News Archive

What a fantastic fun morning our Head office team have had competing in the Derby Museums Derby RamTrail #bopbeepdash In our pirate costumes #SENADSmugglers we dashed around the city at 7.30am taking selfies of ourselves with as many rams as possible and we got the folks of Derby joining in too with lots of pirate cheers and honking of horns. We won the Best Selfie award.

Our Transition Home ‘Outstanding’ Again!

One Nine Five, the Groups transition home for young adults has achieved an ‘Outstanding’ grade for the second CQC inspection running. The Registered Manager, Natalie Chester, and her staff team received high praise for their dedication to the 10 young adults that currently live at the home.

“People were assisted by a committed, well-supported staff team to plan and achieve individual goals with the ambition to move towards independent living. People were supported to lead truly fulfilling and meaningful lives which championed diversity and personal achievement.” CQC Inspection report 2021

Read the full report here.

Celebrating the Impact of Teaching Assistants

Teaching Assistants (TA’s) are pivotal in the care and development of children and we are eternally grateful to them. To celebrate National TA day on September 16th we gave our TA’s rosettes, mugs and hot chocolate.  At Bladon House School we do as much as we can, as often as we can to make sure our teaching assistant teams know the value they have and how much we rely on their dedication and commitment.  A huge thank you to all TA’s within the SENAD Group for the positive difference you make to the lives and outcomes of the children and young people.

SENAD Group support Derby Uni students’ work on community SEND projects

Four University of Derby students who have provided community support for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are the first recipients of a new prize from one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist education and care.

The Derby-based SENAD Group has sponsored the prizes of £500 each in recognition of the civic contribution made by the students.

Between them, the inaugural winners, all third-year students from the University’s BA (Hons) Special Educational Needs and Disabilities degree programme, have developed sport and physical activities, research-based therapies, methods for managing emotions and opportunities for children to interact with animals.

While studying for her degree at Derby, Samantha Hilton’s placement at The Island Project Farming and Education Centre in Derbyshire saw her deliver sessions focused on the mental health and wellbeing of children by building their rapport with the centre’s animals.

Samantha developed a more ‘hands-on approach’ and taught herself Makaton sign language which she could incorporate in sessions through a ‘Simon Says’ game, based around welfare needs of the animals at the centre.

She said: “This prize has enabled me to realise and value my own work and achievements in such a hard year for all, especially children and young people with SEND. My degree provided a placement which incorporates animal-assisted interaction, and the changes I saw within the children has inspired me to further my education on therapy which incorporates animals.”

Amelia Goodhew created a physical activity programme with targets designed to meet social, emotional and sensory needs. The SHINE programme, which operates in the Coventry and Warwickshire area, has progressed to delivering one-to-one sessions to 23 children aged between three and 13 years old. The sessions are delivered at home, schools and other locations in the community.

Amelia, who worked as a teaching assistant before enrolling on the degree course at Derby, said: “Winning the SENAD prize award means the world to me, as it has aided me in showing my value as a SEND professional. The award has also helped us to access more funding and open our community SHINE project to more participants across Rugby, as well as continuing to support participants in Coventry and Warwickshire.”

She will soon begin a new role as SEND lead for the Coventry-based Positive Impact Group, working to deliver alternative provision for children.

Leila Holman researched the value of resonance boards, which use sound to assist sensory learning, in the Derby school at which she worked as a teaching assistant. She put together a training programme which enabled staff to use the boards for creative sessions, focused on increasing non-verbal communication. As a result, the boards are now used across her school and have helped to enhance children’s communication skills.

She said: “It means so much that my contribution to the SEND community has been noticed not just by myself, but by others, which has given me a real confidence boost and inspired me to keep going and keep pushing myself to be the best practitioner I can be.

“It has given me a real lift in such a difficult time and showed me that it is always worth carrying on, being myself and doing what I believe in.”

Emily Humphries has been volunteering to help children with SEND since she was 12 years old, which has led to a career in a primary school, while continuing to volunteer in the Scouting movement, as well as working for the Staffordshire-based charity Ourspace.

Her interest in how one of the schools she volunteered with managed behaviour and taught self-regulation led to the development of her own practice of one-to-one support. This allowed flexibility for children to manage their own emotions, and to ensure there is always a calming environment after a child has experienced a distressing situation.

Emily said: “SEND has always been a huge factor in my surrounding life and it’s amazing to be recognised for my continuous work within the SEND community. It has brought so much pride and determination going forward and this achievement will stand out as I progress throughout my career into SEND teaching.”

Brian Jones, SENAD Group Executive Chairman and University of Derby honorand, said: “Supporting the SEND experts of the future is hugely important to us at the SENAD Group, as we continue to develop best practice to ensure that all children and young people with special education needs and disabilities’ are given every opportunity to maximise their potential. I would like to congratulate the four University of Derby students who have been awarded a SENAD Group sponsored prize, their ingenuity, hard work and dedication to the projects they have worked on is outstanding.”

