Win! This Christmas Tree Craft Set for your class



The Axcis November Giveaway is to win a Christmas Tree Craft Set for your class. Find out more about this prize and how to enter for a chance to win it here.

The benefits of art and craft for children with SEND

Children love doing art and craft, and it’s good for them, too! Here are just a few ways children can benefit from activities such as this lovely Christmas tree project:


  1. Bilateral Coordination – Doing things like colouring and cutting, require children to use both of their hands together. This skill is important in other areas including writing, tying shoes, typing.
  2. Fine Motor Coordination – In order to draw shapes, cut patterns, and write, children are required to use their fine motor coordination. These skills similarly translate to other areas of their lives including dressing and eating.
  3. Self Regulation – Crafts which require drying require waiting! This is a great lesson for children to demonstrate self control and patience. Also, things might not go exactly as they had hoped! Crafts are a great way to promote flexibility as well as an acceptance that there is no right or wrong way in exploring one’s own creativity!
  4. Self-esteem Booster – Although we want to challenge our children, it is also important to choose arts and crafts that are appropriate for your student’s skill level. Completing projects successfully will give them a great sense of accomplishment and pride.


WIN! A Christmas Tree Craft Set for your class

chrstmas craft kit

We are giving away a bundle of 16 Christmas Tree Craft Sets for you to use with your class in the run up to Christmas. Each set contains pre-cut foam trees which will stand up on their own once slotted together. You’ll also get a little pot to stand your tree in and plenty of self-adhesive decorations. If you have more able children in your group, you can add your own embellishments, too!

How to enter the Axcis November Giveaway

If you’d like to be in with a chance of winning this great prize, why not enter our Giveaway? all you need to do is follow THIS LINK and select how you’d like to enter. It takes just a few seconds and is entirely FREE of charge. So why not take a peek now and get yourself entered into this month’s Axcis Giveaway?

Register today and work for Axcis

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a SEND teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register with Axcis today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area, so what are you waiting for?


Terms and Conditions are applicable to all giveaway entrants.

Candidate of the Term: Nominations now open

Do you have an Axcis contractor who is doing a great job this term? Do you want to nominate them for an award? Find out what’s on offer and how to nominate them here.

Axcis Candidate of the term

Carol – previous Axcis Candidate of the Term winner

At Axcis, we are extremely proud of the fantastic work our SEND teachers and support staff do every day in the classroom. We know that being a supply worker isn’t easy; often you are thrown in the deep end with challenging classes and little time to read up on school policy or procedure and your work could end at any given moment. And yet, we hear so much fantastic feedback about our candidates that we feel it is only right to give a bit of recognition where we can. Read on to find out how to nominate your favourite Axcis contractor for our Autumn 2017 award.

What are we looking for?

We want to hear from you if you have an Axcis contractor who you feel has done a fantastic job, or who has gone above and beyond the call of duty. We know that it’s not just classroom practice that makes for a good supply worker – it’s also reliability, punctuality and willingness to step out of their usual role and take on things like school productions, trips and other extra-curricular work. Or perhaps they’ve helped to support other members of the team, made awesome strides forward with the children they work with and helped to affect positive change in the school they’ve been placed in. Whatever your reason, we are open to hearing about it!

How do I nominate?

Simply email if you have an Axcis contractor you’d like to nominate for an award, or contact your consultant. There are two awards available for the term – one for London, and one for our Regional offices. The prizes are £75 in shopping vouchers – intended for the winners to treat themselves to something nice! The deadline for entries is Friday 24th November, with winners to be announced a few days later. When you contact us, you’ll need to state the name of the contractor, along with the name of the school they are working in. We’d also like a short statement on why they should be considered for the award – it doesn’t need to be an essay – just a sentence or two. All nominees will receive a certificate of appreciation, so even if your Axcis contractor doesn’t win, don’t worry – they’ll still know they are appreciated, and this is what it’s all about, after all!

Don’t delay – do it today!

So, if you have staff from Axcis and would like them to be recognised for the fantastic work they are doing, don’t put it off – drop us an email now and we will make sure they are in the running to be considered for an award. We know you value their hard work, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to make sure they know too.

Introducing Chris – Axcis Manchester

Axcis is continuing to grow as more and more schools hear about us and start using our services. As a result, Axcis Manchester has a new consultant, so if you’re seeking work (or staff) in the Salford  Trafford areas, why not get in touch with Chris? Find out a bit more about him here.

