Skip to content
  1. Do it online
  2. Login
  3. Have your say
  4. My Durham

SEND and Inclusion course directory - communication and interaction courses


Find out about our communication and interaction courses.

You can book a place for any of the courses on this page online using your Synergy account.

Please contact IT on 03000 261100 if you experience any difficulties with your Synergy account.

For further information on any of the courses, contact us at SendInclusionAdmin@durham.gov.uk or by phone on 03000 263333.

List of courses

Use the links below to view full details of each course:


Course details

All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments.

ELKLAN accredited training

Description: Elklan's evidence based Speech and Language training is a successful externally quality assured and accredited course. It equips staff to develop key communication skills in children, which are proved to ensure later success in school and life. The courses give you the opportunity to complete a portfolio, if desired, and achieve an externally verified and accredited level 2 or 3 qualification through ASCENTIS. This ensures that the course and your portfolio meet the national standards of a formally recognised Awarding Organisation. Please note that learners will need to be given time in school to carry out activities and record their observations. We offer a range of ELKAN training courses:

  • Speech and Language support for 3-5s.
  • Speech and Language support for 5-11s.
  • Speech and Language support for 11-16s.
  • Speech and Language support for 0-25s with complex needs.
  • Speech and Language support for children and young people with severe learning difficulties.
  • Speech and Language support for verbal children and young people with autism.

Outcomes: 

  • To build your confidence and skills to support the communication and language development of all children, but with specific reference to those within the age group or needs of the course title.
  • To give you practical advice and strategies to support parents and families with whom you work.
  • To provide settings with a highly skilled workforce to help narrow the gap and improve the life chances of young children.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: To be confirmed, can be run either as 10x2hr sessions, or as four full days.

Where: To be arranged

Cost: £440 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Autism Education Trust - Making sense of autism

Description: Introduction to autism and general strategies at Quality First Teaching level for classroom practitioners. This course covers a brief introduction to autism and considers what approaches can be implemented to make your classroom/school autism friendly. Participants will have access to a wide range of online resources following the course.

Outcomes: 

  • To have an awareness of autism.
  • To be able to use a range of Quality First Teaching strategies to support pupils on the autism spectrum.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 2 November 2021, 2 February 2022, 3 May 2022, 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Autism Education Trust - Good autism practice

Description: To understand the needs of pupils on the autism spectrum and be able to put strategies and approaches in place to support them. This course offers a more in-depth understanding of the autism spectrum and will be delivered either as a full day or over four 1.5 hour sessions. Participants will have access to a wide range of online resources following the course.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand the needs of pupils on the autism spectrum in your class and school.
  • To be able to provide support and deliver relevant interventions.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 16 November 2021, 17 March 2022, 16 June 2022, 9.00am - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £150 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


 

'From 0 - 60 in a second': Unpicking the presentation of anxious children and young people on the autism spectrum and understanding how to support them

Description: To have an understanding of the presentation of children and young people on the autism spectrum who are anxious; why this is a common difficulty; what staff in schools can do to support their children and young people. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • What is anxiety and how children and young people on the autism spectrum might present.
  • Specific difficulties that children and young people on the autism spectrum might have which feeds into their anxieties.
  • Approaches and strategies to support.

Outcomes: Staff will:

  • have an understanding of anxiety
  • know how aspects of autism can make it harder for our children and young people to cope
  • have a range of approaches and strategies that they can use

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 30 March 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Helping children and young people on the autism spectrum with their emotional dashboard

Description: To give staff greater awareness of how to support children and young people with social communication difficulties with emotional understanding and regulation. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • Discussion of the difficulties associated with the Autism Spectrum and the implications for emotional understanding and regulation.
  • Strategies to help pupils develop their emotional awareness and emotional regulation.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand why pupils on the Autism Spectrum have difficulties with their emotional awareness and regulation.
  • To be able to plan for and deliver strategies and interventions to support the development of their emotional awareness and regulation.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 17 May 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30

Cancellation terms: One week


SENSEational! A fascinating journey into supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum with sensory differences

