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Supporting Early Years

Special iApps provide children with the opportunity to develop essential literacy, numeracy and social skills through the use of motivational, digital technology.

Mobile devices are powerful learning tools for all. Used holistically with a balanced approach, educational technology can be in your tool box saving time creating resources, recording evidence, supporting soft skills alongside education and development. Every child won’t fit the same profile. Some children need extra support and scaffolding to overcome obstacles, some take longer than others, some are gifted and talented and some have Special Educational Needs that may or may not have been diagnosed. Our award-winning apps are specifically designed to support both teachers and pupils by enhancing their learning and meeting their individual needs.

Adapt their work

Not every child will be able to complete their work using traditional methods. Pen and paper isn't for everyone! With our Special Words and Special Stories app, you can adapt their class work or homework you are giving for the week by creating a new word list or story of all the things you want them to learn. Perhaps you want them to learn a new set of vocabulary, about geography and the world, or even about shapes, sizes and measures. 

We have a growing collection of free curriculum resources for you to download into Special Words Pro, which can help support your teaching and children’s learning. Our People & Communities and Speech & Language resources, are particularly beneficial for helping children with their understanding of the world and personal development. Find out more about the resources we offer here.

Personal, social and emotional development

Special Stories is a fantastic app for recording outcomes, explaining health and self-care or describing a new task. For messy play activities, such as making slime or play dough, you can create simple step-by-step how-to visual guides with Special Stories for the children to follow. Children can also develop their social skills and make relationships by learning to take turns using the app, either being the one to take the photo, type the text and record the words. When children are the ones in charge of their learning, doing something WITH their teacher rather than a teacher doing something FOR them, they become more confident in themselves and their abilities.

Home-school communication

A vital aspect of creating successful opportunities for children, particularly those with additional needs, is to establish, and maintain, strong and effective relationships between schools and families. This allows them to develop their skills and continue their learning, regardless of whether they are at home or in the classroom. This is of particular importance for children who have difficulties communicating, as they need the people around them to be their advocates to pass on information for them. This means communication between home and school becomes even more significant.

Create a visual diary of their day with our app Special Stories. You can create visual stories of what your pupil did at school that day. Capture photos of them completing their work, taking part in group tasks, or during special events. These social stories can provide such valuable insight for parents, allowing them to communicate with their child in ways that may have previously been very limited.

Transitioning and new experiences

Starting in the early years foundation stage can be an overwhelming and difficult time for many young children. For some, extra help is needed to explain and introduce these new faces and new routines, and this is where our Special Stories and Special Words have a valuable role to play once again.

One great idea is to take photos of the classroom, the playground and the teachers, assistants and school staff they will be seeing every day. Creating a visual story from all of this, and sharing it with pupil’s before starting school, will allow them time to familiarise themselves with new environments and the change to their daily life. It can make the first day of term much less stressful and a lot more fun. 

You can also create a word list with all the names and faces of children who will be in class that year. It can again help children to familiarise themselves with their classmates and allow them to initiate conversations at home about who their friends are or who they are excited about meeting.