About Chris

chris dayI hold a foundation degree in teaching and prior to joining Axcis, I gained 10 years of experience within both the private care and SEND education sectors. I’ve been employed as an autism education specialist as well as a behaviour management specialist. I’m also a former candidate of agencies in the Manchester area myself.


I feel that this combination of qualifications and experience puts me in a unique position to understand the varying needs of SEND schools and students, and to select appropriate staff for them. It is hugely important to me that the schools, and ultimately the students who I work with are provided with only the very best, most suitable staff members to support them.


Having also been born with a mild form of Cerebral Palsy, I have made it my aim to help those in need for much of my personal and professional life. I am living proof that SEND is no barrier and I plan on showing this to any candidates who work with me.  


In my spare time, I am a huge sports and music fan, lover of fitness and I’m a father to a wonderful little boy.

Would you like to work with Chris?

Chris covers the following areas for Axcis: Salford and Trafford. If you are seeking work (or staff) in these areas, then get in touch with Chris today to see how he can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.

Get published! Wanted – SEND bloggers for the Axcis blog!

Do you work with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND)? Do you have a passion for writing? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Get published – send us your SEND blog today!

Are you a keen writer? Why not put pen to paper for the Axcis blog today?

Send us your SEND blog

We want to hear from you if you work with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Whether you’re a top level researcher, a teacher, therapist or member of school support staff, we feel that everyone working with SEND has something valuable to add.

What sort of articles do we want?

  • Personal stories of your experiences working with SEND, in or out of the classroom
  • Teaching and/or support strategies which are working well for you and you’d like to share with others
  • Your research into SEND and what it is about

What tone are we after?

We want to hear YOUR voice, so there is no need to adapt your tone to fit our blog. Whether your story is happy, sad, uplifting or informational, we feel that everyone working with SEND has something they can add.

How long should submissions be?

Your blog submissions should be between 700 and 1000 words in length. To get published, they should stick to this guideline as closely as possible. If you have a longer piece on a personal blog/website, we are happy to link to that if our audience would like to read more.

How to submit your SEND blog

  • Email your blog to me –
  • Please include a short bio about yourself so I can introduce you on our blog
  • Please also include a photo or two of yourself and/or your work (photos will be published on the Axcis blog, so please ensure you have permission to share them if they are not your personal images).
  • If you would like me to link to your own personal blog or website/social pages, please include the links/page details

Is there any payment for published pieces?

We regret that we are unable to offer payment for blog submissions.

Further questions?

If you have any further questions about writing for the Axcis blog, feel free to contact me at any time. I will do by best to respond to all emails in a timely fashion.



Blog posts will be selected for publication based on their suitability and quality. Not all submitted posts will be published. Axcis reserves the right to publish chosen blogs on a date and time of our choosing. Blogs which are promotional in nature will not be considered (unless they are specifically related to SEND and the product or service being promoted is considered to be appropriate). No payment is available for blog submissions, unless agreed prior to submission directly with Axcis.

SEND News Roundup from our Partners

At Axcis, we are thrilled to be associated with the National Autistic Society and nasen. Each month, we bring you the latest news highlights from our partners, so if you’d like to know what’s been happening with these great organisations and in the world of SEND, read on.

NAS News

Below you’ll find a list of some of the latest autism news, compiled by our friends at Network Autism. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.

Get the latest SEND news here with Axcis

  1. Using yoga with autistic pupils
  2. Designing schools for autistic pupils
  3. Celebrating the voice of SEN pupils
  4. Advice and support for new SENCO’s
  5. Portrayals of autistic people on screenTheatre group for autistic women
  6. Autism tests need adapting for African cultures
  7. Explaining death to autistic children
  8. Demands to reduce autism diagnosis waiting times
  9. Melatonin effective for autistic children with insomnia, study suggests
  10. Video explores experiences of an autistic girl

Nasen News

Below you’ll find a list of the latest SEND news from our friends at nasen. Each title is clickable and the link will take you to their website where you can find the full story.

  1. Summary of the government’s consultation response to the primary assessment consultation
  2. The national funding formula for schools and high needs: a summary
  3. Lost in the middle
  4. Get involved with trialling new assessments

Are you seeking work with young people with SEND?

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

Register with Axcis and become connected to a range of specialist and mainstream schools in your area for work.

If you’re not already registered with Axcis, but would like to seek a special needs teaching or support position, why not get in touch or register today and find out how we can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area.

Halloween activities for children with autism (Guest post)

halloween andy 2016-17

Try these great Halloween activities with your students!

