Our new Storify collection – 2016 – 2017 #SENexchange

We have really appreciated the support and involvement of our growing number of followers over the last year and know from the feedback given how useful people find the record of our weekly discussions on storify.

SENexchange has only been established for just over a year and we have a full collection of our discussions over that time in our previous storify collection. We thought it was now time to start a fresh!

Here it is then – our new collection of storify records of discussions from September 2016 – July 2017. We will periodically update this record to keep everything in one place for your reference.

We continue to want our discussions to be useful to you so please continue to keep your discussion topic ideas coming into us by tweeting us at @SENexchange  or on the comments boxes after this blog. Mary and Cherryl thank you very much and look forward to hearing from you.

On 7th September we held a Paralympics themed discussion.  The #Storify of our discussion is here

On 14th September we discussed ‘ What does good staff induction look like?’  The #Storify of our discussion is here

On 21st September we discussed ‘ The important features of a school ethos to support  SEND‘  The #Storify of our discussion is here

On 28th September we discussed ‘What specialist training do you have in your school to support SEND?. The #Storify of our discussion is here

On 5th October we discussed ‘Post – 16 education for our learners with SEND‘. The #Storify of our discussion is here

On 12th October we discussed ‘The essential ingredients of an SEND friendly classroom’The #Storify of our discussion is here

On 19th October we discussed’ Positive behaviour support for pupils with SEND‘. The #Storify of our discussion is here

We then took a break for our  half – term holiday

On 9th November we discussed pupil record keeping  – you can read the #Storify of our discussion here

On 16th November  we discussed how we can support our students with learning difficulties to understand and be safe from bullying  – you can read the #Storify of our discussion here

On 23rd November  we discussed how can we best encourage teachers to communicate with parents.  You can read the #Storify of our discussion here

On 30th November  we discussed how we ensure effective staff training for working with pupils with SEND  – you can read the #Storify of our discussion here

On 7th December  we discussed food and eating for pupils with SEND – you can read the #Storify of our discussion here

On 14th December  you shared the best thing that’s happened to you, your class or child with SEND since last Christmas – you can read the #Storify of our discussion here

We are currently taking a Christmas break and look forward to starting our weekly discussions again on Wednesday 11th January 2017. Do keep your discussion topic ideas coming in – we want our chats to be interesting and useful to you 🙂

With all of our very best wishes

Mary and Cherryl 






‘Measure what you value not value what you measure’ . A special school context — maryisherwood

The context In my last blog I shared the presentation delivered by Mary Rayner HMI when she spoke at a recent Greater Manchester leadership conference about the implementation of the Common Inspection Framework in the special school context. One of the key messages we all took away with us was that in our schools there are […]

via ‘Measure what you value not value what you measure’ . A special school context — maryisherwood

Our first anniversary blog #SENexchange


It was one year ago now when Mary Isherwood @Mishwood1 and Cherryl Drabble @cherrylkd first launched SENexchange @SENexchange and we felt we wanted to mark our first anniversary with a blog!

Our aim and mission has always been for @SENexchange to be a place where people either working in the field of SEND or those who have an interest in SEND can share information, resources,news, ideas, ask for help…….. Both of us were regularly contacted by others about SEND related issues and we felt having a forum to ‘exchange’ information more widely would be beneficial for the SEND community.

The world of education never stays still and the same is true of the world of SEND and it has been a particularly turbulent year with the implementation of the revised Code of Practice and it’s implications for schools, our children and young people and their families. It has been good that people have felt able to share their views and experiences about what is happening relating to SEND either in schools and at home and at times. Having discussion and debate is good and we have always reminded contributors that it is fine to disagree and to offer other perspectives, as long as it is done politely and with respect.

We started our weekly discussions on a Wednesday evening a year ago and have always included topic ideas suggested by our followers.  Did you know you can find a Storify collection of all of our discussions in one place?  It is important to us that we reflect the issues of interest to all of you so keep your suggestions coming in to us!

We are going to return to our weekly discussions after our Easter holiday break on Wednesday 27th April with a chat to mark the anniversary of  @SENexchange “Share your success stories relating to SEND over the last year and tell us your hopes and plans for the the coming year” 

Here at  SENexchange, we feel that over the last year we have established a group of supportive colleagues in the field of SEND and we look forward to our continued collaboration as we move forward into our second year. Thank you to each and every one of our 1758 followers for their continued involvement and support.

Mary and Cherryl





A sincere Christmas thank you from #SENexchange

photo SEN exchange


Mary and Cherryl started @SENexchange  on Twitter in April 2015 with a wish to create a place where ideas, news, information and resources relating to SEND could be shared.

