Computing for SEND Inset

This hands-on course is for teachers of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, and will provide you with practical, engaging ideas to adapt the Computing Curriculum for your learners.

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This course is aimed at teachers of students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, whether in special schools or supporting students in mainstream. It is most suitable for those teaching students working at upper P Scales and KS1 level, across primary and secondary settings. 

The Computer Science elements of the new Computing Curriculum provide the opportunity to teach students key problem-solving skills, as well as supporting literacy, numeracy and life skills through a variety of unplugged and computer-based activities. This course will provide you with the confidence and practical ideas to adapt the curriculum for the specific needs of your learners.

The course starts with fun, sensory activities away from the computer to teach about controlling computers and sequencing instructions (algorithms). There will be an introduction to using floor robots to teach basic programming and debugging for a range of learners, and ideas of how to embed this across the curriculum. Finally there will be some practical examples of how to start teaching more complex programming using Scratch to students with moderate and specific learning difficulties.

Course covers:

  • Relevance of programming for SEND learners
  • Unplugged activities to teach problem-solving and computational thinking in an accessible way
  • Introduction to programming with Bee-Bots and Pro-Bots
  • Bridging the gap to Scratch and Kodu– used both as a programming and resource creation tool
  • Free online materials

Full Course Content

Why teach programming to SEND learners?

  • Computational thinking = problem-solving
  • Cross-curricular links: literacy, numeracy, life skills
  • What should our Computing curriculum include?
  •  Incorporating computer science, multimedia, ICT, digital literacy and eSafety at a suitable level into a scheme of work.

Controlling computers

  • Activities to assist understanding that we control a computer
  • Algorithms – through literacy, numeracy and life skills

Creating simple programs

  • Creating simple programs with music and dance 
  • Writing and debugging programs with a Bee-Bot/Pro-Bot
  • Cross-curricular ideas for programming

Introduction to Scratch

  • Live action programming to introduce Scratch in an accessible way
  • How to introduce Scratch programming in manageable chunks 
  • Creating cause and effect programs for less able learners
  • Creating 3D worlds with Kodu


  • Free resources and software to support the curriculum
  • Sharing ideas with other teachers