Support for Children with SEND Distance Learning

Distance Learning for Children with SEND

Supporting Learning 

All children learn in different ways.  Below are some top-tips and websites to help support your child. Further down the page, you will find more specific information about supporting any individual needs your child may have, including additional website links that may be useful. 

General support 

The most important skill here is to be guided by your child as to what they may need to support their learning.  Here are some ideas: 

  • Break the task down into manageable chunks. 

If the task has multiple parts, do one part at a time.  For example, if a child is asked to find adjectives and adverbs – do one first then the other. Keep instructions to one at a time to avoid confusion or overload. 

  • Allow enough time for each chunk. 

Some children find it harder to process instructions or think of ideas – give them time to complete each chunk at their own pace. Leave and come back to it if needed – it may help to re-focus. 

  • Take breaks if needed. 

Be guided by your child but take short breaks in between chunks or tasks.  This gives your child time to recuperate, clear their head, re-focus and have a bit of before tackling a different activity so it feels less daunting. You can always do some exercise in between to wake up the brain – see the Movement break activities under Sensory Resources below. 

  • Do the task verbally first 

Some children find putting pen to paper hard if they are not sure what they need to do.  By doing the task verbally first and getting your child to say their answers (you can make notes of what they say if that helps to remind them – even record their answers for them to listen back to!).  That way, when it comes to writing the task down, they have already had a dress rehearsal, and you can support them to remember their ideas. When a child thinks of a sentence to write, it can be useful for them to say it out loud several times in different voices so they remember it easier!  

  • Model the task. 

Some children like to see what they have to do to have the confidence to have a go themselves. Show an example of what the task involves so they have a guide to go by. 

  • Share the learning. 

In school, we often do work in partners or in small groups.  To make activities not seem so challenging, take turns to do part of a task – for example, you read a line and they read a line.  You do a maths question then they do a maths question – This way you can also incorporate modelling the task as well.  Does your child have a competitive streak? Why not challenge them to see who can complete a question or find a word first?   

  • Use resources and visuals. 

Making a task relate to real life really helps with a child’s understanding and brings concepts to life.  Don’t be afraid to use whatever resources you have to hand – be creative, draw things and make the learning something they can touch! 

Maths: It doesn’t matter whether you are using sweets or tins of beans – using resources can really help a child see a concept in action.  This can be quite fun! Model how to use the resources to help while explaining the task – then encourage your child to use the resources to support them to work out their answers independently. Adding, subtracting, division, multiplication, fractions, decimals, weighing and measuring can all be supported by using what ever you have in the house and making the learning practical! 

Writing: This might be a list of words to use, a sentence cut up to put in the correct order, pictures, pegs with letters written on, a cube for each word to help remember what they wanted to write – the possibilities are endless! 

Reading: Use pictures to support understanding of the story and to put events on the correct order – you can even draw the main points of the story! Match words with pictures and play odd one out with groups of words. Show your child a word – can they find that word on their page?  How quickly can they do it? 

Please use our guides below for specific needs:

Supporting Speech, Language and Communication Needs

Supporting Understanding and Learning

Supporting Sensory Needs

Supporting Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs

Visual timetable to support children with SEND