We are delighted that since then we have:

  • 1451 supportive followers
  • published 8 blogs
  • Held 28 weekly discussions on a range of topics suggested by our followers

A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last 9 months. We appreciate the Re-tweets we get and the people who send us links to free resources to share with others.

We want #SENexchange to respond to and reflect the needs and views of the SEND community and to stay up to date with current issues pertinent to those working in the field so we are grateful to those who have suggested topics for our Wednesday evening discussion. We #Storify our discussion each week and have a Storify collection which holds the records of our discussions in one place:

Please do continue to suggest topics for us to discuss in the new year when we resume our weekly chats on 6th January 2016

To read all our other blogs check out our wordpress site

We sincerely wish you all a very happy, healthy and enjoyable Christmas and look forward to more #SENexchange together in the New Year

Mary and Cherryl




#SENexchange: Where are we now and where are we going?


Mary Isherwood @Mishwood1 and Cherryl-kd @cherrylkd initiated SENexchange @SENexchange in April 2015 in response to both of us receiving lots of queries about various aspects of working with children and young people with SEND. This blog tells you how and why we started: https://wordpress.com/post/86326401/7/

We started SENexchange in April 2015 and since then 1000 of you have joined us to ‘exchange’ your thoughts, ideas, views, resources. Thank you! We appreciate your support, involvement and contribution very much.

We started our ‘exchange’ with a list of SEN tweeters, bloggers and websites: http://t.co/S4yWcdInmI . We also regularly share news and updates on a range of aspects of SEND – some of which we find ourselves and tweet out – others which we are grateful are sent to us from our followers enabling us to pass on through the exchange account. We have also been pleased to tweet SEN related queries from followers on @SENexchange and have been pleased with how supportive SEN colleagues have been in responding.

We started our weekly discussions in the middle of April and have covered a range of themes – all suggested by our followers.We have around 20 regular contributors to our discussions which is great! One of the biggest reasons for establishing #SENexchange was that there are lots of people out there with a range of knowledge and expertise to share and we are delighted with the positive feedback we have had – we know people are finding it useful – including us! We are learning lots from others as we go along – that’s what it is all about! If you have missed our discussions so far or want to see what we have been ‘exchanging’, take a look at our #Storify collection blog: https://wordpress.com/post/86326401/125/

Where do we go from here?

We hope you will understand we are taking a little break from our weekly discussions but will be back each Wednesday, 8 – 8.30 p.m. from Wednesday 2nd September 2015.

We will continue to tweet news and articles relating to SEND as they arise and SEN related queries….

#SENexchange is as much about you all out there as it is about us so do tell us any thoughts about how we could make the exchange better – we welcome your views and ideas!

What do we need from you?

We are grateful for your support following us, your re-tweets and for engaging with us in conversation, particularly in our weekly discussions but at other times too – we like to hear from you!

We want SENexchange to be useful to you so please do continue to tell us your thoughts / ideas for discussion topics – as you can see from our Storify list – we really do listen and respond where ever we can

We would continue to welcome new followers – would be great to have more parents /carers of children with SEND joining us to have a parent’s perspective to our discussions and members of multi-agency teams who work with children and young people with SEND e.g. speech and lang therapists, educational psychologists. If you know any one interested in or working with children and young people with SEND who doesn’t know about us yet – please tell them who / where we are.

We are planning to discuss Initial Teacher Training and CPD for those working with SEND during the autumn term so any training providers out there – please do come and join us – we would value your contribution.

Once again a huge and heartfelt thank you to all of you for making our first 5 months of #SENexchange such a success.

With sincere and warmest wishes for a lovely summer to you all

Mary and Cherryl

#SENexchange: The Storify Collection

photo SEN exchange

Once again Mary and Cherryl would like to thank our growing group of followers for joining and supporting us and for their exchange of ideas and experience – that’s what it is all about!

We started our weekly discussions each Wednesday evening on 15th April and are pleased we have a regular group of contributors.We would be delighted if more followers felt able to join our discussions – particularly encouraging parents / carers and those from other agencies who are able to offer a different perspective to the things we talk about. The more people who join us – the broader and richer the exchange of information / experience and ideas….

