Specific Strategies

Possible Difficult SituationsAdvice/Strategies
Group/pair work
  • Allocate students carefully
  • Work with the same person / people where possible
  • Make sure the student understands what to do within the group
  • Support and withdraw gradually
  • Make sure the others are listening
  • Give time to organise and settle
Break times
  • Provide a safe haven where the student can go
  • Introduce a buddy system
  • Encourage them to attend clubs/games
  • Yr 11s could help in Yr 7 clubs
  • Look for the routine in the chaos and practise
  • Undertake Role Play
  • Give defined options – give them choices about what they can do at break
  • Structure / separate the key stages
  • Rotate or stagger lunch breaks
Other unstructured times
  • Provide activities to be getting on with
  • Teachers to get there before students
  • Teach the cues that indicate unstructured time
  • Preteach through role play
  • Use Buddy systems
  • Preteach through social stories
Changes of staff
  • Make a pen portrait
  • Pre-warn if possible
  • Provide a familiar TA or buddy could explain what’s going on if there is an unexpected event
  • Keep the same room where possible
  • Keep the seating plan and format consistent
  • Speak to the member of staff if they don’t know the student
Trips/special occasions
  • Give advance warning where possible
  • Write the trip/special occasion in the student’s planner
  • Provide a letter to or speak to parents
  • Hold a pre-trip meeting
  • Give detailed itinerary in advance so the student knows what will happen and when
  • Provide explicit expectations
  • Use a social story
  • A familiar TA or buddy could accompany the student
  • Put the student in the same group of friends as in school
  • Allow something familiar from home


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Last updated: 22 October 2015

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