ADHD Friendly Schools Award
This year, we are joining an increasing number of schools and colleges who have committed to making their school a safe, nurturing, welcoming and exciting place, in which all learners with ADHD can achieve their academic potential. We are working in partnership with The ADHD Foundation to become an ADHD friendly school.
To achieve the award, we are working with the largest provider of ADHD training for parents and professionals in the UK and agree to work together to achieve the 6 ADHD Friendly School Pledges.
The 6 ADHD Friendly School Pledges
- We pledge to work with the ADHD Foundation to provide a training session for our staff team.
- We pledge to provide regular opportunities for all learners with ADHD to have access to physical activity and exercise during the school day.
- We pledge to provide opportunities for all learners with ADHD to learn self-calming strategies such as breathing, progressive muscle relaxation or mindfulness.
- We pledge to provide tactile resources in every classroom.
- We pledge to produce a display for the whole school and hold one assembly to celebrate the achievements of people living with ADHD.
- We pledge to provide information and support for parents and carers of children and young people with ADHD.
Pledge One: Staff Training
All staff attended training on Friday 4th September, 2023 led by Arron Hutchinson from the ADHD Foundation. Staff felt inspired following the training and reflected on current and future practices together.
All staff have the confidence to support your child's learning needs and in answering any questions you may have so please do talk to your child's class teacher if you have any concerns.
Our second staff training was held on Tuesday 7th November, led by Mrs McLoughlin. Staff reviewed the training from the INSET day and looked at how we can move forwards in terms of supporting pupils with ADHD in the classroom.
Pledge Two: Physical activity and exercise opportunities
Regular PE lessons are a legal requirement for all children aged between 5-16. Whilst it is up to individual schools how many lessons children have regularly, the government recommends a minimum of two hours per week and all children at St Anne's receive two hours as a minimum.
In addition to this, there are several opportunities for additional PE sessions and forest school sessions.
At St Anne's, we believe in outdoor and active learning wherever possible. Staff provide opportunities throughout the day for brain breaks or movement breaks which the children thoroughly enjoy.
Have a look at some of the movement breaks on offer at St Anne's and keep checking your child's class story on Class Dojo:
Sensory motor circuits are based on the theories of sensory integration and sensory processing.
A sensory circuit is a form of sensory integration intervention. It involves a sequence of physical activities that are designed to alert, organise and calm the child. The sensory circuit aims to facilitate sensory processing to help children regulate and organise their senses in order to achieve the ‘just right’ or optimum level of alertness required for effective learning. The circuit should be an active, physical and fun activity that children enjoy doing.
We have two sensory circuits running at S Anne’s. One group starts just after lunch and the second group starts at 3pm, just before home time. Sensory circuits are a great way to both energise and settle children so they can focus and engage better in the classroom. Many children can benefit from attending a sensory circuit, even for a short period of time. The activities can also be utilised at different times of the day as part of a sensory diet to help the child regulate.
Have a look at our sensory circuit set-up for the Autumn term:
Pledge 3: Self-calming strategies
At St Anne's, we believe that mental health is a universal right. On World Mental Health Day, we learnt about mental health and how we can look after our ANGEL. Children were excited to learn how they could make a self soothe box at home following the assembly.
Resources to support mental health and wellbeing
Pledge 4: Tactile resources in every classroom
You will see a huge variety of tools in all of our classrooms to support pupils with ADHD. We realise that what works for one child may not work for another so through our coaching sessions, we explore tactile resources together and explore a variety of tools which could support your child.
Resources we have on offer:
-1:1 visual reminders
Pledge 5: Celebrate the achievements of those living with ADHD
In the Autumn term, Mrs McLoughlin delivered a whole school assembly on neuro-diversity. The focus of the assembly was that 'all brains are celebrated at St Anne's.' We looked at the lives of celebrities who are neuro diverse and their successes! We even heard about Mr Dwyer's successes as he shared with us his own story of his neuro diverse journey!
Talk to your child about people they know who are neuro diverse and share their success stories!
Feedback from pupils following the whole school ADHD assembly:
"It was great to see the celebrities who were neuro diverse. I was inspired by Michael Phelps because I love swimming too!"
"I liked the video we watched because it really helped explain what ADHD is - I'm going to talk to my parents about it at home!"
"I am dyslexic and I have ADHD - today's assembly made me feel like I'm not the only one!"
"Me and my mum are dyslexic and have ADHD so I liked learning about this more."
"The whole assembly resembled me because I have ADHD. I felt really happy to see so many famous people have been successful."
"I want to be a drummer when I grow up - just like Chris Pulver!"
"I LOVED it! I'm not the only one and I feel proud to have ADHD."
"I feel normal again"
Pledge 6: Support for parents
At the beginning of our journey in working towards the ADHD award, I would like to gauge parent views on how well we are doing already in terms of supporting children with ADHD and how confident you feel in supporting your child who may be diagnosed with ADHD or is on a pathway leading to diagnosis.
Parents are invited to complete the survey below if you haven't yet already!
SEND newsletter - ADHD focus
A workshop was held for parents on Thursday 16th November, 2023. The feedback was extremely positive and lots of parents felt that the workshop was useful and that they now know who to go to if they need support.
More information can be found below if you were unable to attend:
A great place to start when looking for high quality resources on ADHD is the ADHD Foundation: https://www.adhdfoundation.org.uk/
|10 Brain Games to Boost Executive Functioning Skills - The Pathway 2 Success.pdf
|Executive Function Games - The OT Toolbox.pdf
|Games to Improve Executive Functioning Skills - The Pathway 2 Success.pdf
Help with sleep
At any given time up to 40% of adults and 50% of children (this rises to 80% with a SEND diagnosis) have difficulties with their sleep. Yet in a recent survey, almost 60% of adults felt there was a lack of support for sleep issues. Sleep problems can leave people feeling isolated and lonely.
The sleep foundation has shared this wonderful free resource that can help parents and children to learn more about their sleep and develop better bedtime routines. Sleep is essential to brain function, by helping children to sleep better, we can help them to succeed in school.
Accepting compliments can feel unsettling for children and adults with ADHD. Hearing that someone thinks highly about what they have been doing flies in the face of all the negative feedback they’ve heard through the years. For top tips and more information on how to support your child, read the article here: https://www.additudemag.com/accepting-compliments-shame-self-esteem-child-adhd/
You can also sign up to the ADDitude ADHD newsletter by clicking here: https://www.additudemag.com/category/parenting-adhd-kids/