Trevor Cotterill, Programme Leader for Education Studies and SEND at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted that The SENAD Group has so kindly sponsored these new prizes for our students. They shine a light on the brilliant work being done to support children with special educational needs by our students in their workplaces and local communities.

“As an applied university, we take huge pride in knowing that our students are using their knowledge, understanding and skills to provide practical solutions which bring real and lasting benefits to children’s lives.”

In addition to the prizes, SENAD has also pledged a £3,000 scholarship to one student enrolling in this year’s post graduate School Direct with Qualified Teacher PGCE, with SEND pathway, following their transition from a University of Derby undergraduate programme.

Toyota UK and Remap help enhance OT at Maple View School

Thank you to Toyota UK and Steven McCordick from charity Remap Stephen (pictured with TMUK Principal Engineer, Nick Key received a request from the groups’ Maple View School in Mackworth, Derby, who cater for children aged 7-16 years of age with moderate to severe learning difficulties. They wanted a tea cup-style roundabout to develop gross motor skills. The wheel rotates to spin the equipment around so, not only does it provide lots of fun, it is also great for developing shoulder muscles, balance, and coordination. Whilst the equipment is commercially available, it is too small and has a limited weight restriction for older pupils. Remap, requested a Toyota steering wheel Pictured trying out the finished item, Stephen Akers, Occupational Therapist at Maple View School, said “Thank you to Remap and Toyota for building us this roundabout. It’s a great addition to the equipment in our Occupation Therapy room and provides an opportunity for our children to stimulate and regulate themselves, as well as develop coordination and muscle tone. The Toyota steering wheel certainly makes the activity more engaging”.

Ram Trail Events for Children with SEN.

Al Fresco Breakfasts at Bladon House School

We have been celebrating the great outdoors for The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild event that lasts for the duration of June. The BIG breakfast was the first of many activities offered throughout the month. The young people were given the opportunity to have breakfast over half term in the Forest School Classroom around the fire with staff and peers. Eating al fresco has been proven to strengthen concentration, reduce stress and is a great overall mood booster.

10-year Service Celebrations for Laurel

Congratulations to Laurel Howell, Shift Manager at Ecclesbourne Lodge, who is celebrating 10 years service at the home. Laurel was treated to her favourite kind of buffet… a cake buffet! She was also presented with gifts and a letter from the SENAD Group Directors thanking her for continued hard work and dedication to the young adults and the staff at the home.

Ecclesbourne Lodge – Growing for Wellbeing

The young adults at Ecclesbourne Lodge took part in National Growing for Wellbeing Week. They thoroughly enjoyed the activity and all of them got involved. They will now all tend and grow their own plants and vegetables

Growing for Wellbeing Week is a national event that took place on the 7th – 13th June 2021. The week is a celebration of the magic that growing your own produce can do for your wellbeing, both physically and mentally.

Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience mental ill-health each year. There is strong evidence highlighting the health benefits of gardening and ‘grow your own in particular, including improved confidence, communication, concentration and ultimately self-belief.

Gardening improves mental health, enables better physical health, provides an opportunity to connect with others, acquire new skills and enjoy the great outdoors.

After all, It’s not what you grow, it’s how YOU grow.

Ahoy, Me Hearties!

Students and Staff from Maple View School found the amazing SENAD Group Ram, Pirate Sheepmate this morning on their first visit to the Derby Ram Trail. They are going to do the trial along with their classmates over the coming weeks. Along with the SENAD ram, there are 29 other rams located throughout Derby City Centre, all sponsored by local businesses. Visitors can follow the ram trail by purchasing a map from the museum or by downloading the Derby Ram Trail app which is free and downloadable through the App Store and Google Play.

From Power Lifting British Champion to Bladon House School Champion

Donna Webb, a Physiotherapy Assistant at Bladon House School celebrated her 30th work anniversary on the 1st of May 2021. Donna was heavily involved in powerlifting and she became a British Champion at the age of 16! She represented Great Britain during 3 world championships in Australia – Adelaide, USA – Hawaii and UK –Birmingham. Donna came 3 in all of them! Unfortunately, Donna was forced to stop her spectacular sport career due to the injury.

When Donna started working at Bladon House School she quickly recognised that working with people with special needs is very rewarding. Donna worked in the care department for 10 years and she progressed from a student support worker to a team leader position. Then she moved to Education and worked as a teaching assistant, PE assistant and Sports Leader. After 13 years in Education, Donna moved to the therapy department to work as a Physiotherapy Assistant. Donna provides physiotherapy, sensory–motor sessions and sensory diets written by the school’s physiotherapist. She uses her sport and work experience to deliver high-quality therapy sessions.

Over the years Donna has been working in various school departments and she has obtained lots of experience and understanding of people with special needs. Donna is an important part of Bladon’s team. She is full of positivity and smile and always ready to help and support.

We all wish Donna a very happy anniversary!