Description: For practitioners to understand sensory difference experiences by children and young people on the autism spectrum and to be able to put supportive strategies in place. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • How our senses work.
  • Hyper and Hypo sensitivities.
  • How sensory sensitivity affects behaviour.
  • Strategies to support students with sensory issues.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand how sensory issues affect children and young people on the autism spectrum.
  • To be able to plan and use strategies and approaches to support these children and young people.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 30 March 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £80 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


It's different for girls

Description: To understand the different ways in which girls on the autism spectrum might present and how to use appropriate strategies. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • Discussion of the different presentation of girls on the Autism Spectrum, and the difficulties they face.
  • How this affects their access of the curriculum and school activities.
  • Approaches and strategies to support them.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand the presentation of girls on the autism spectrum.
  • To be able to plan and implement approaches and strategies to support these children and young people in school.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 3 November 2021, 8 March 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


"Did you see that?!" How to make a communication connection with a child who is preverbal or an early word user on the autism spectrum

Description: To explore ways to connect with children and young people on the autism spectrum who either have no verbal language or are in the early stages of communicating verbally. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • Discussion of the challenges of communicating with children and young people who are preverbal.
  • Exploration of shared attention and how to develop this fundamental skill.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand how pre-verbal and early word user children and young people on the autism spectrum.
  • To understand what joint attention is.
  • To know how to establish shared experiences and a communication connection.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 15 March 2022 (4.00pm - 5.30pm)

Where: Online

Cost: £30

Cancellation terms: One week


"Reading Between the Lines": Supporting children and young people on the autism spectrum to navigate the confusing social world

Description: To understand social development; how it is different for children and young people on the autism spectrum; strategies which can help. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • Discussion of difficulties associated with the Autism Spectrum and the implications for social behaviour and understanding.
  • Strategies to help pupils develop their social communication and social understanding.
  • Writing appropriate social skills outcomes.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand why children on the Autism Spectrum have difficulties with their social skills.
  • To be able to plan for and run interventions to support the development of their social understanding and social communication.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 18 January 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Service

Cost: £80

Cancellation terms: One week


Making sense of speech and language

Description: Introduction to speech, language and communication; identification of children and young people who may have SLC needs; and Quality First Teaching strategies. All of our courses are underpinned by the Autism Education Trust training modules and will include references to 4 key themes: The Individual Pupil, Building Relationships, Curriculum and Learning, Enabling Environments. All participants will have access to a wide range of resources available on the AET website following training.

  • What is speech, language and communication?
  • Identification of the processes involved in successful verbal communication.
  • Presentation of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.
  • Creating communication friendly classrooms and Quality First Teaching approaches.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand what speech, language and communication is.
  • To identify children and young people in your school who may have these difficulties.
  • To be able to use appropriate approaches to support communication in your classroom.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: This course will be pre-recorded and shared with individuals or settings

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person or £290 for a setting

Cancellation terms: One week


Making sentences make sense (colourful semantics)

Description: This course will develop staff's understanding of how to support pupils in developing oral sentence building using visual supports.

Outcomes: School staff will be able to use a system to support spoken language learning across the curriculum, which can be used for:

  • oral sentence development
  • understanding questions
  • understanding written texts
  • developing vocabulary and learning facts
  • developing oral narrative skills (re-telling/story telling)

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 9 March 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £80 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


'Lost for words?': Supporting the development of vocabulary

Description: Strategies to support the development of vocabulary. 

  • Difficulties some of our children and young people have in understanding and using vocabulary.
  • Identifying vocabulary that is key to supporting children and young people's communication.
  • Approaches and strategies that can help to support vocabulary development.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand the difficulties some children and young people have with developing their understanding and use of vocabulary.
  • To understand the different 'tiers' of vocabulary, which words to introduce and how to introduce them.
  • To be able to use strategies to support and maintain vocabulary development in your classroom.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 7 February 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £80

Cancellation terms: One week


Can't speak? Won't speak?

Description: An introduction to selective mutism/reluctant talkers.

  • What is selective mutism and what might be the underlying causes?
  • How can we best support children and young people who are reluctant to speak.

