Learners with SEMH

An anxious pupil is one not ready, or able, to engage in effective learning in the classroom. This practical day will examine the sensory issues and physiological barriers to learning for the anxious pupil; practical ways to identify and assess such barriers in addition to offering effective strategies to engage these pupils in learning.

Although the focus will be primarily on the pupils we work with, the day will also cover our own well-being and how our own preferences and behaviours influence work in our learning spaces.


Delegates will:

  • understand the nature of anxiety and the pupil with SEND
  • understand how an anxious pupil presents and how we can identify a pupil with anxiety issues
  • explore sensory diversions and de-escalation techniques for the anxious pupil
  • be introduced to a practical framework to support an effective observation
  • take away ideas on how to support an anxious pupil contribute to their educational review
  • have new ideas on how to support emotional wellbeing and mindfulness in the classroom
  • understand the contribution of unresolved sensory issues for the anxious pupil


Who is the anxious learner?

We have always had, and worked with, children who live with a variety of issues linked to their social and emotional mental health.  In recent years, policy has defined these learners as a precise group with identified needs to be addressed. Drawing on research, policy and our own experiences and knowledge, this session will form a baseline of shared understanding for the rest of the day.

Communication Complications.

Communication is at the heart of learning and human interaction. When communication fails or is faulty, either by intent or accident, then misunderstanding, uncertainty and anxiety result.  This session will consider the issues involved in creating and maintaining effective communication pathways  to support security, shared understanding and learning.

Sensory Signalling.

This session will examine the sensory elements that can influence the anxious learner in positive and negative ways.  How can we work out sensory preferences and then utilise this information to support self regulation at home and at school?

The sensory demands of anxiety.

Fright/fight/freeze is a term which we always hear but what really causes this? It can be a host of things. So in this practical session you will experience sensory diversions. The ideas and concepts demonstrated by both video and practical examples will help you to distract and de-escalate situations using sensory diversions and techniques to calm or engage.

Who will be presenting?

Carol Allen is now an independent advisory teacher for SEN. Her training is experienced worldwide and regularly presents at BETT and the Times Education show. Her experience goes back to the 1980’s in both mainstream – primary and high schools for students with SEN. She is list owner for SLD Forum, an international mailing list for practitioners and educators interested in the effective teaching and learning for those with complex barriers to learning so she has a wonderful feel for current topics. Her courses are always fun, practical and very thought provoking. She is a senior member of the Hirstwood Training extended training team

Richard Hirstwood is a dynamic, motivational and accomplished international presenter in the field of sensory learning.  His recent work in classrooms from the UK to New Zealand have proved invaluable when developing a sensory curriculum. He was one of the innovators of sensory rooms and he has a detailed understanding of sensory approaches. As well as a host of practical ideas his in depth knowledge of autism, sensory loss & sensory approaches are in demand worldwide. He over 300 videos on YouTube with over 1.5 million views and is constantly updating his knowledge and ideas.

When and where?

17 June 2019 – Manchester

18 June 2019 – Nottingham

21 June 2019 – London

Who should attend?

This will be appropriate for colleagues from special schools, mainstream schools, EYFS services and adult provision who are working with those with PMLD/CLDD/Autism and SEMH.

Course notes:

All pertinent presentations & movies from the day will be available to you to continue your learning journey long after the training has finished!

Times & housekeeping: 

The day begins from 9am for coffee and registration, with the course starting at 9.30am. We will finish around 3.30pm. All refreshments & a lovely lunch will be provided.

Cost: £245  plus VAT per place, including refreshments & lunch