As proud sponsors of the National Autistic Society, we are pleased to bring you these fantastic ideas for Halloween activities for children on the autism spectrum. These brilliant ideas come courtesy of Corinna Laurie, Lead Occupational Therapist and Emily Trapp, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist from Helen Allison School.


Occupational Therapy Ideas

Face Painting, loud noises, scary characters and scratchy costumes aren’t for everyone, and can be especially unpleasant for children with autism. Here are some ideas for Halloween activities that are enjoyable for everyone.


  • T-Shirt decorating: Many children with autism have sensory sensitivities around clothing. Halloween costumes can be scratchy and overwhelming. As a class project why not decorate a comfy T-shirt with a Halloween theme. They are then still being festive, without being uncomfortable.
  • Pumpkin carving: A great Halloween activity but some children with autism may find the mess very “uncomfortable”. Allow students to wear plastic gloves when scooping. Light up with battery candles for a visual delight!
    • Use the innards as a sensory goo bag by placing it in a zip lock bag and letting kids squash away!
  • Dancing worms: Mix together baking soda, vinegar and warm water and add jellied sweet worms. Watch them dance and swirl around

Party time!

Hold a Halloween party for school friends. Many Children will find trick or treating to daunting and so a class party will offer another opportunity to celebrate. In preparation students could bake and decorate cakes, make and distribute invitations, think of games to play e.g.

Mystery box

Halloween game – fill bowls with noodles, jelly, cooked pasta etc. and see who guesses the most correct. If students have sensitivity to certain textures use dry pasta, animal shapes (bats and rats!), real objects (fangs and skulls!) etc.

Frankenstein/Ghost Bowling (helps with co-ordination)

Paint faces/put eyes on cans/toilet rolls, and then stack the scary (okay, more like cute) dudes to see how many you knock down in one shot.

Spider Races (blowing is calming)

All you need for this game is some straws and plastic toy spiders — whichever kid blows their spider across the finish line first wins.

Speech and Language Therapy Ideas

Scary pumpkins/ghosts

Targets: Following instructions/ attention and listening skills/ giving instructions

Give each pupil a body template (e.g. in the form of a pumpkin or ghost). Have several versions of different features e.g. sharp teeth, gold teeth, long teeth. Give pupils instructions for what they should add and see if they can follow the instructions accurately. Reverse roles and see if they can give you instructions. Can they spot your funny mistakes you make?


Targets: Understanding and expressing adjectives

Take a picture of pupils in their fancy dress outfits, or use a picture of a scary character. Annotate the picture with lots of describing words. Or write them on post it notes and stick them on the outfits.


Targets: Joint attention, following instructions, vocabulary

Make slime together. Explore it together and talk about how it feels and looks e.g. wet, squidgy. For more able pupils they could follow the instructions on how to make it.

Halloween jokes

Targets: Non-literal comprehension (double meanings), interacting with peers

Find some suitable Halloween jokes for your class and explore them further before asking the group to adapt them or come up with their own.

Halloween Bingo

Targets: Vocabulary, attention and listening skills

Substitute a traditional bingo card with a Halloween themed one and get the class involved in this fantastic and fun Halloween activity.

Visual supports – anxieties and stranger awareness

Targets: Anxiety

For pupils who are anxious about costumes etc- visually explore the fact that there are familiar people underneath. Use symbols and pictures to demonstrate this point or any other fears.


Explore the importance of stranger danger e.g. people will knock on the door in outfits, don’t knock on stranger’s doors without a parent etc.

Are you seeking teaching or support work?

andy send jobs

Find your next SEND job with Axcis

If you are looking for spooky school based work and are not already registered with Axcis, why not get in touch or register today and find out how wregistere can assist you? We have offices nationwide and a team of expert consultants who have proven relationships with specialist and mainstream schools in your area, so if you need work, why not register now? It’s free and takes just a few minutes – what do you have to lose?

Introducing Rebecca (Axcis London)

Axcis is continuing to grow as more and more schools hear about us and start using our services. As a result, Axcis London has a new consultant, so if you’re seeking work (or staff) in the Havering, Redbridge, Essex or Newham areas, why not get in touch with Rebecca? Find out a bit more about her here.

About Rebecca

rebecca a photo


I hold a Level 4 Diploma in Recruitment Management and have been working within the education sector since 2009. The majority of my experience has been with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), which has included sourcing staff to support speech and language delays, autism and cerebral palsy. This has been both in mainstream and specialist school settings.


