SEN

At Explore Learning we get to know all our members as individuals and tailor our curriculum and environment in order to enable each child to progress and succeed academically in their own way. This process is no different for our many members with a diagnosed or suspected Special Educational Need to consider in their learning process.

Explore Learning is an environment where every child can thrive – call your nearest centre to discuss your child’s individual needs with a tutor.

Explore Learning can help children with SEN in the following areas:

Concentration and focus

  • Activities are designed at the right level for each child, and include a wide variety of question types and styles to engage the children and maintain their interest
  • Praise for being ACE! ACE stands for Asking for help, Concentrating and putting in good Effort. We use a reward scheme based on these good classroom skills where children can chart their progress and receive certificates
  • Activities are structured around the individual so they can be shortened and lengthened in accordance with their attention span
  • Tutors are regularly trained to support and nurture children who struggle to concentrate
  • We incorporate a wide variety of behavioural aids to stimulate concentration

Social interaction

  • Each child’s curriculum is tailored especially for them, so students do not compare their progress to others
  • Members do their work individually but work in a zone with up to five other children, who they are encouraged to interact with and get to know
  • We have a relaxation area called Surf Club where all our members interact after they have completed their learning session – this area is designed to encourage social interaction and reward the children for their hard work

Balance, co-ordination and motor skills

  • Activities are accessed through a variety of different mediums to encourage development of gross and fine motor skills
  • The use of a computer helps the children to feel more confident and ensures that their attainment is not affected by any lack of development in this area
  • Comparisons with other students do not occur at Explore Learning, and all children are encouraged and praised for their achievements

Processing difficulties (audio and visual)

  • Our activities are designed and accessed in a variety of formats and therefore support learning in an audio, visual and kinaesthetic way
  • Children only move on when they have successfully mastered a skill and can revise skills that their school class may have moved on from
  • All members quickly become confident and relaxed in our environment and know what is expected of them
  • Maths resources have audio support to enable the child to have a better understanding of questions
  • Reading resources have a ‘listen again’ feature so that children can self-check their pronunciation and enunciation in their fluency in reading

Retention, retrieval and memory

  • Work is based on the curricula in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland but is ability rather than age-specific. Therefore, lots of our members have activities designed to reinforce retention and review concepts that their class have already moved on from at school
  • Activities can be tailored in terms of time-limits and question types that need reinforcing
  • Many of our computer-based activities generate an accurate retention score which we can use to structure each child’s course to improve their retention of information and skills

Phonological processing and spelling

  • Clicker Phonics teaches and revises the synthetic phonics in the same groupings they are taught at school so can be used for children starting school or in order to fill in any gaps in knowledge for older children
  • Children are then taken through blending and segmenting activities, all of which are supported by our tutors
  • All the teaching and learning of reading in Explore Learning supports the 5 Basic Skills of Phonics covered in the Primary Framework for Literacy, as part of the National Curriculum
  • Texts are designed with phonic age in mind rather than reading age – so older children use materials appropriate for their reading ability but not patronising to their intelligence
  • Self-analysis elements of the curriculum help learners to find the mistakes in their own work

Organisational and sequencing

  • Each child’s session structure is unique – designed with them and their parents to support their weaker areas and stretch and challenge in others
  • Children revise key patterns and sequences regularly and at their own pace e.g. times tables
  • Older members are encouraged to develop study skills and self-organisation techniques

Explore Learning for Gifted Children

At Explore Learning, children who are gifted in maths and literacy can be extended and stretched academically in a learning environment that supports and encourages their talents.

Maths

Explore Learning uses a range of tools to extend children who are gifted at maths. All children go through an initial diagnostic assessment which tells us where they are within the curriculum. If your child naturally grasps new mathematical concepts quickly they can move swiftly through their own individualised curriculum.

Many Explore centres also run Enrichment Maths courses that are designed to stretch and motivate gifted mathematicians. Incorporating resources produced by NRICH at the University of Cambridge, this course is designed to take our members beyond the school curriculum. Speak to a tutor at your local centre for more information on Enrichment Maths.

Reading

For young people who are gifted readers, Explore Learning offers a wealth of reading and comprehension resources. For younger children we use the critically acclaimed Crick Software which has a beautifully digitised version of Oxford Reading Tree and Trackers reading course with many comprehension and creative response extension activities.

For older readers we have a series of multimedia reading resources called Digitexts. Produced by Pearson/Longman these Digitexts are non-linear and multi-layered giving children the chance to develop higher-order literacy skills and use of ICT.

Creative Writing

Each Explore Learning centre runs a highly popular creative writing course once or twice a week called Explore Writing. This course develops and refines the natural flair of gifted writers through a series of thought-provoking and challenging topics, such as journalistic writing, creating play scripts and developing storytelling structure.

Explore Learning designed this course in conjunction with the award-winning Immersive Education whose accolades include a BETT 2005 Award and a BAFTA Interactive Award nomination.

Confidence and motivation

We have seen so many of our gifted learners grow in confidence and enthusiasm thanks to our individual approach. We believe a motivated child is one who is challenged appropriately and the greatest gift we can give them is the chance to work at their own pace and see the rewards of stretching themselves to the next level.

Social interaction is a big focus of the centres, encouraging our members to build bonds with tutors and other members means children love attending and are motivated to do so.

Useful links for parents of children with SEN:

The National Autistic Society – www.nas.org.uk

The Aspergers Syndrome Foundation – www.aspergerfoundation.org.uk

British Dyslexia Association – www.bdadyslexia.org.uk

The Dyspraxia Foundation – www.dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk

ADD Info and Support Service – www.addiss.org.uk

 

Feedback on the benefits of Explore Learning for children with SEN

“They help me to answer questions quickly. It helps me with my comprehension and my negative numbers. My favourite thing about Explore is getting to write poetry and getting Lizard Cards to swap for things from the prize cupboard”

Michelle Lee, Age 12