The Bridge is a major provider of professional development in the UK in the field of education, both special and mainstream, holding a reputation particularly in the fields of Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD). An ‘outstanding’ National Teaching School between 2011 – 2021, The Bridge has been delivering courses within its Training & Development Centre and designing bespoke programmes since 1997.

Our ambition is not to dictate best practice but to explore, innovate, evidence and to share. We look to do this by working in partnership with individuals who can share their perspectives, implementing models and programmes that meet the progression needs of the child as well as the adult.

We establish need through local and national agenda, through research and also respond to identified areas of individual priority. This enables us to maintain an appropriate range of programmes, from Introduction to Professional. We are sensitive to all the views of the market, evaluating especially in terms of quality and impact, adjusting both the content of courses in response to the market and also the style of delivery as appropriate.

This year we are offering a combination of face-to-face one day courses alongside online bitesize twilights! All courses are also available for a bespoke delivery at your school setting.

Popular Courses

Supporting and Managing Behaviour
Teaching RSE in the special needs class
AET Good Autism Practice
Teaching Literacy and Communication in the SEN class
Team Teach (Positive Behaviour Management)
Autism & Play
Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Sensory Processing

Supporting and Managing Behaviour

Audience: Mainstream and special
Looking at simple and practical solutions to resolve behaviours perceived as challenging, in pupils with autism and learning difficulties.
  • Fundamental principles relating to positive responses to behaviours which challenge
  • Knowing the autistic child
  • Areas of difference associated with autism and how these present as behaviours
  • Working with the autism
  • Sensory issues
  • Behaviour and the Crisis Curve
  • Writing a Strength/Needs chart
  • Understanding the principles behind a Behaviour Support Plan
  • Case studies of real children, young people and adults
  • Lots of opportunity to discuss solutions to problems course participants might have in their own workplace or home.
“I found the session incredibly helpful. It was delivered sensitively and thoughtfully with lots of information including practical applications.”

Teaching Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) in the special needs class

Audience: special

This course tackles head-on the issues around sexuality and learning difficulties and seeks to give practical advice on both what you should be teaching and how you should be teaching it.

  • Background to current thinking on RSE
  • Some Philosophical Questions to Answer. A discussion around what we want an RSE Curriculum to provide from the perspective of (i) pupils (ii) staff and (iii) parents
  • The importance of shared sexual knowledge
  • The difficulties of teaching RSE to those with severe/profound learning difficulties and/or autism
  • Taking a differentiated approach to learning
  • What do we have to teach? Ofsted, DfE and the law
  • The central role of adults in the capacities of teachers, counsellors, protectors, interveners and empowerers
  • Devising a core RSE curriculum


“Informative, structured and well presented. Excellent pace and understanding of the topic with useful resources and case studies.”

AET Good Autism Practice

Audience: Mainstream

This module is for practitioners who work with autistic pupils (5–16) and will support them to:

  • Develop their knowledge and understanding of good autism practice.
  • Reflect on and improve their everyday practice
  • Understand strategies and approaches they can draw upon for autistic pupils they work with.
  • Enhance and embed inclusive practice for autistic pupils.

Learning objectives

  • Develop knowledge of how the key areas of difference can impact on the learning of autistic pupils.
  • Understand the importance of involving the pupil and family in the pupil’s education.
  • Consider the approaches, strategies, and adaptations that can be implemented to remove barriers to participation and learning for autistic pupils.
  • Reflect on how knowledge about autism and the individual autistic pupil can inform the one-page profile and the pupil-centred education plan.
“The tutor was engaging, knowledgeable and passionate about the topic.”

Teaching Literacy & Communication in the SEN class

With a focus on drama & storytelling

Audience: special

There is no doubt that the Creative Arts is a vital element of the 21st Century Special Needs Curriculum and essential components of this are both drama and poetry. A key part of the English curriculum, both areas can be used not only to extend pupils’ experience and understanding of language but also as a consolidator of emotional literacy.

  • What are the problems in communication for those with SLD?
  • Creating opportunities for communication.
  • Using language with those who do not speak
  • Using low tech communication aids – especially looking at signing and symbols.
  • Storytelling and drama within the SLD English Curriculum – a detailed exploration
  • Drama and poetry’s relationship to play
  • Teaching empathy and the understanding of emotions through drama and poetry
  • Appropriate works to cover all ages from nursery to post 19
  • Adapting the classics
  • Using call and response as a central means to engagement
“Loved the enthusiasm and wealth of knowledge in creative approaches to the curriculum. So passionate.”

Team Teach

Positive Behaviour Management Level One


Audience: mainstream primary

This 6hr course provides individuals with practical, interactive training, designed to transform participants’ practice in the workplace, allowing those working in low-risk settings to understand and implement holistic behaviour management strategies

The course will also cover documentation and legal guidance, as well as best practice when reporting and reviewing incidents. Certification for this course is valid for 36 months.

