Autumn 2 Newsletter  | December 2019 Issue 17
Supporting staff and students to achieve their full potential
(Est. 1968)
Widgit symbols of bells and holly
(c) Widgit

Dear CENMAC Community,

The last month has been a busy one for the CENMAC team! We were honoured to have our 'A Voice for all 50 years of Assistive Technology in Education’ film shown at the LearnED SEND event in Havering. It was also a pleasure to hear another brilliant opening speech from Abdi Omar at this conference. The LGFL conference reminded us again of what a wealth of amazing SEND resources that are available to its schools, see below for some highlights. The final event of the month was the AAC SIG day on AAC, Language & Literacy New Thinking for Emergent Communicators. We have put a couple of web pages together to share some of the new research and thinking along with resources for teaching literacy to those with alternative communication.  

Two particular links you might want to watch are the powerful film from Jonathan Bryan at ‘Teach us too’ and then the inspiring keynote speech from Karen Erickson from Communication Matters conference this year. 
We want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and relaxing break. A very happy new year and see you in the spring term of 2020

Many Thanks,

Kathryn Stowell
Team Leader

The CENMAC office will close for the Christmas break from
Friday 20 December 2019 and we resume on Monday 6 January 2020

MERU logo


The MERU Elves are busy adapting toys! Child with switch and toy


MERU is busy adapting  toys so that a large button or switch will work the effect, which makes it easier to use. Our toy adaptation programme is aimed at making simple toys that help very young children to learn about cause and effect more accessible. It may seem like a small thing for a child to be able to press a button and make a toy sing or perform some other action, but the first realisation that ‘if I do this, then this happens’ is a crucial part of development.


Families are able to send in up to 3 toys and MERU will adapt them for FREE, all we ask is for the postage to be paid.  For more details please click on the link:

Text (c) Tracey Docherty

Widgit symbols of santa and tree
(c) Widgit

Makaton Free Christmas Resources 

A selection of signs and symbols, Christmas card templates and games and activities - all free to download! 

headphones and parcelRNIB Adapted Games

Classic games adapted for players with visual impairment. Includes Braille Scrabble, Super Big Boggle, tactile Connect 4, draughts and chess, adapted playing cards and dice. Check out the adapted arts and crafts activities too. 

Image (c) RNIB website

Festive Resources from LGfL

symbol of a snowmanFor any schools on the LGfL network don't forget that they have a wide range of inclusive resources that don't cost anything for you to access. As the festive season approaches why not have a look at some fun and inclusive seasonal resources. The fantastic interactive resource "Busy Things" has lots of fun, festive activities including: Letters to Santa, Create Christmas cards, Christmas colouring, Christmas presents, Christmas trees, snowmen, snowflakes and a write about Hanukkah activity

LGfL also have a large bank of Widgit resource bundles which can be downloaded at no extra cost including: A Christmas activity pack, Christmas card templates, winter weather pack and a winter pack. 


Don't forget … 

If you are an LGFL school you can access all their fantastic resources completely free of charge. Many teachers don’t know about this treasure trove of learning activities and CPD materials covering all phases and the whole curriculum and including many brilliant SEND resources. So why not make a new year resolution to set your home page to the LGFL resource area and start searching! 

Holiday Reading

Holidays are a great time to read and listen to stories. Here are three recommendations from the Book Trust:  

Cover of book Winter Sleep

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story 

Author: Sean Taylor and Alex Morss 

Publisher: Words &n Pictures 

Age: 2-6 


Cover of Nevertell


Author: Katharine Orton 

Publisher: Walker Books 

Age: 10-12 


Cover of Christmasaurus

The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch 

Author: Tom Fletcher 

Publisher: Puffin 

Age: 7-11 

RNIB bookshare logo

RNIB Bookshare
There's also a wealth of Christmas-themed books to download at Bookshare. 


Communication works logo

Levelling the Playing Field for all Learners
Save the dates! Communication Works 2020 South (London) Thursday 14 May and North (Oldham) Thursday 21 May.



Cover of 12 iPad lessons of Christmas
The 12 iPad Lessons of Christmas


An e-book of innovative Christmas-themed iPad lessons from Mr P.I.C.T who spoke at the recent LGFL IncludEd conference. 

Image of Christmas screensaverChristmas Screensavers
Brighten up your computer this holiday - free Christmas slideshows and animated scenes to get you in the holiday spirit. For Windows and Apple computers. 

And finally ...
Good bye and Good Luck


Portrait of woman with brown hairWe are very sorry to say goodbye to CENMAC Advisory Teacher Georgina Bull, who is moving to an exciting role in Havering Visual Impairment Advisory Service next term.  

Those of you that have met Georgina will be aware of her positive, friendly and enthusiastic approach to ensuring students have the best possible access to their communication and education. We want to thank Georgina for her energy and commitment over the last year! We will miss her and wish her every success in her new role.  

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CENMAC - based at Charlton Park Academy (est.1968) | @charltonsch  
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