I believe that it’s of paramount importance when working with SEND provisions to understand both the role and setting in detail. I can then select staff with not only the most appropriate skills and training, but also the best-suited personality for the provision I am working with. I believe this is important in order to minimise the impact of staff changes both to the students and staff alike.


In my spare time, I love travelling and am a little bit of a gym junkie. I also run employability workshops for community projects, aimed at people who have been out of work for a while and people finding it difficult to find work due to English being their second language.

Would you like to work with Rebecca?

Rebecca covers the following areas for Axcis: Havering, Redbridge, Essex and Newham. If you are seeking work (or staff) in these areas, then get in touch with Rebecca today to see how he can help. Or if you’re seeking work in any other area, register online and we will put you in touch with your personal consultant in your local office.

Axcis SEND good news

At Axcis, we are always keen to hear from educational professionals about the fantastic work being done in their schools. Here are just a few we’ve heard from recently:

News from Phill Arrowsmith, Headteacher at Wirral Hospitals’ School, Wirral

As a special school for students struggling with mental health issues, we could almost write your ‘Good news’ newsletter for you with the amount of positive stories we have. The most current and most significant, however, are:


  1. On 10th October we held an event, in conjunction with Young Minds, to celebrate World Mental Health day and raise awareness of mental health issues.

  2. We have recently undergone our 3 day assessment for Autism Accreditation status and, although we still await the final verdict, the initial feedback was glowing about the quality of teaching and learning and the support for ASC students.

  3. We have invested significantly in Speech and Language therapy – offering increased assessments for students, in-class support, and training for staff – and this has resulted in huge changes to our support systems, as well as the in-class provision for students with Speech and Language difficulties.

  4. We have recently introduced a Social Thinking programme, primarily aimed at our ASC cohort but also used across the whole school. We have trained our staff and offered training to parents to improve their understanding and to complement the support being given in school.

Nicola from Axcis went along on the 10th October to the Young Minds event and had this to say about it:

It was a really nice afternoon. They had a student reading a poem about her depression which was really good to get the message over to other students about how people actually feel. An ex-student came to talk about his experiences and how the school and teachers had helped him so much. They also had a school band where both students and teachers were singing and playing instruments. They sang lean on me and Count on me (by Bruno Mars). The finale was that they raised a bunting across the stage were all the students had wrote something about what they think about Mental Health. It was a lovely event!

andy news

Get the latest SEND news here with Axcis

News from Sharon Campbell, Office Manager at Gilbrook School, Wirral

Gilbrook School are collecting green tokens at Asda in Woodchurch (it’s a fundraising event for local charities) to raise money for a sensory room.

Send us your SEND good news today!

At Axcis, we love to spread good practice and positive news. That’s why we’d like to invite you to share yours with us! Your stories may prove inspirational or a great help to others working in SEND, so get your thinking cap on and send us your SEND good news today, and we will share it in our next blog!

Are you looking for SEND work or staff?

As the market leaders in SEND recruitment in England and Wales, we’d love to hear from you if you are seeking work in this field or if you’re looking for specialist staff for your school or alternative provision. So, why not send us your CV or vacancy today? Or, if you know anyone else who might benefit from what we have to offer, why not refer them to Axcis today? We have generous referral schemes for both schools and staff, so why not take advantage of them?




Teachers – could YOU spot a mental health problem in your classroom?

What is SEMH, why is it important, and what do you need to know to spot, and support a child with SEMH in your classroom?

What is SEMH?

In a recent article written for Axcis, Lorraine Petersen OBE tells us:

lorraine peterson obe 2

Lorraine Petersen

The (relatively) new category of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs replaced the old category of behaviour, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) in the SEND Code of Practice 2015. Many schools used the BESD category for all those pupils who appeared to have any behaviour difficulties from those who were withdrawn to those who had challenging behaviour. Often teachers were unsure of what was triggering the behaviours and so were not able to identify the underlying needs.


What does this mean for teachers and front-line staff?

Lorraine also tells us that:

Mental health issues can present in a number of ways, and it is important to distinguish between a mental health problem, disorder and illness. Mental health problems are relatively common and may occur in 30 – 40% of all children during childhood. They will usually be short – term and mild and may arise from a number of different factors. It is these children and young people that we need to be able to identify and put in place intervention strategies to ensure they do not progress to having a more serious mental health disorder or mental health illness, both of which will require diagnosis and support from health professionals.


The crucial thing to notice for many teachers and support staff is that it is YOUR responsibility to look out for signs of social, emotional and mental health issues in the classroom, and to liaise with your team to provide support to the individual as appropriate.

