For all children a structure to the day is important. At this time, a visual timetable is a great tool for all children to help give structure to the day, reduce anxiety and celebrate the achievements of the day.
For children with SEND, a structured day is vitally important to help them to understand routine and expectations of the day. It is also a great way to celebrate the days achievements no matter how big or small.
What are Visual Timetables?
At Hollybush Primary School children are used to using a visual timetable. Each classroom has a visual timetable displayed which is created and shared with the class everyday. In addition to this some children with SEND have there own timetable to help them understand the day.
A visual timetable is simple to make using symbols or photographs, and is a valuable tool in the classroom (and also sometimes at home).
- give children structure to the day
- promote independence
- reduce anxiety
- increase confidence
- build upon a child's strength as a visual learner
- build upon a child's desire for routine, predictability and organisation
- give permanency
Below are some visuals that you may wish to use to show what is happening each day whilst you are at home. There are some blank squares to make your own too. If you do not have access to a printer you may want to draw your own pictures and symbols on squares of paper with you child.
Symbols are used to represent the tasks, activities or lessons and these are taught to the child.
At the beginning of the morning and afternoon create a timetable with your child. Then stick on tables or pin on a nearby wall to give a visual picture of what is happening during the day.
Include all the activities for the morning or afternoon including snack time, TV time, games time, walks and fun activities. When each activity has been completed your child should remove it for the timetable and store it in a safe place for the next day.
Make sure you celebrate the tasks that have been completed in the day even if it is only 1 thing. You can set a challenge for the next day to achieve 3 things and build it up over the week.