We always storify after each of our weekly discussions, some of which were collated in our blog ‘Our story so far’ published in May 2015. We thought people might find it useful to have our storify collections in one place however, hence this blog

Our discussions so far have all been taken from / based on your suggestions http://wp.me/p5Qdrj-1q  – Here they are in #storify form:

April 15th 2015 – Our first discussion – What’s special about CPD for working with children and young poeple with SEND?  Was suggested by Simon Knight (@SimonKnight100). You can read the #storify here: https://t.co/d2mfRzHKE0

April 22nd 2015 – We discussed – How do you involve parents and carers in their child’s learning? A topic suggested by EdRightAlliance (@ERA_tweet). You can read the #storify here:  https://t.co/H5fTzCP9F7

April 29th 2015 – We discussed  “Supporting meaningful pupil voice for children and young ppl with SEN ” . A topic suggested by Mary Isherwood (@Mishwood1). You can read the #storify here:  sfy.co/d0Wg9

May 6th 2015- We discussed – Effective strategies for promoting collaboration between mainstream & special schools. – A topic suggested by  Jen (@senteacher_jen). You can read the #storify here: http://t.co/3rq8W4mJir

May 13th 2015- We discussed ‘Encouraging children and young people with SEND to become independent learners.Suggested by Alexis Doyle (@alexisemma31). You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/3ANH4K2u7n 

May 19th 2015-  We discussed  ‘How do teachers/TAs work together to ensure best outcomes for children & young people with SEND. Suggested by Fiona ( @fiona_moody).  You can read the #Storify here:  http://t.co/0Rth72Ddc4

June 3rd 2015- We discussed – ‘Sharing good practice for pupils in mainstream and special schools learning together’ based on the suggestion by Amjad Ali (@ASTsupportAAli). You can read the #Storify here:  http://sfy.co/g0gLa

June 10th 2015 – We discussed ‘ Supporting children and young people to manage their own behaviour’ . A topic suggested by (@Educate_NE ). You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/JOzRJwpG5p

June 17th 2015- We discussed ‘Important features of an ASD friendly learning environment’ as suggested by Lynn McCann (@reachoutASC). You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/D53glHt2hR

June 24th 2015- We discussed ‘Supporting independent writing for learners with SEND’ (based on a suggestion by @jwscattergood). You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/wjUlQZ6gId

1st July 2015- We are discussing ‘Best practice in supporting transitions for learners with SEND’. A topic suggested by @MariaStMarys. #Storify here: 

8th July 2015 – We discussed  ‘supporting learners with SEND with SRE and puberty’. A topic suggested by Lynn McCann (@reachoutASC)  #Storify here: http://t.co/0e6XXcvyQn

15th July 2015- We discussed ‘ How we support learners with SEND to be safe online’. This topic arose from a discussion between @Mishwood1 and @cherrylkd You can read the #storify here:http://t.co/tQG56tyw2b

We took a short summer break and then……………..

2nd September 2015- We discussed ‘How can we best use social media to support outcomes for learners with SEND’. This topic arose from a discussion between @Mishwood1 and @cherrylkd. You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/dG6rJ0Bs2J

9th September 2015- We discussed ‘ How we can best use feedback to help learners with SEND make progress’. A topic suggested by @jwinchester25. You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/8XU4QeNUHj

16th September 2015- We discussed ‘How schools are dealing with Life After Levels for learners with SEND’. This topic was raised and suggested for discussion by a number of folllowers. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/ft2GWXXnv5

23rd September 2015- We discussed ‘What is best practice in Initial teacher training for working with learners with SEND?’. This topic arose from our own discussions. You can read the storify here: http://t.co/tSmqt3JdrE

30th September 2015- We discussed ‘What innovative uses have you found for your sensory room?’. A topic suggested by @senteacher_jen , You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/kvK2kwJ3jA

7th October 2015- We discussed ‘ What particular aspects of staff H+wb should we consider for working with learners with SEN?. This topic was suggested by @senteacher_jen   You can read the #Storify here: http://t.co/y8rmyEOSMp 

14th October 2015- We discussed ‘ How do we best use tech for our learners with SEND?’ A topic suggested by @cherrylkd. You can read the #storify here: http://t.co/7t2R9N2j42

21st October 2015- We discussed ‘What are the essential elements of relevant and meaningful homework for learners with SEND?’. A topic suggested by @Mishwood1. You can read the #storify here: https://t.co/gkej1zqXcV

We took a half term break and then…..

4th November 2015- We discussed ‘How we best get parents / carers involved in the life of the school. A topic suggested by several followers. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/oTWRpNqZdV

11th November 2015- We discussed best uses of Pupil Premium funding as suggested by  @cherrylkd      You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/3StFx50gDl

18th November2015 – We discussed ‘ How we ensure effective safeguarding of our learners with SEND as suggested by  @Mishwood1      . You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/HSOVqi4Nxw

25th November 2015- We discussed ‘ How we monitor and evaluate the performance of TAs. A topic suggested by @MrSeniorLeader. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/abA1gF5GMi

2nd December 2015- We shared strategies of supporting AfL with our learners with SEND. A topic suggested by @missmbunbury .    You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/meok9cesDS