Outcomes: 

  • To have an understanding of selective mutism.
  • To be able to use approaches which help children and young people.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 03 February 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30

Cancellation terms: One week


Talking Mats ® Foundation Training

Description: To become familiar with the principles of Talking Mats and be able to use Talking Mats with the children and young people in your setting. This course is taught over two half days and will enable you to develop an understanding of how to use Talking Mats ® as a tool to effectively obtain the views of children and young people with communication difficulties in your setting. You will learn how to use Talking Mats ® in a variety of ways to help problem solve issues a child may be experiencing or obtain children's views to inform outcomes for SEND Support Plans and EHCPs in a child centred way.  Participants will receive a symbol set, certificate and a published booklet by Talking Mats ®.

Outcomes: 

  • To gain an understanding of Talking Mats ® as a communication tool
  • To practise using Talking Mats to enable you to effectively support children and young people with communication difficulties in your setting
  • To provide participants with the opportunity to reflect on and develop their own communication skills between the two sessions.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 10 November and 8 December 2021, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £185 including symbol pack and accreditation certificate

Cancellation terms: One week


Twilight training

Description: Bespoke twilight sessions for individual schools and settings. Courses can be negotiated with the team and can include any of our publicised courses or other topics which are not included in the course directory.

Outcomes: Outcomes are course dependent, however all of our training aims to increase staff knowledge and skills, and to support staff to become more confident in meeting the needs of children and young people with communication and interaction difficulties in their setting.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: Arranged with school/setting

Where: School setting or online

Cost: £290

Cancellation terms: One week


Colourful Semantics - an introduction

Description: This course will develop staff's understanding of how to support pupils in developing oral sentence building using visual supports.

Outcomes: School staff will be able to use a system to support spoken language learning across the curriculum, which can be used for:

  • oral sentence development
  • understanding questions
  • understanding written texts
  • developing vocabulary and learning facts 
  • developing oral narrative skills (re-telling/story telling).

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: Twilight session, 31 January 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


LEAP into Language - Supporting children and young people to develop language skills outdoors

Description: This course will support practitioners to make the most of outdoor opportunities to enhance language development.

Outcomes: 

  • To have an understanding of Language development.
  • To consider how we can create a language-rich outdoor Environment
  • To develop a bank of learning opportunities to Activate language development outdoors
  • To consider how to monitor pupil Progress and plan for next steps.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: Spring 2 - Twilight, 16 March 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Supporting children and young people with unclear speech

Description: This course will provide information regarding the developmental sequence of speech sounds and how best to support students with these presenting needs.  The session will provide an example of a typical speech programme.

Outcomes: 

  • To have an understanding of speech development.
  • To understand typical speech difficulties at different ages.
  • To explore good practice speech sound intervention.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: Spring 1: 7 March 2022, 3.30 - 4.30pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Supporting the Speech, Language and Communication needs of children and young people with SEMH

Description: Speech, language and communication needs and Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs often co-occur.  We will explore strategies to support students in the classroom and identify difficulties.

Outcomes: 

  •  To explore how SLCN can impact on mental health, behaviour and learning.
  •  To identify pupil needs and develop strategies to support them in the classroom.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 19 January 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Supporting early verbal reasoning skills and understanding questions

Description: This session looks at the development of early reasoning skills, considering children's understanding of questions at different levels of complexity (based upon the Blank Language for Learning Model) and how staff can adjust their questioning to support learning.

Outcomes: 

  • To familiarise participants the Blank Language Levels
  • To design activities that support children's understanding of questions at appropriate developmental levels.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 4 May 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £80 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Play and language development

Description: This session explores the close links between the development of language and development of play. Practitioners will gain an understanding of the stages in play and language development and how to support children with progressing through these stages. 

Outcomes: 

  • To understand the developmental stages of play and why play is important to language progress.
  • To explore play activities that enhance language development.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants, teachers, SENCOs

Course date and time: 15 June 2022, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £80 per person

Cancellation terms: One week

 


Social skills for autistic pupils: workshop

Description: This practical session looks at how to write social stories and how to use comic strip conversations and social behaviour mapping.

