school and at home.” For schools interested in taking part, the plastics education resource pack is available for free download here

QA Education Books – review

Education books - Mermaid Who Couldn't

QA Education Books – Top Picks. We take a look at some of the latest children’s titles as well as CPD books. See the “competitions” section to be in with a chance of winning books throughout the year… The Mermaid Who Couldn’t, written by Ali Redford, illustrated by Kara Simpson (JKP, £9.99) Abandoned on the ocean floor, Mariana the Mermaid feels useless as she can’t swim or join in with the other mermaids. Muriel the Turtle helps her find self-confidence through singing her own mighty song. This therapeutic picture book is for children aged 4-9 who lack self-confidence, including children who have had difficult life experiences. This picture book uses a simple metaphor to show how children who have experienced neglect or who lack confidence can learn to find a sense of self-worth. It will help children explore their feelings and encourage communication. Review: by Ellie’s mum, Lisa Ryder Ellie enjoyed the story. She had a strong emotional reaction to the theme of the book and was quite sad at the beginning of the story but she then became happy at the end. She was attentive throughout the story and asked to hear it again.  Ellie liked the pictures but did say that she found the colours dark and a little scary at the beginning. Ellie was very emotional throughout the story and asked questions about her family. We talked about how nice it is to have a family and friends and how the mermaid thought she couldn’t do things at the beginning but once she started to try, she found she could do them. Ellie said that she struggled with climbing in the park on the climbing frames but after she practiced, she can now climb. She said it was scary at first but now it isn’t as scary. The story is a good start for discussions about self-confidence and we could role play it afterwards with her toys. The Noisy Foxes, by Amy Husband, (Willow Tree Books, £6.99) Written and illustrated by Amy Husband, The Noisy Foxes follows a family of foxes who decide to move out of the big, noisy city to look for somewhere quieter to live … but nowhere seems quite right! Distinctive collage-style illustrations add to the charm of this humorous ‘grass isn’t always greener’ tale. Reviews We asked some of our friends to read The Noisy Foxes and this is what they said: Ellie’s mum, Lisa Ryder: Ellie liked the story, the language was simple and we looked at the different words and how they sounded. Ellie loved the illustrations and liked how bright the colors are. She liked to see what was happening in other parts of the pictures. Ellie understood the meaning behind the story and we discussed it however she seemed to be more interested in the pictures. We discussed how sometimes we think we want something else but actually what we want is what we already have.  Editor Victoria Galligan: My daughters loved the Noisy Foxes! My two-year-old, Amy, has insisted on reading it every night and it even went to Nanny’s for a sleepover! Kate said she liked the patterns and textures in the illustrations, and Amy liked all the different animals. We talked about the ending and how sometimes it’s nice to go away for a break but good to come home again where you belong. It’s Your Story: From 1 to 10 and From A to Z  (from £17.50) Planning a prizegiving, graduation or welcoming a new student? If so mark these all-important milestones with beautifully illustrated personalised Alphabet books from Itsyourstory. Not only a fantastic teaching aid which brings numbers and the alphabet to life by making them the star – but also a perfect keepsake which includes a personal message from you to the child at the front. Called ‘From A to Z” and ‘From 1 to 10’ are this ideal gifts for young children. Every letter is accompanied by a picture and a simple, fun sentence which emphasises the sound – for example, ‘Freddy’s Dinosaur is Daring and Dangerous’, ‘Oliver Octopus has Orange Socks’. The child features in the illustrations and text on every page making it a fun, engaging and relevant read. Readers will get to go on an adventure – meeting lots of different animals, building a sandcastle at the beach and even riding a rocket to the moon! The books are available from Itsyourstory at The 32-page full-colour book includes a message at the front from the sender and retails at £17.50 for the softback version and £20 for the hardback book. Customers upload a photograph of the child as part of the order process. Review: By editor Victoria Galligan The books are amazingly engaging: my daughters (aged two and six) were both completely fascinated by the fact that their faces were actually on the cover and the pages. My eldest daughter could read the book alone and love the ‘L’ page, which sees her licking a lemon lolly. And my younger daughter couldn’t flick through the pages fast enough – we read the book several times in one go as she kept missing the  pages! She was so eager to see what Amy did next! Fully recommended by us.   Also out now: Educating Outside, by Helen Porter (Bloomsbury, £19.99) Educating Outside is a toolkit of outdoor learning ideas to inspire primary school teachers to head outside with their pupils and enrich their learning experiences across the curriculum. Although the benefits of learning outside are well documented, outdoor activities often decline as children progress through their education. There are many reasons for this: lack of time in the curriculum, lack of training, lack of teacher confidence, or simply lack of inspiration. Educating Outside contains a bank of outdoor learning ideas that can be used to enhance and enrich your classes’ learning experiences across the curriculum; including in science, history, geography, art and design, English and maths. Each lesson idea is linked to a specific programme of study and outlines required resources, links to soft

