Monday, 13 April 2015

Free swimming lessons

Edinburgh Leisure are once again offering free swimming sessions as part of their instructor training. We've gone for a number of years and its good fun for the child and helps increase the opportunity for swimming lessons. Details are below. If you are interested then contact chris sneddon at Edinburgh leisure.

 If you message me I will send you his e-mail and the word document booking form.:

FREE LESSONS for Children with Additional Support Needs
SQA / UKCC Teacher of Swimming Courses
15th April – 17th April 2015

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Planning for Transition - Pause to Reflect

As you will know from following the blog, we have been almost three years in getting things in place for E going to high school in August 2015.   I’ve worked with an excellent team of therapists, experts and teachers all through primary which has given E a truly successful start to her education.    

Now with the high school chosen and a shared primary school placement in place and working well we are on the final leg of this transition.  Every aspect of the school process is being looked at:

  • ·         School, classroom and activity accessibility
  • ·         Full curriculum access
  • ·         Assessment both formative and summative
  • ·         Teaching styles, approaches and resources
  • ·         Social networks
  • ·         Personal care

We have both been involved in shaping this.  E has worked with the staff at school to create  a set of videos showing her learning and sharing in the classroom and I have met with the existing team and the high school to help create the vision and detail that we are aiming for in August and beyond.

Both myself and E are finding this the hardest parts of whole process.    E is being reminded almost daily that high school is just around the corner and she’s nervous about it. I’m nervous about it too, what parent isn’t.   In addition, I’m having to trust a new group of people who I don’t know well and who don’t know E .   

How we manage this I’m not totally sure but here are a few things we are doing:

  • ·         Encouraging E to talk openly to her friends already at high school about their experience
  • ·         Having monthly update meetings with the school against a project plan I’ve help shape.
  • ·         Having regular discussions with the current team to ensure that everyone is working from the same page.

The final key to keep the stress levels down during this final stage is to remember  that success  does not need perfection and hiccups both mine and the school can be fixed as we go.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Activity Club Details

I've pulled together details of all the inclusive activity clubs in the Edinburgh and Fife regions I am on the mailing lists for:

Wheelchair sports in Edinburgh 
Inclusive multi-sports club Fife: 

Wheelchair curling in Edinburgh:

If you know of any others, let me know and I will add them to the post.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Opportunity Sports

As you will know, the focus of this blog is very much on inclusion.  It is often difficult however for our children to fully take part in mainstream sport activities.  Also, if they are skilled in an activity and want to take it further, the route to more serious sport is very much differentiated.  As a result, many of the sport activities we do are specifically for those with additional support needs.

On the blog, there has already been posts  on riding, cp football and skiing and over the next few months plan to further  posts on special swimming groups and Boccia.  If your child attends any sport or activity group not covered and you would like to do a guest post on it please message me.

If you are looking for a sport activity for your child then I strongly recommend you contact your local area disability sports group.  These come under the overall umbrella of ScottishDisability sports and support people with disabilities at all levels of their activity from entry up to Paralympic and commonwealth games levels.   

We live in Fife and the organisation there run grass roots boccia, swimming and other activities while at the same time supporting top competitors such as Kieran Steer (Boccia)and Craig Rodgie (swimming) achieving their goals.  The team are very approachable and will offer support in finding an activity that is most assessable for your child and give advice and help in finding any specialist equipment that may be needed.  Further information and their current timetable of events can be found here.

Within the Edinburgh area, many activities are coordinated through High Flyers, with Edinburgh Liesure and you can get contact details for this here.

You will find details of what’s on in your local area on the Scottish Disability sports website here  For more detailed information about each group, check your local council sports and leisure website.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Planning for transition – Know people before she gets there

The high school we have chosen is not the feeder school for our primary.  Going to a school where you know no one is difficult for any child but if you also have a different method of communication then extra help is needed.  So through out the P7 year we will be creating opportunities for E to meet, spend time and create connections with other P7 children going to the same high school.

The first step in that was to arrange for E to start going one day a week to a feeder primary.  As an opening to this, E prepared and delivered a power point presentation to the class and hosted a question and answer session afterwards.

For the power point, she wrote and designed the slides herself and I think presented a good account of herself.

In the question and answer session afterwards she was awesome.  Every question was given a fully considered response and as always, she typed full sentences into her communication device.  It was I think brilliant as it let the other children and the class teacher see how E uses the device, how long it takes to type an answer and the difference between thinking time and typing time.

She’s now going there one day a week and seems to be settling in well and making new friends. 

Monday, 2 June 2014


We’ve all had times when it seems like we struggle from one crisis to another.  Somehow you get through it and are still smiling at the end.  The last few months have been a bit like that for us with E being knocked down and getting a skull fracture followed by me being dizzy for a week and a half followed by health and safety paper work and decisions going mad.  .

I thought it worth reflecting on the resilience needed to deal with these times and what we can do as individuals to nurture our own. 

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from the events and crises that happen.  It comes from within and  comprises of  adaptability, self-control, self-sufficiency,  optimism and persistence.    Although for some this comes naturally, you will be pleased to know there are things we can do to strengthen and develop  our own resilience.  There is plenty of advice out there on how to do this and you may be aware of what areas your feel need most development for you. Here are some of the ideas I found .


  • Accept what’s happening
  • Embrace change by by trying new things  and being continually curious
  • Find a way to develop your creative side.

Self-conrol and Self-suffiency

  • Set aside time for you to look after yourself
  • Maintain a good social life
  • Never talk yourself down


  • Interrupt negative thoughts with positive ones
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Fake feeling optimistic until it becomes a habit.


  • Take action
  • Reflect on past actions and their outcomes
  • Develop an arsenal of problem solving technique

I think it’s easy to let some things slip and maybe not notice until you need it.  I’m going to try and use this to measure my own strengths against and work to develop some of them. For me the first focus is on looking after myself and maintaining that social circle so expect me at a book group near you soon. 

There is also recommendations that having a mentor is helpful.  If anyone is interested in either mentor or mentee let me know and we can perhaps get some pairings together. 

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Up and Comming Events

Will try and make this a regular feature for events and activities that are coming up that may be of interest.  Do let me know of any events that you wish to share.  To ensure you get the information you can follow the blog by email, on facebook and on twitter.

We went to see this during the olympics in London and thoroughly enjoyed it.  For the visually impaired, it involves throwing a ball with jingles across a court to score a goal.

Goalball UK together with key partners are launching a new club in Edinburgh so are holding an initial free ‘have a go’ session for anyone to attend – visually impaired or sighted, young or old, male or female, new or experienced. Come along to learn all about this exciting Paralympic Sport!

Date: Saturday 31st May

Time: 2pm to 4pm

Venue: Edinburgh College, Sighthill Campus, Bankhead Avenue, Edinburgh, EH11
4DE. (Participants can be met at Edinburgh Park station at 1.30pm).
For more information, and to register your interest, please contact Kathryn Fielding.
Tel. 07795 263642 or email  

 Latest activity news from the High Flyers and Jump in Team at Edinburgh Leisure.