Some children are extremely sensitive to unfamiliar people, unexpected noises and new experiences. There are simple things that your setting can do to help visits run smoothly for these people and ensure that their experience with you is delightful rather than stressful.
Offer materials to help school groups and parents to plan in advance. Having a sensory or autism-aware pack available on your website for staff or carers to download prior to their visit is very easy to set up and can make the world of difference for some people.
The pack doesn’t need to be complex. Include photos of key staff and their names. Pictures of important places the children will be visiting are vital. Show them some of the things they will see and where they will eat their lunch. Don’t forget to include a photo of your toilets as this area can be particularly challenging for some children. If they can see in advance what they toilets look like it can often help them to be more relaxed and prepared. If you have a hand dryer, consider turning it off, if you can, for particularly sensitive children. Offer them towels instead.
Make sure your information packs include directions to quieter areas. Where can children go to calm down if things get too much for them? Can you provide simple ear defenders for them to wear? If you have any autism friendly education materials, this is a great opportunity to explain what you have and how to access it.
We can review your provision from the eyes of different clients and help make your setting more inclusive and accessible for all. Contact us at Exciting Education if you would like help reviewing your educational and SEND provision.
Damien Hinds, Education Secretary, recently stated that he believes there are 5 foundations for building character that encompass an extensive list of activities. They are:
Sport – which includes competitive sport and other activities, such as running, martial arts, swimming and purposeful recreational activities, such as rock climbing, hiking, orienteering, gym programmes, yoga or learning to ride a bike.
Creativity – this involves all creative activities from coding, arts and crafts, writing, graphic design, film making and music composition.
Performing – activities could include dance, theatre and drama, musical performance, choir, debating or public speaking.
Volunteering & Membership – brings together teams, practical action in the service of others or groups, such as volunteering, getting involved in the #iwill campaign, litter-picking, fundraising, any structured youth programmes or uniformed groups like Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts, Cadets and Duke of Edinburgh.
World of work – practical experience of the world of work, work experience or entrepreneurship. For primary age children, this may involve opportunities to meet role models from different jobs.
We have created character building programs this year that have resulted in a significant increase in school visitors to our clients.
We can work with you to design a school offer that encompasses these values and attracts more school visits to your site. Contact us if you would like to know more about how we could help you with this.