The following testimonials are a selection of comments provided when participants complete their post-course evaluation, and evaluate the success of their goals 90 days after passing their course.
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“Positive reinforcement of using a ‘soft voice’ especially when meeting or greeting peers has resulted in the student being able to communicate and socialise much better with his peers. Also working towards the smart targets has enabled myself and the class teaching team to focus on the behaviour that we wish to develop and to consider whether the strategies we used were working.
Special School Teacher
Autism Spectrum Disorder
“I have also learnt how to break down tasks so it’s easier for the children to understand and easier to teach each stage at a time. I have been shown lots of activity ideas. I have learnt lots more that we will be using all the time and sharing with other staff.
Motor Coordination Difficulties
“Improved my knowledge of ASD, and having the conversation with the tutor gave me more insight into working and long term memory of children with ASD. I've adapted how I give instructions with some of the children.
“As SENCO in the school, I feel I now have more knowledge to support colleagues when asked questions about pupils in their class.
“After doing this course I now evaluate all the lessons I am involved in, especially the literacy lesson I teach. I have now changed the way I work with the less able children of the group, instead of them all doing the same I have given them slightly different ways to learn the sounds and words we work on. I have already seen an improvement in all of them. Working at their pace has definitely helped their learning.
“It really was fascinating thinking about how our senses help us learn, how we would feel if we didn't have those senses and how we would have to adapt. I feel it would greatly benefit the staff involved in the next academic year to do this course too.
“The training has made me review interventions in conjunction with learning theory. This is a much more focused approach and I will be able to use it again in the future. I like to work with SMART target setting, as it helps me stay driven, so every opportunity to practise this is valuable.
“I have become more aware of the ineffectiveness of too much "teacher talk" and of the importance of very directed questioning and enabling plenty of opportunities for the pupil to develop and consolidate his learning.
“I strongly believe in the value of attachment theory and think it has significant application for us as educators. It has the capacity to help teachers better understand their students, be more attuned to their needs, respond to them more appropriately, be more empathic, interpret their behaviour with more accuracy and plan and develop better supports for them. If teachers can better understand their students and meet their needs, they will be supporting the student in their social, emotional, behavioural and cognitive growth and facilitating greater access to the curriculum. Forming positive, supportive relationships can assist students to develop the capacity for establishing secure attachments and have significant lasting impacts in their lives.
Attachment and Trauma
“I feel that I have a better understanding of just how much the classroom environment and resources can affect a student’s willingness and ability to learn. Furthermore, although I have always been aware that certain students do not accept praise, especially in front of their peers, I had never thought to say things like "I have enjoyed working with you/this group this lesson." and have always relied on sending praise postcards home.
Understanding and Supporting Behaviour
“Having now done this course I am aware that sometimes I 'set the bar' too high when setting a specific task/target and that I need to differentiate the work according to the children's ability. I very much agree with the statement that “knowledge of the learner can maximise the impact of teaching” and apart from the occasional 'blip' I would to think that I do 'know' the children I teach and that this knowledge does help me deliver a more effective lesson including the element of fun and surprise!
“This training has highlighted some of the potential problems associated with dealing with ASD in the classroom. It has given me a deeper understanding, not only of the problems facing students with ASD, but also a useful range of strategies to help find practical solutions to help and give these students full access to the curriculum.
Autism Spectrum Disorder