Zooming’ with Books Beyond Words!

Watch this incredible video clip of FE Tutor Leigh Blakeman, (Chadsgrove College, Bromsgrove) carrying out some home teaching using books beyond words with two students with PMLD from their 19-25 provision. As ever, we are reminded of the power of communication, in whatever form it comes.


Wordless stories to help children returning to school: coming this month

Lenny and Lucy coming August 2020

School closures have been one of the biggest disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For most children, lockdown has meant a loss of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom. Some may even have lost loved ones.

If you’re a teacher or parent you will already be thinking about how you’re going to support the children in your care to settle back into their daily school routine after such a long break and so much change.

We’re working with Prof Barry Carpenter CBE and teachers Alison Erskine and Jenny Hawkes to develop two new stories to support all primary school children – mainstream and SEN – in their return to school. Lenny and Lucy in Lockdown and Lenny and Lucy Return to School will help children make sense of their experiences, communicate their feelings and prepare for more change as they go back to the classroom – and they will be available completely free of charge.

Both stories will be available in time for the new school term. To receive an alert when they are published, sign-up to our mailing list.

“Following ‘lockdown’, with children now returning to their schools, teachers know that every child in their class will need time to talk. Each child’s experiences will need to be shared and acknowledged. These wordless stories are a unique way to help children recall and tell their own story of lockdown and to talk about their emotions and feelings as they return to school and begin their journey of recovery.”
– Jenny Hawkes; Assistant Head, Whitfield Aspen School

“The strength of these wordless stories is the ease at which they can be used with all primary aged children. They can be used to stimulate a whole class discussion, as a small group activity or with an individual child. Lenny and Lucy’s experiences are a prompt for all children to tell their own stories, regardless of their communication abilities. Adults are able to listen, acknowledge and reassure the children, helping them articulate what they are feeling and make sense of what is happening as they return to school.”
– Ali Erskine; Head of School for KS1, Whitfield Aspen School

“Children have had their world turned upside down by the pandemic; many are angry and confused, carrying lots of unprocessed information. These books will offer opportunities for children to recall those experiences, and, in so doing tell, ‘their’ story. The books make a unique contribution to the Recovery Curriculum of any school, and to its overall curriculum work in Social, Emotional and Mental Health.”
– Prof Barry Carpenter CBE


Books that can help children cope with trauma

‘International evidence is clear that using picture books in primary schools post-disaster is an important and useful pedagogical tool. The picture books we have selected provide opportunities to discuss significant issues from living in lockdown and what the return to school means, to the fears and worries children might now have about the future.’