What does a mentally unhealthy child look like?

It is important to remember that we are not just looking for “bad behaviour” – we are looking for signs of ANY mental health problem. This can include very quiet/withdrawn behaviour, so it’s important to keep an eye out for that in your classroom, too. Signs of mental ill-health in our children and young people might include, but not be limited to the following:


  • Feeling very sad or withdrawn for two or more weeks
  • Seriously trying to harm or kill yourself, or making plans to do so
  • Sudden overwhelming fear for no reason, sometimes with a racing heart or fast breathing
  • Involved in multiple fights, using a weapon, or wanting badly to hurt others
  • Severe, out- of-control behavior that can hurt yourself or others
  • Not eating, throwing up or using laxatives to make yourself lose weight
  • Intensive worries or fears that get in the way of daily activities
  • Extreme difficulty in concentrating or staying still that puts you in physical danger or causes school failure
  • Repeated use of drugs or alcohol
  • Severe mood swings that cause problems in relationships
  • Drastic changes in your behavior or personality

What to do if you think a child you work with is mentally unhealthy

Schools should now have a designated mental health lead, as well as a whole-school policy and approach to working with SEMH. This includes educating children so that they may be aware of their own issues and can seek help if required. However, if a child you work with is displaying signs of a mental health problem, your first point of call should be a discussion with the mental health lead in your school. From there, the issue can be investigated and supported as appropriate.


At Axcis, we work with many schools who require teachers and support staff to work with children who have SEMH issues. You don’t necessarily need specific training to work with these children. In fact, attitude, patience and the ability to provide continuity in a child’s life during difficult times can often be more important than having a glittering CV. At Axcis, we also offer fantastic Mental Health Awareness Training as part of our candidate CPD programme, so we can help to up-skill you in this area should you require it. To see what SEMH jobs we currently have available in your area, why not take a look at our jobs page? Alternatively, you can register in just a few minutes on our website and one of our friendly consultants will get in touch for a no-pressure chat about how we can assist you in your job hunting.

andy phone
Call Axcis and let us help you to find your next SEND jo.

3 Children in every classroom need your help, so don’t delay

When you stop to consider that an estimated 3 children in every classroom may have a mental health need and require support at any one time, it has never been more important to recruit and train professionals in this area to help. So if you are interested in finding out more, don’t delay, get in touch with Axcis today!

How to support Dyspraxia in the classroom

What is Dyspraxia? How can teachers and school support staff provide effective help in the classroom for children with the condition? Find out here.

What is Dyspraxia?

The website “Dyspraxia Kids” tell us that:

Put simply, dyspraxia is when the messages from the brain don’t reach the body’s muscles, or they reach them in a wiggly way, resulting in uncoordinated movements. This becomes most apparent when a child tries to write or participate in sports.


There is no cure or miracle treatment for dyspraxia, but kids who have the condition can benefit from hands-on and visual learning techniques, and lots and lots and lots of practice.

7 tips for supporting Dyspraxia in the classroom

Try these ideas for supporting children with Dyspraxia in your classroom:

  1. For handwriting difficulties, try using multi-sensory letter/number formation e.g. sandpaper letters, sky writing, rice trays

    andy sand tray

    Using sensory methods for encouraging letter formation can help children with Dyspraxia

  2. For difficulties dressing and undressing, suggest loose/easy fit clothing and Velcro fastening to parents
  3. For problems with large muscle movements/coordination such as walking in a straight line, running, jumping and catching, encourage the use of balance or wobble boards, walking on the line and hand to hand throwing using bean bags or water-filled balloons
  4. To encourage concentration and engagement, avoid disturbing children when on task, avoid fluorescent lights in the classroom and try to limit distractions such as bright or interactive wall displays
  5. For poor organisational skills, you can try supplying children with a diary, printed times tables, and instructions for activities using sequenced picture cards
  6. To support children who struggle to follow instructions, you can:
    • Ensure that you have the attention of the child before giving instructions
    • Use simple language with visual prompts
    • Allow time for students to process your request
    • Break instructions down into small, manageable sections
  7. You can assist children with poor social skills by role-playing scenarios and exploring concepts such as private and public. Using Social Stories can also help, as can maintaining consistent classroom rules.

Are you looking for a Dyspraxia job?

If you’re seeking a  role supporting children with Dyspraxia in the classroom, why not register with Axcis or check out our jobs pages? We also run a generous refer-a-friend scheme, so if you want to earn up to £250 in shopping vouchers just for helping a friend to find work, why not get in touch with their details today?