KidZania London partners with UK Parliament Week in November

Kidzania Parliament

KidZania London, the indoor city run by kids, has teamed up with UK Parliament Week to host a series of exciting activities and workshops for schools, supporting the provision of Key Stages 1-3 PSHE learning. Designed to teach students about the world of politics, debating and current issues, the KidZania’s Parliament Fair will run on the 14th to 16th November 2018. Bookings are now open for schools to book class visits during the autumn term. UK Parliament Week is an annual festival that engages people from across the UK with Parliament, explores what it means to them and empowers them to get involved. As part of KidZania’s involvement in the fair, the two-day roster will include a number of special parliament-focused activities, designed to educate school children about political system in the UK and excite them about the host of interesting careers available in the world of politics.  The roster includes: Learn to be a political journalist with Shout Out UK Shout Out UK is a multi-award winning independent youth news platform that provides young people with the tools necessary to engage in politics and a platform to shout out and be heard. Two journalists from Shout Out UK will be running an exciting workshop across the two days where children will learn what it takes to report on the latest political news. Children will select news stories from the agenda that day, write them up, and then react like a real newsroom when a breaking story comes in. Usborne Books: Politics for Beginners workshop Usborne is the UK’s leading specialist children’s book publisher: an independent, family business, which creates engaging, innovative, accessible books for children of all ages. Inspired by the best-selling children’s book, Politics for Beginners, KidZania will be running a workshop on behalf of Usborne, teaching children all about debating, canvassing and the voting system. What’s more, schools who book a visit on one of the two days will also receive five copies of Politics for Beginners for their school. The KidZania Ballot Box Over at the KidZania polling station, children will get to vote on a variety of political issues, demonstrating how the UK voting system enables their voices to be heard on topics that directly affect them. KidZania will also be using the ballot box to get feedback from real children in order to make positive changes to the city. Take a politics degree in the KidZania University Updated to focus on the UK political system, children can take the KidZania University Degree to broaden their knowledge and earn extra KidZos at the same time! KidZania London offers 4-14 year olds exciting real life activities, spanning across 75,000 square feet. Blending learning with reality and entertainment, each career at KidZania is developed to teach kids essential life skills including financial literacy, teamwork and independence. Designed to empower and entertain kids, KidZania gives children the chance to challenge themselves and explore the world of opportunities. If your child has ever dreamt of becoming a pilot, a firefighter or the next award-winning actor, watch the excitement on their faces as they try out real life activities! The concept effectively gives them their first taste of independence and gets kids thinking about what they might want to be in the future. To book tickets for your school trip now, please email or call 0330 131 3335. See for more details. Twitter – @KidZaniaLondon Instagram – @KidZaniaLondon Facebook – /KidZaniaLondon Learning outcomes: KS1 – KS3 PSHE ECONOMIC WELLBEING AND BEING A RESPONSIBLE CITIZEN  • To research, discuss and debate topical issues, problems and events that are of concern to them • Why and how rules and laws that protect them and others are made and enforced Pricing: Access to all additional activities is included in the entrance price £14 per child. Reduced pricing available for schools with a high Pupil Premium level About KidZania London: At KidZania London, children can take part in real-life adventures. Spanning across 75,000 square feet, KidZania is an amazing indoor city built just for kids! KidZania provides children with the opportunity try out a variety of real life role-play activities from being a firefighter, journalist to a surgeon. Each role-play is developed to teach kids essential life skills including financial literacy, teamwork and independence. Designed to empower and entertain kids, KidZania gives them the chance to challenge themselves and gets children thinking about which career they may pursue in the future. KidZania is a unique role-play experience for 4-14 year olds, blending learning with reality and entertainment.