9th December 2015- We discussed ‘How we can use Enterprise in education’ as suggested by @cherrylkd    . You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/jzCkAy8sic

16th December 2015- We discussed ‘The range of ways we use music in our schools’ as suggested by @LittleAngelsSch Little Angels School. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/UOjkPexgwq

We then took our Christmas break

On January 6th 2016 we started the new year by sharing our hopes for SEND in 2016. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/WufL3o0M7b

13th January 2016, we discussed  “How do we support our learners with SEND to move from special to m/stream schools” – a topic suggested by  @StarlightMcKenz    You can read the #storify here:  

20th January 2016, we discussed “How do we best support pupils with SLD in mainstream classes. You can read the storify here:  

27th January 2016. We discussed “”Multi- agency teams: Who is involved with your pupils with SEND and why? ” You can read the #Storify here:  

3rd February 2016. We discussed “What is the role of the SEND Governor?”. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/nwaBJsCJH9

10th February 2016, we discussed”SEND: Whose responsibility is it anyway?” You can read the #Storify here: 

After a half term break….

24th February 2016, we discussed “. How do we best support our children on the Autistic spectrum” – You can read the #Storify here:  

2nd March 2016, we discussed how we support our learners with SEND develop their play skills. You can read the #Storify here: .

9th March 2016, We discussed outdoor learning. You can read the #storify here: 

16th March 2016, we shared good practice in supporting transitions for learners with SEND. You can read the #Storify here: 

23rd March 2016, we acknowledged World Downs Syndrome day with our discussion. You can read the #Storify here: http://sfy.co/f1KT7

30th March 2016, we celebrated the achievements of our children and young people. You can read the #Storify here: http://sfy.co/a0yI8 

We then took an Easter break from our discussions

27th April 2016, we celebrated our first anniversary here at #SENexchange with an anniversary special discussion where we invited people to “Share achievements in SEND over the last 12 months and hopes for the next 12 months”. You can read the #storify here: https://t.co/bSc0sJpnK6

4th May 2016, we had a guest co-host@LauraKerbey,  who had suggested our discussion topic of ‘PDA’. You can read our #storify here: https://t.co/lNYk4YA18F

11th May 2016, we discussed “How can we make best use of social media to support SEND?”. You can read the #storify here: https://t.co/NgAoqfAF9k

18th May 2016, we had a guest co-host of @JosephBaldwin who had suggested our discussion topic of “Let’s discuss technology assisted communication”. You can read the #storify here: https://t.co/NgzCxgfJUC

25th May 2016, we discussed “What comments / feedback from parents / carers would make a teacher most proud?” suggested by @StarlightMcKenz. You can read the #Storify here: https://t.co/NKpqGiIEtv

It is time for us to have a half – term break from our discussions. Our next discussion will be on Wednesday 8th June at 8 p.m.

8th June 2016 – We discussed how SENCOs share information and support others. You can read our #storify here

15th June 2016 – We discussed what makes an autism friendly school? You can read our #storify here

22nd June 2016 – We discussed how we include our children with SEND in wider society. You can read our #storify here

29th June 2016 – We discussed how we can best support the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people with SEND. You can read our #Storify here 

6th July 2016 – We discussed how we can best use assemblies for children with SEND. You can read our #Storify here

13th July 2016 – We discussed assessment of holistic  learning “Measure what you value”. You can read our #Storify here

20th July 2016 – We shared our SEND highlights of the year. You can read our storify here

We are now going to both take a summer break from our weekly discussions.

We will start a new #Storify collection in the new academic year when we return to our discussions on  7th September 2016 so they are all held in one place to make it easier for people to search for topics we have discussed.

Thank you again for all the positive feedback, support, and contributions we have had from you – please do continue to spread the word – the bigger the voice – the bigger the exchange – the bigger the impact for our children and young people with SEND. Do continue to  send us your discussion topic ideas too – we will add them to the list

With sincere thanks and warmest wishes

Mary and Cherryl

A United Force #SENexchange

A warm welcome to all our #SEND followers including parents and the wider community.

We would like to thank you all for your continued support for our weekly themes. As the weeks progress we are all learning new things from each other and sharing our strategies. We aim to improve the experience for all children with SEND either in mainstream or in special school.

We all have varying experiences and on occasions this will lead to differences in opinion. That’s absolutely fine. If we work through these differences by tweeting and being respectful of other people’s opinions we will produce a stronger voice for our special children. We hope you agree that by being a united force we will deliver better outcomes.

We look forward to sharing your best strategies and examples of mainstream and special school pupils learning together, tonight at 8pm. Do join us.

Many thanks
Mary and Cherryl #SENexchange