How To Help Pupils Understand and Express How They Feel with Sue White

Children are needing more support than ever with their language skills. The Education Endowment Foundation reported a staggering 76% of primary schools said pupils starting school in September 2020 needed more support with communication than in previous years. Coupled with an increase in pupil anxiety, 95% of schools have seen an increase in pupil anxiety since the start of the school year. Anyone supporting young people will want to find ways to help them express their feelings.

In this week’s episode ‘How to help pupils understand and express how they feel’, Sue White, Senior Educational Specialist, joins Dale to discuss:

  • Why children have challenges expressing their emotions: vocabulary gaps, Covid impact, feeling overwhelmed.
  • Recognising and expressing anxiety: Encouraging pupils to share how they feel when they are overwhelmed can be difficult. Instead, they could hold up an emotion fan or point to a visual to show how anxious they are without having to speak out loud.
  • Coping strategies: Allowing students who feel anxious to show a card explaining what they need can be helpful, whether that is going to a safe quiet place or getting out their calm box with reassuring items like photos from home or a fidget toy.

Listen to hear how you can use symbols to support your pupils to understand and express how they feel.

Sue White

About Sue White

A qualified primary teacher, Sue’s passion for building children’s vocabulary came after teaching a child with specific learning difficulties. Sue could see that the child’s behaviour in class was borne from a frustration of not being able to fully participate in lessons. Determined to help, Sue started a long journey of learning how to help children who process learning differently. She first became a SENCo and later specialised in a range of developmental disorders where lack of vocabulary development impacted on attainment.   

Sue discovered that symbols – visual representations of words – can help all children comprehend spoken and written text, communicate better, as well as build confidence, independence and vocabulary. She has been with Widgit since 2018 where she has advised hundreds of schools on how to use symbols to improve learning and support delayed language development.  

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