This course is organised into 8 modules:

Module 1 – Background to Team Teach
Module 2 – The Legal Framework
Module 3 – Understanding Aggression
Module 4 – How Feelings Drive Behaviours
Module 5 – De-escalation and De-fusion
Module 6 – Personal Safety
Module 7 – Positive Handling – mainly guiding and escorting safely
Module 8 – Repair, Reflection and Review

Learning Outcomes

Participants will learn how to;

  • Increase understanding and awareness of behaviour as communication and develop a framework to better respond to reduce risk
  • Develop a greater team dynamic in supporting individuals who are distressed with approaches that have impact and strengthen relationships
  • Utilise a toolkit of holistic strategies on de-escalation and crisis intervention, both verbal and non-verbal for supporting with disruptive and distressed behaviours
  • Execute simple and safe positive handling techniques including personal safety, appropriate for a low-risk environment (If required by your setting). Our techniques are situated within a respectful, supportive approach to behaviour support strategies which maintains positive relationships.

Autism & Play

Audience: mainstream and special

Interacting and playing with peers can not only be great fun, but is one of the best ways for children to further  develop  a  wide  range  of  skills,  including  emotional  regulation.  Some  autistic  pupils  and  their non-autistic peers can find interacting and playing more difficult. This course seeks to explain why this might be the case and explore possible strategies and approaches to supporting all children’s play.

  • You will develop a deeper understanding of autism, with a focus on differences in social understanding.
  • You will explore the function of play and how it develops.
  • You will have a greater understanding of the role that the environment we create and control facilitates or creates barriers, to play and friendship.
  • You will explore strategies and approaches to help the development of play and friendship for all.


Social, Emotional & Mental Health (SEMH)

Audience: mainstream and special

This course will develop knowledge and understanding of Social, Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) difficulties as an area of Special Educational Need (SEN) for pupils – looking at factors that may negatively impact upon SEMH, including a specific focus on attachment and trauma.

We will examine current understanding from developmental psychology as to what may cause SEMH needs and theories that inform how we support these needs. We will then look at how, in our everyday practice, we can promote social and emotional well-being in pupils through the development of self-awareness, emotional literacy and effective coping strategies.

  • Understanding SEMH
  • Attachment and developmental trauma
  • The importance of social and emotional well-being in school for staff and pupils
  • Supporting pupils with SEMH needs including positive behaviour support strategies

The course uses a mixture of practitioner-led activities, reflective practice, case study analysis and leaves staff with a greater confidence in working with those that have SEMH difficulties.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Audience: mainstream and special

Some suggest that ADHD may affect up to 5% of the school population, yet it is a much misunderstood condition that often attracts negative and unhelpful responses. This course seeks to address the balance and offer real and lasting solutions that will benefit pupils, staff and families

  • What is ADHD?
  • How it may present itself in the class
  • The likely learning and behavioural consequences of having ADHD
  • The medication issue
  • The effects on other children in the class and in the home
  • Taking a positive slant
  • Practical strategies for dealing with ADHD
  • Case studies and potential solutions to problems presented by children who are known to the course participants.

Sensory Processing Difficulties and Solutions

Audience: special

Delivered by an Occupational Therapist, this course is for those who work with children (or adults) who have autism with or without an additional learning disability.

  • Sensory experiences described by people with autism, using video and first-person accounts
  • A review of the senses and how we use them
  • Sensory overload – what it feels like and what we can do about it
  • Stages of processing
  • The major sensory systems
  • The undersensitive and oversensitive child – how we might recognise these and what we can do to help
  • Experiential sensory activities
  • A review of sensory approaches.

Booking Procedures

Course costs

One day course: £195 per delegate

Booking Requirements

To secure a place on one of our courses, we require the following information at the point of booking:

Delegate name
Delegate Job title
Delegate email address
School name and address
Invoicing email address
Purchase Order number (if available)

Booking terms and conditions

All bookings to be made in writing via email to
Fees for non attendance are non-refundable
Cancellations made one month prior to the course do not incur a charge. Cancellations made between 2 – 4 weeks before the course incur a 25% cancellation charge. Cancellations made between 1 – 2weeks before the course incur 50% cancellation charge. Cancellations made within one week of the course incur 100% of the event/training charge.
All cancellations must be made in writing.
Replacement delegates may be nominated in writing at any time prior to the start of the event.


Voucher Scheme

Substantial savings are available through our voucher scheme for schools wishing to send multiple colleagues on courses between September 2022 and July 2023.

20 vouchers at £2000
(equivalent of £100.00 per place)

10 vouchers at £1250
(equivalent of £125.00 per place)

5 vouchers at £750
(equivalent of £150.00 per place)

Voucher Scheme Terms and Conditions

Vouchers can be used on one-day courses (not including Team Teach) by different members of staff from the same school (or nominated schools within an Academy Trust) between September 2022 and July 2023, or for one year from purchase date.
The full voucher price must be paid in full at the commencement of the agreement.
Vouchers remain valid only for one year from date of purchase.
Cancellations made one month prior to the course will not forfeit a voucher. Cancellations made less than a month prior to the course will forfeit a voucher place.
Fees for non attendance are non-refundable.
All cancellations must be made in writing.
Replacement delegates may be nominated in writing at any time prior to the start of the event.