Supporting Pupils with Special Educational Needs During the Christmas Break

The Christmas break is a time for joy, celebration, and relaxation for many students. However, for pupils with special educational needs (SEN), the prospect of an extended break from school routine can be challenging. As educators, parents, and caregivers, it's crucial to provide the necessary support and structure to make the holiday season a positive and enriching experience for these students. In this blog, we'll explore practical strategies to help prepare pupils with special educational needs for the time off school at Christmas.

Communication and Preparation:

Effective communication is the key to a smooth transition during the holiday break. Begin by engaging with parents, caregivers, and special education professionals to understand the specific needs of each student. Collaboratively create a plan that addresses any potential challenges and outlines strategies to support the child during the break.

Ensure that all stakeholders are on the same page regarding the student's strengths, areas of improvement, and any specific routines or coping mechanisms they rely on. A well informed support system will contribute significantly to a positive holiday experience.

Create a Visual Schedule:

Many pupils with SEN thrive on routine and predictability. During the Christmas break, their usual school routine may be disrupted, leading to anxiety and stress. To alleviate this, create a visual schedule that outlines the daily activities, events, and transitions during the break.

Use pictures, symbols, or written words based on the child's communication and comprehension abilities. This visual schedule can act as a reassuring guide, providing a sense of structure and reducing uncertainty.

Incorporate Learning Activities:

While the holidays are a time for relaxation, incorporating enjoyable and engaging learning activities can help pupils with SEN maintain cognitive stimulation. Tailor these activities to the child's individual needs and preferences.

Explore activities that align with their interests, such as sensory play, arts and crafts, or interactive games. By making learning enjoyable, you can keep the child's mind active and provide opportunities for skill development.

Provide Social Stories:

Social stories are a valuable tool for preparing pupils with SEN for new or unfamiliar situations. Create social stories related to the holiday season, focusing on key aspects like family gatherings, festive traditions, and changes in routine.

These stories can be personalized to address specific concerns or challenges the child may face during the break. Reading these stories together can help the student understand and navigate the social dynamics of the holiday season.

Sensory-Friendly Celebrations:

The sensory environment during the holidays can be overwhelming for some pupils with SEN. Work with families to identify sensory triggers and make adjustments to the holiday celebrations accordingly.

Create a quiet space where the child can retreat if they become overwhelmed. Provide sensory friendly activities and consider adjusting the lighting, noise levels, and decorations to create a more comfortable environment for those with sensory sensitivities.


The Christmas break should be a time of joy and inclusivity for all students, including those with special educational needs. By fostering effective communication, creating visual schedules, incorporating learning activities, providing social stories, and ensuring sensory friendly celebrations, we can collectively make the holiday season a positive and enriching experience for pupils with SEN. Together, we can create an inclusive and supportive environment that celebrates the unique abilities of every child.

Merry Christmas!!

Posted by: Inspire EHC ltd