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13 February 2023

5 ideas for supporting learners with SEND in Computing

Catherine Elliott profile image
Written by

Catherine Elliott | Educational Consultant

Every class is made up a wide range of individuals, each bringing their own experiences, skills, interests and challenges to the study of computing. Here are five ways to help include all students in lessons, to give them the best opportunity to achieve in the subject:

1. Ensure that all teaching materials are accessible. Consider font size and spacing, use of language and colour, and add image support in worksheets and presentations. Explore assistive technologies to support learners, for example Immersive Reader.

2. Provide learners with multiple means of action and expression: can they express what they know through stop-motion animation, model networks in unplugged activities, or learn about what makes a good program through Parson's Problems? (See also Universal Design for Learning for more about this).

3. Harness the interests of your students in projects and examples, and ensure they are relevant and meaningful.

4. Provide opportunities for scaffolding, for example using templates or the PRIMM framework in programming, and the support to become more independent over time.

5. Build confidence in computing: enable quick wins at the start of a unit, celebrate successes, teach debugging strategies explicitly, and ensure all learners are valued and included in your classroom. 

Some individuals may need more targeted support in addition to these suggestions, but with these in place, your classroom will become more inclusive.

The good news is that there is a lot of support for your next steps, from CAS and the NCCE:

- Sign up for the SEND Computing Conference in York on the 17th March, aimed at teachers in special, primary and secondary settings.

- Learn more about how to use Technology to suppport learners with SEND in primary STEM subjects on the 9th March, also in York.

- Check out the resources from CAS Include - the Computing at School working party promoting diveristy and inclusion in computing, and volunteer at a future event.

- Consider how you can contribute to the CAS Community by asking and answering questions on the forum, uploading an inclusive resource that you’ve used successfully with pupils, and join your local CAS Community to continue the conversation. 


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yaacov goldin
31/07/2023 08:18

Thank you this is great!

28/07/2023 17:52

Thank you for this - I have never come across One note before and have a great time trying it out!

10/04/2023 16:59

There are some great ideas that I am definitely going to use in my classroom.
I have also just completed the online training SEND in the primary classroom.
I feel dual coding for the pupils is going to be a real positive for my class.

Adrienne Tough
23/02/2023 11:36

@celliott your third point here about making the topic of interest has inspired my blog: Code{;ish} Introducing Tax with Algorithms (

Adrienne Tough
22/02/2023 17:35

Great blog! Another key and easy to implement factor I think, is including role models in the curriculum also have such a big impact and helps promote inclusivity too.

Pete Dring
22/02/2023 16:42

Thanks Catherine - great ideas