Outcomes: 

  • To have greater confidence in using approaches to support social skills.

Who the course is for: Teaching assistants

Course date and time 15 November 2021, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £80 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Managing demand avoidance in autistic children

Description: This course explores the theory behind demand avoidance and considers approaches which might be helpful.

Outcomes: 

  • To have greater understanding of demand avoidance in autistic pupils
  • To be able to use approaches and strategies more confidently in schools.

Who the course is for: Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Course date and time: 8 February 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Developing play in the Early Years with your autistic pupils

Description: This course is a practical course exploring strategies and approaches to support the development of play skills with younger autistic pupils.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand more about the development of play and autism
  • To be more confident in planning for and delivering play skills sessions.

Who the course is for: Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Course date and time: 5 April 2022 (all day)

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £150 per person

Cancellation terms: One week

 


Keeping Cool: The low arousal approach for autistic pupils

Description: Many autistic pupils experience high arousal levels at school and often find it hard to self-regulate. This course will look at why your pupils might be finding it hard and explore a low arousal approach to working with them.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand the causes of high arousal in autistic pupils
  • To have a greater understanding of the low arousal approach.

Who the course is for: Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Course date and time: 3 February 2022, 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Accentuate the positives

Description: This course will address the underlying causes of behaviour of concern for autistic pupils and consider helpful strategies.

Outcomes: 

  • To have a greater understanding of why autistic pupils may present with behaviour of concern
  • To feel more confident in using appropriate approaches and problem solving frameworks.

Who the course is for: Teachers, SENCOs, Teaching Assistants

Course date and time: 19 November 2021, 1.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Education Development Centre

Cost: £80 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


State of Independence: understanding executive functioning, and supporting young people's independence in learning, play and practical skills

Description: This course will develop your understanding of executive functioning and its impact in the key areas of working memory, self monitoring, emotional regulation, self organisation and completing tasks. It will explore practical ways that you can support young people to develop these skills in school.

Outcomes: 

  • To understand what is meant by executive functioning and how it impacts on autistic pupils
  • To have greater confidence in using appropriate strategies to support pupils.

Who the course is for: Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Course date and time: 8 March 2022, 3.30pm - 5.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Shoe box learning - making tasks practical and meaningful for young learners with ASC (workshop)

Description: This practical workshop will demonstrate how to turn readily available resources in your classroom into learning tasks for basic skills and concepts in a way which young children can understand and which they can access independently.  You will need access to resources in your classroom during the workshop so that you can create your own learning tasks to suit the current learning goals of your pupils - and some shoe boxes!

Outcomes: 

  • To understand the principles behind practical learning tasks
  • To be confident in creating tasks to fit the needs of your autistic pupils.

Who the course is for: Teaching Assistants

Course date and time: 9 November 2021, 3.30pm -  4.30pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Practical ways for schools to support parents of children with ASC

Description: Exploring ways in which you can work with parents of autistic children, to better understand and support your pupils and families with their needs at home.

Outcomes: 

  • To have an appreciation of the challenges families may face
  • To have greater knowledge of support ideas which may be helpful for families.
  • Who the course is for: All staff

Course date and time: 22 March 2022, 3.30pm - 4.30pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week


Supporting the pupil with ASC in the classroom: Cognitive Load Theory

Description: This course will explore effective instruction, explaining and modelling, and practice and retrieval, for pupils with ASC, looking at strategies which are effective in lesson delivery and can be used with all pupils in your class.

Outcomes: 

  • To have an awareness of cognitive load theory
  • To understand how it impacts on autistic pupils
  • To have greater confidence in supporting autistic pupils with practical approach.

Who the course is for: Teachers

Course date and time: 23 November, 2.00pm - 4.00pm

Where: Online

Cost: £30 per person

Cancellation terms: One week

Contact us
SEND and Inclusion Service (communication and interaction)
03000 263 333
Our address is:
  • Education Development Centre
  • Enterprise Way
  • Spennymoor
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DL16 6YP