As a librarian, how can you support young people with SEN to examine their own feelings and recognise those feelings in others?

Learning to read how other people feel and how to react is difficult for all young people. And, of course, it’s even more challenging for those with learning difficulties.

Which is why we have produced the Relationship Activity Pack – to help young people with special needs examine their own feelings – anger, frustration, embarrassment, happiness – and recognise those feelings in others.

The Relationship Activity Pack consists of:

  • Six story books, which support the ASDAN Transition Challenge and Towards Independence Life Skills courses, each exploring a different situation where it is important that young people identify their emotions, as well as the emotions of others.Titles include, “The Date: Rachel’s Story” and “The Date: Mike’s Story” (differing opinions and sides to a story), “Mum’s New Boyfriend” (accepting a parent’s new partner), “My Teacher” (understanding teacher/pupil relationships), “Sisters at War” (managing sibling tension) and “Staying Out Late” (the issues it raises with parents).
  • A CD-ROM providing electronic versions of the above titles, making it ideal for interactive whiteboard presentations and for students who would also benefit from listening to the text. It is also possible to edit and save the text to make your own story, create differentiated texts, and personalise the text with your students’ names to enhance engagement.
  • An extensive range of activity worksheets and interactive activities that encourage reading comprehension. Activities include: Missing Words, Quizzes, Drag and Drop, Words and Pictures, Picture Search, Keyword Flashcards, Wordsearch, Spot the Difference, and How Well Did You Read?.
  • Supporting resources for teachers including page-by-page notes for all the stories and assessment resources (feedback sheets and student record sheets).

The complete set of resources containing two copies of each of the six readers, the complete teacher book, and the CD Rom is available for £139 plus VAT (saving 10% on the price of individual elements).

Individual elements from the pack are also available separately.

For further information, please click here.  Alternatively, please email or call 01582 833205.

Janie Nicholas

The simple solution to ensuring a hassle free start to lessons and exams……..

Every now and again I get to chat with current or former teachers and one of the topics that often crops up is why many students don’t seem to be able (or willing) to bring a pen, pencil, ruler etc to their lessons.

Apparently this causes a fair bit of disruption while some students try to beg, steal or borrow the basic kit they need to benefit from their lesson.

In an attempt to solve this problem there’s a product called the Student Essentials set,” which, as the name suggests, contains all the basics that students need for most lessons.

Consisting of three quality black ink ballpens, two full length HB pencils, eraser, 15 cm ruler and a metal sharpener, all packed in a A5 size, clear PVC “exam friendly” wallet with a zip slider.

From just 75p each (ex vat) the “Student Essentials set” is a convenient and cost effective solution to the problem of students who don’t have the correct kit for lessons. It’s particularly useful at exam time……

Full details at:

You can order by email:, phone, fax or post

Tel: 020 7515 1797 or fax: 020 7515 4420

Signpost Educational Ltd., PO Box 999, London, E14 6SH

Is there a solution to the problem of wasted time and disruption at the start of lessons or exams…..?

There’s probably more than one reason why lessons or exams don’t always begin as smoothly as teaching staff might like……

It could be that students have just come from a PE or games lesson and they haven’t all managed to change quickly enough.

It might be that the lesson in question occurs just after break time when there’s a handful of students still kicking a football around in the playground.

But it’s more likely that some of them may not have brought essential equipment like a pen, pencil, ruler etc to the lesson. Several minutes can then be wasted while those students try to beg, borrow or steal what they need for the lesson.

Thankfully there’s a simple and helpful solution to this problem.

It’s the “Student Essentials set.” 

The Student Essentials set is ideal to hand out at the start of a school day or before exams. Apart from some specialist subjects like maths it contains all a student is likely to need for their lessons. From just 75p each, ex vat it’s a cost effective solution to the problem of wasted time and disruption at the start of lessons or exams.

The Student Essentials set comprises three quality black ink ballpens, two full length HB pencils, a 15cm ruler, metal sharpener and eraser, all packed in a clear “exam friendly” PVC zip-up wallet.

More details can be found at: or you can order directly from or fax: 020 7515 4420.

PS. If you need further information please call 020 7515 1797 and ask for Martin Evans.  He’ll be pleased to answer your questions or take your order on the spot.

Why inviting a professional storyteller into your school has never been easier – and why you should do it.

If you have ever been fortunate enough to have a professional storyteller come into your school, you will know that the engagement and participation levels among your pupils are greater than you could have ever imagined.

But this is not all professional storytellers are capable of.

Indeed, they have the ability to inspire a passion for books, reading, or a particular topic area, and teachers frequently report pupils’ memory to be enhanced, their concentration to be improved, and their communication skills to be enriched.

But there is a problem.

Because professional storytellers are so beneficial to children’s learning and development, and because professional storytellers are somewhat rare, their availability is often limited.

Not to mention that professional storytellers can be costly due to travelling expenses (as very few schools are fortunate enough to have a professional storyteller on their doorstep).

Recently, however, Snail Tales have made it possible for children in all schools in the UK to reap the benefits of professional storytelling with Storytelling at a Distance.

You may have already seen our work with the Oxford Reading Tree on engaging children through recorded storytelling performances. Now we have built upon this method to achieve even greater engagement and participation with your children.

How? Through Skype-style interaction.

For more information about Storytelling at a Distance, including the benefits, how it works, available dates, and how much it costs, please visit our website. Alternatively, you can call us on 020 328 6245 or email us at

We’d appreciate your help in completing the Special Needs Week Survey of the work of SENCos in schools throughout the UK.

Special Needs Week takes place between 13 and 17 June, and as part of this event we are conducting research into what special needs SENCos have to deal with, which special needs cause particular difficulty, whether colleagues in the school have a full grasp of what SENCos like you do, and whether demands on your time are expanding.

To help us gather this information – the results of which will be published on the Special Needs Week website – we are asking all SENCos to complete a very short questionnaire. It will only take two or three minutes at most to complete.

So if you would like to participate in this questionnaire, which is of course completely anonymous, please click here.

Once we have gathered in the results of the survey we’ll be writing again with details of the results and also putting these results on line on the Special Needs Week website.

Special Needs Week is being sponsored by Aspire GB, Clicker 7, Dysgraphia Help, Dyscalculia Centre, Multi-Sensory Learning, PTUK, Robinswood Press, SEN Press, and Turnabout Programme.

If you have any enquiries about this research, please do write to or call 01536 509822.

Tony Attwood