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Sensory and/or physical

Sensory and/or physical needs

Whole school approaches and strategies

  • All staff are aware of individual learner’s sensory or physical disability and implications in all teaching and learning environments.
  • Favourable seating arrangements are identified.
  • Staff are aware that for some learners, a sensory or physical disability could impact on their language and social interaction.
  • Staff should encourage pupils to wear appropriate sensory equipment and use physical aids.
  • Staff should ensure that all pupils have understood all instructions.


Reasonable adjustments and quality first teaching strategies

Identified barrier and/or need

Provision and/or strategies: approaches, adjustments and specific

interventions expected to be made by settings according to the ages

and stages of the learners

Hearing impairment

  • Seated near front of class with clear view of teacher’s face and any visual material used.
  • Instructions delivered clearly and at an appropriate volume.
  • Check the lesson content has been heard and understood, particularly when delivering new information, instructions or homework, and/or using unfamiliar vocabulary.
  • Repeating or rephrasing pertinent comments made by other learners
  • Ensuring the learner accesses those comments.
  • Be aware the learner may use lip-reading and visual clues to support their hearing. Ensure that they are face on when you are giving instructions. Try not to move around the room whilst talking.
  • Visual reinforcement (pictures and handouts), to support learning.
  • Be aware that during PE or games lessons it will be more difficult to follow instructions.
  • Words spoken on an audio or visual recording may need a person to repeat what is being said, provide written copy and/or use subtitles.
  • Carpeting, soft furnishing, rubber feet on the table and chair legs, etc. will reduce noise.
  • Seat away from any source of noise eg, window, corridor, fan heater, projector, the centre of the classroom, etc.
  • Encourage good listening behaviour: sitting still, looking and listening.
  • Encouraged to ask when not sure what to do.
  • A quiet working environment, particularly for specific listening work.
  • All staff who work with a learner with hearing impairment should be made aware how best to support in school.
  • Staff working directly with a learner with hearing impairment to have appropriate training such as British Sign Language (BSL).
  • Visual timetable and use of visual cues such as sand timers to support sharing.
  • Staff to work together with other professionals to share strategies and advice to support the child learner.

Visual impairment

  • Staff to work together with other professionals to share strategies and advice to support the learner.
  • Use of a Brailler and Braille training (via Sensory Impairment Service).
  • Use of ICT eg, iPad connected to whiteboard (via Join Me).
  • Talking books and literature and books in Braille.
  • Reading apps.
  • 3D printer.
  • Mobility and cane training.
  • Talking equipment for life skills and curriculum activities.

Physical disability

  • Staff to work together with other professionals to share strategies and advice to support the learner.
  • Moving and manual handling training.
  • Support equipment.
  • Accessibility planning.
  • Hoisting.
  • Accessible transport.
  • Work chairs.
  • Standing frame.
  • Walkers.
  • iPad and grips.
  • Staff with care training and appropriate hygiene suites.
  • Switch operated life skills and curriculum equipment.
  • Adapted equipment to access specific aspects eg, cutlery, crockery,
  • Scissors.


Severe and complex

medical needs including a life-threatening diagnosis

or condition

  • Reasonable adjustments in line with the Equality Act 2010.
  • Support equipment such as lockable medicine cabinets, first aid bags, sharps box, fridges.
  • Rotated medication or care training.
  • Liaising with specialist colleagues for up-to-date training.
  • Clear bereavement training and policies.
  • Regular home school contact when or if learner is not in school to maintain ‘sense of belonging’ with peers and school community.

Physical sensitivity

including hyper and hypo responses and possible sensory processing

disorder (SPD)

  • Differentiated curriculum and use of time limited small group programme of activities. 
  • Staff to work together with other professionals to share strategies and advice to support the learner’s sensory diet.
  • Sensory reduction planning and reasonable adjustments made to learning environment.
  • Regular adult support to complete tasks and supervise transitions or regular movement breaks.
  • Prompting to independently access sensory strategies.
  • Staff training through CPD.
  • Individual work stations.
  • Build resilience using timers.
  • Relevant equipment such as footrest, angle board, pencil grip, move’n’sit cushion, etc.
  • Risk assessment as appropriate.