Supporting Pupils with ADHD

Supporting Pupils with ADHD: Whole-school training materials and resources for Sencos

Primary, Secondary
Feb 2013


‘Teachers tell us that understanding different types of SEN helps them to teach effectively and that more could be done to make specialist training available.’

Support and Aspiration: A new approach to special educational needs and disability, SEN green paper, March 2011

ADHD can be controversial:  some people are not convinced of its existence, others feel it is overprescribed and covers up bad parenting or ineffective teaching. Teachers and support staff need to recognise and respond to pupils’ learning needs and provide them with the right support at the right time. For pupils to do well, it is vital that they are understood and barriers to their learning removed.


Supporting Pupils with ADHD will enable you to support your staff to:

  • understand what it means for a pupil to be diagnosed with ADHD and how this might impact on the family
  • know how to devise individual programmes of support
  • consider strategies to manage inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity
  • work with colleagues from other agencies and understand their role in providing support
  • recognise that pupils with ADHD often have other co-associated conditions and understand how this would make a difference to what strategies will be most effective for that pupil
  • plan for transition.

Summary of contents

Session 1: An Introduction to ADHD

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand how the diagnosis of ADHD has developed
  • to introduce the background to the development of ADHD.

Session 2: Labelling

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand how the strategies we employ for all children fits in with the whole-school behaviour policy
  • to see how strategies alter when a child has a specific difficulty
  • to begin to explore how these would have to alter for a child with ADHD.

Session 3: Strategies to support pupils

Aims and objectives:

  • to contextualise ideas from the last session with the suggestions in the factsheets.
  • to understand the difference between ADHD and ADD
  • to be able to respond to some ‘quick-fire’ problems.

Session 4: Working with outside agencies

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand the role and point at which external support/advisory staff would become involved
  • to have an understanding of what these staff would have expected school staff to have done before they come in
  • to understand the nature and purpose of a multi-professional’s meeting.

Session 5: The ADHD diagnosis route

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand the impact a referral for diagnosis can have on a family
  • to understand the different potential diagnosis routes and the implications of them all
  • to understand your role in the diagnosis
  • to begin to understand the role of the class teacher post-diagnosis.

Session 6: Post-diagnosis support

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand the range of organisations and information available on the internet
  • to understand the support a family may and may not expect post-diagnosis
  • to know the way in which ADHD is classified as a disability and what this can mean for a family.

Session 7: Co-morbidity/co-associated conditions

Aims and objectives:

  • to have knowledge of the wide range of co-morbid or co-associated conditions that are often prevalent with ADHD
  • to understand how the approaches we take for each child with ADHD will subtly alter with the co-morbidity.

Session 8: Monitoring medication

Aims and objectives:

  • to have awareness of the range of medication available to children with ADHD
  • to begin to understand the role of the class teacher post-diagnosis with the monitoring of medication.

Session 9: Longer-term support

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand of the importance of long-term behavioural support for a child with ADHD
  • an understanding of the positive aspects of ADHD and how a child can be supported in finding the positive aspects of the condition.

Session 10: Transition

Aims and objectives:

  • to understand the importance of a smooth transition from primary to secondary school, secondary school to tertiary education, sixth form to university
  • to have a range of approaches and strategies in place for when a pupil transfers to a new educational environment.

Session 11: The ADHD-friendly school

Aims and objectives:

  • to know what we already have in place in our school that makes it ‘ADHD friendly’
  • to understand the importance of creating the right ethos in the school to support children with ADHD and what this looks like practically.

Session 12: Summary and outcomes from the course

Aims and objectives:

  • to be able to put in place a range of strategies for a child in a case study
  • to understand the full arc of the course and be able to target set for three months in the future.


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