Accessible Books and Stories

Having previously described some useful apps for developing literacy skills, Helen now addresses another key question: where can we find books and stories that our children can use? Her class have enjoyed trying out some of the different books and stories, and there are books suitable for a wide range of abilities. 

Living Paintings Tactile Books

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14 apps to develop literacy skills

Every student at Royal School Manchester takes part in activities to develop their literacy skills. We believe that 'literacy' describes a spectrum of different skills, and students will move along and between different strands of these skills at different rates. Developing their practical skills and their interest in literacy, through high-quality, inspiring and engaging activities, is a basic right we think all our students should be able to enjoy, and we've found several useful apps to help make this possible.

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Looking at Personal Budgets

It has been a little more than a year since the SEND reforms introduced the right for young people and their families to request personal budgets. Families who are still in the middle of transferring over to EHC plans often have questions about what personal budgets mean for their son or daughter, so here are some answers to the most common questions we’re hearing from Seashell families.

What is a personal budget? How does it work?

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SEND Implementation Funding Announced

This week saw the government announce an £80 million package to fund support for children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities. A little more than a year after the SEND reforms first took effect, the £80 million will extend the work done by independent support, charities and local authorities to complete the transition to the new system.

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In Profile: Residential Support Worker Jessica

Name: Jessica O'Neill

Role: Residential support worker (RSW) in Young People's Care. I work in a house with young male adults with complex needs, with some students displaying signs of challenging behaviour.

How long have you worked at Seashell? A little over six months.

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End of term celebrations

Today is the last day of term for our school and college students. School students took the opportunity to continue their work on celebrations from different cultures by looking at different Christmas traditions in an all-school assembly, with mince pies and drinks for the parents. Earlier in the week, school students made and sold Christmas cards and other seasonal crafts.

College students helped organise and run the college fair, and the rock band (a group of musically-inclined college students and staff) performed for the others.

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Preparing For Work

Three years since Royal College Manchester launched our internship programme, we look back at some of the challenges and lessons learned.


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Making CADS count

With the end of term holidays fast approaching, Seashell Trust’s CADS activity programme is getting ready to open its doors to local kids with and without disabilities. This week, we look at some commonly asked questions about how we’re able to offer activities to meet a wide range of needs, and why exactly that’s so important.

So how does CADS work?

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Thank You To Our Volunteers

Seashell Trust is delighted to report that we have achieved the Investing In Volunteers award, the UK's quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. Achieving the IIV Award is a sign of our commitment to everyone who generously donates their time, skills and experience to helping our organisation. Volunteers are involved in all areas of our organisation, from CADS leaders to office workers, and no matter where you volunteer, or what you do at Seashell, we know that we couldn't have achieved this award without you.

Thank you.

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Students Driving Change Around Their Community

The student council organised and participated in a protest to raise awareness of the need for road safety in the area around college this week. Worried that some drivers in the area around the college travel too quickly, or don't always recognise that students may be using equipment like walkers, students and staff across all departments worked together to make students' concerns heard.

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The Dog Blog

Katie, a Guide Dog who visited the college while she was still just a puppy in training, officially qualified as a Guide Dog over the summer and has now moved to a village near Lincoln where she works for a woman named Sarah. Sarah and Katie enjoy travelling to the local shops and visiting Sarah’s friends and family together, and Katie loves village life – she’s made good friends with some of the other dogs who live nearby and really enjoys all her country walks.

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In Profile: Volunteer and Swim Instructor Cameron

Name: Cameron Brown

Role: Volunteer and paid swimming instructor once a week.

And outside Seashell? Student at Manchester Grammar School, where I’m also on the water polo team and swim for the school. That means training for water polo three mornings before school every week as well as working for the Swim Team as a paid instructor on Saturday mornings.

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