For many years I have spoken about the need for teachers to be aware of children born prematurely, and the range of learning needs these children present in all classrooms in all settings at all ages and stages.
Indeed, evidence for the Complex Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Research Project ( Carpenter et al 2011,;2015) showed that children born prematurely, were presenting profiles of learning need the likes of which we, as teachers , had never seen before. They were re-writing the Special Needs Registers of our schools.
In training I always advise teachers and school leaders to ask on the admission forms of every school (secondary included!)
“Is there anything in the birth history of this child that we need to know?”
This new resource for educational professionals, developed by Professor Samantha Johnson and her colleagues at Leicester University, now articulates through easy to access , high quality research and practice evidence, why we need a fuller and deeper understanding of how children born prematurely will learn and progress in our school system ,and what some of their learning challenges may be.
The e-learning resource can be accessed online for free here:
It was supported in its development by Action Medical Research .
There is also a podcast with the editor of the TES about the development and evaluation of the resource and about the educational needs of preterm born children more broadly.
This can be accessed here if you would like to listen:
A whole class approach to using the seven attributes of Engagement to celebrate student achievement:
Books Beyond Words are currently running a National research project – Open Book – looking at how these innovative , wordless books can offer real life opportunities to tackle complex emotional issues with young people with learning disabilities and Autism.
Phase 1 of the Project has produced very positive evidence based outcomes , using whole group approaches. Phase 2 begins in September 2019 , and looks specifically at how the books can provide interventions to individual students , to promote positive mental health .
The Project is been directed by Professor Barry Carpenter ; the Research Fellow for the Project is Jo Egerton – firstname.lastname@example.org
A selection of the books being used in phase 1 and 2 of the Open Book project , are show on the flyer below .
The information being collated is giving new insights as to the applicability of wordless books to aid development of young people with LD, in all sorts of contexts . Recently the Books Beyond Words Founder, Sheila, the Baroness Hollins , commented on the links with Theory of Mind : –
“Stories in pictures can help people who are visually literate to explore and explain their own beliefs, feelings, knowledge and intentions, and to accept that other people may have beliefs, feelings, knowledge and intentions that are different to their own. In other words, situations explained in pictures can help to develop what is often called ‘theory of mind’ .”
Click to download and view + visit https://booksbeyondwords.co.uk/
On the journey of professional learning, as schools and teachers prepare to implement Engagement more fully as assessment, this article may offer some useful insights.
Click to download and view.
Autism and Girls – One day conference with Prof. Barry Carpenter
Date: 5th November 2019
Event Time: 9am – 4pm
Event Location: Harcourt Hill Campus, Oxford Brookes University
Click the below link for more information:
Some years ago I worked with a brilliant Architect, Christopher Beaver, to create new learning spaces for children with Autism and Complex Needs.
The information I used drew on two PhD’s I had been involved with, namely those of Dr Diana Pauli and Dr Tamara Brookes.
Linked below are a series of articles that reflect those discussions, deliberations and developments. These may be helpful in the context of the current expansion of specialist provision
To download these articles, please visit the below website link and click the blue ‘Download’ button.
A must for all schools, this latest resource out of Nurture UK, http://www.nurtureuk.org) is invaluable for supporting the mental health of Teenagers .
Click below to download and view.
“Earlybird” – the first book worldwide for parents and children to explore together the experience of premature birth.
Written by Dr Patricia Champion, MBE , Founder of the Champion Early Intervention Centre , in Christchurch , New Zealand , and an international expert in the field of prematurity.
“All the joys and worries of a prematurely born baby are tenderly and openly addressed in this lovely story as Mum, Dad and Pip welcome little Peri into their nest. This book will be calming and centering resource for families to read with their children following their time in NICU and long after as they continue to embrace their newest family member”.
Professor Linda Gilkerson, PhD. Erikson Institute USA.
The book is available internationally and can be purchased online at: http://www.championfoundation.co.nz
Click the below to download and view the Earlybird information sheet.
Barry Carpenter PhD, Hannah Picken, BA , Jill Wellings BEd, Alan Wood, BSc. (United Kingdom)
This paper was presented to the ISEI Conference in Sydney June, 2019.
Powerpoint (Converted to PDF) - Click the pdf icon below, to download and open.