Strategies for Changing Behaviour

Ready-to-use techniques to build positive attitudes to learning

Brought to you by the authors of the bestselling Strategies for Learning

Click here to order your copy now

People with problem behaviours are good at giving themselves negative messages. This can cause them to lock themselves into a cycle of failure. Breaking this pattern can be difficult for a person of any age.

Strategies for Changing Behaviour is designed to help you, as an adult who works with children and young people with behavioural problems, to unlock this damaging cycle.

The book offers you practical work-sheet-based techniques that give you a step-by-step guide to dealing with the underlying issues that cause behavioural problems.

Working through them with young people will enable you to tackle their negative attitudes and improve their behaviour. The book is specifically designed to help you to:

Build a relationship with the children and young people you work with, despite their behavioural problems and issues

Understand different approaches to people and their problems and thereby help you to personalise the work that you do with them

Find solutions to particular problems easily – so that you can start tackling difficulties early on

Manage and record the progress that you have made with each individual case

Develop a deeper understanding of children and young people with behavioural problems and how to work through a range of problems with them

Order your copy of Strategies for Changing Behaviour here or read on for more information

Save time with the easy-to-use reference tool The book is sub-divided into nine parts, with each section detailing a particular approach. A simple reference tool allows you to identify the specific problem you are dealing with and select the appropriate technique to address the situation quickly and easily. Many of the strategies and techniques brought together in this essential resource will be recognised by those familiar with modern psychotherapy. They are derived from a variety of sources including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming and Gestalt Therapy. A major strength of these therapies is that they focus on solutions rather than causes.

Personalise your approach for each young person – Every section is built around working through a particular problem with specific techniques. The approach is worksheet based and once you have become familiar with the techniques there is a great deal of scope to use the material in a flexible way, tailoring your approach to each young person that you are helping.

Each technique is explained fully throughout the resource To help your understanding of the material, we’ve set out each section in a similar way. Firstly, you’ll find a brief description with suggestions on how the particular technique can be used. This is followed by a set of background notes that explain and place in context the ideas underlying each technique. This will be useful to you if you are interested in developing the approach further.

Whilst the methods presented here are based on the most successful ideas and techniques of modern psychology, this is not a theoretical book. Strategies for Changing Behaviour is a practical interpretation of those ideas and one to be used by adults who are simply interested in helping young people to deal with their problems. You don’t have to read the background section to be able to understand how to work through each technique but they will help you if you are interested in understanding how the methods have been developed.

Age: All

Price: £79.00 (+£6.50 p&p)

To get your copy of Strategies for Changing Behaviour follow this link.


With the implementation of the social and emotional aspects of learning (SEAL) in most primary schools in the UK it is important for schools to feel that they are reinforcing the SEAL ethos. One effective way to complement and support the SEAL programme is to use your school assemblies. That is why, here at Optimus Education, we decided to make sure that you had a resource that could support you in doing this.

Primary Assemblies for SEAL is a collection of 40 assemblies written by the authors of the Primary Assembly File that are designed to tackle the five areas outlined in the SEAL programme:

  • Self-awareness
  • Managing feelings
  • Motivation
  • Empathy and
  • Social skills

Each assembly deals with a different story with different characters and themes to provide your students with lessons to help them towards a life of peace, strength and emotional stability.

The assemblies are ready to use, so if you do not have the time to prepare for assembly then simply lift your chosen one out and deliver it to your pupils, safe in the knowledge that you can rely on the content.

Order your copy of Primary Assemblies for SEAL here

Primary Assemblies for SEAL: Tailor made to follow the SEAL agenda

Published in April 2008, Primary Assemblies for SEAL provides 40 ready-made assemblies – divided into ‘themes’ under the same headings as those used by the SEAL programme itself:

  • New beginnings
  • Getting on and falling out
  • Say no to bullying
  • Going for goals
  • Good to be me
  • Relationships and changes

Each assembly can also be used completely independently of SEAL and are designed to be perfect for all pupils, regardless of age or ability.

Click here to order your copy of Primary Assemblies for SEAL

Save time – no need for preparation!

The stories within each assembly are clear with lots of characters. Simple, predominantly family or school, settings are used, against which familiar dilemmas, problems and joyful events are played out.

Each assembly is written to be read aloud meaning that you can pick an assembly off the shelf and deliver it minutes later, safe in the knoweldge that the content is relevant and inspiring.

Tailor-made to suit your own approach

Each assembly offers the chance for your pupils to participate so that they can become fully involved in the story and gain a depper understanding of the message being portrayed.

Although there are clear indicators within the assemblies, we have made sure that there is also room for you to be able to tailor them to your school’s needs.

Age: 5-11

Price: £59.00 (+£6.50 p&p)

Click here to order your copy of Primary Assemblies for SEAL


Secondary Assemblies for SEAL is a collection of 40 assemblies designed to support you in implementing the SEAL ethos within your school as well as providing you with inspirational stories about people who have succeeded in the face of adversity. Each assembly is structured as following:

  • Engagement – this gives the main background to the story – sets the scene for the rest of the assembly
  • Response – this part of the assembly draws a parallel between the story being told and the SEAL aspect dealt with in the section
  • Mediation / prayer – this is not affiliated with an particular religion and therefore can be used in any school setting

The assemblies are designed to be delivered to a large, mixed-ability audience. They also contain additional material that can be used within the wider curriculum regardless of age or ability.

Age: KS3 and above

Price: £59.00 (+£6.50 p&p)

Order your copy of Secondary Assemblies for SEAL here

Secondary Assemblies for SEAL: Supporting you in implementing the SEAL ethos in your school

Click here to order your copy of Secondary Assemblies for SEAL


Edited by Angela Dewsbury

With evidence to show that eight out of 10 students underachieve a large part of the time – even in the best of lessons – the extent of the issue is obvious; the need for change unquestionable.

This popular issue shows you how to set up robust systems and install firm policies to identify and provide for the needs of underachievers in your school. Learn how to provide the appropriate interventions to ensure those struggling reach their potential and ensure that your staff are adequately equipped with the right knowledge, skills and understanding to act where it is most crucial: the classroom.

Ending underachievement: policy for success will enable you to:

  • Understand what causes underachievement
  • Learn how underachievement manifests in the classroom
  • Be able to identify those affected by underachievement
  • Provide appropriate intervention to ensure those struggling are allowed to reach their potential
  • Set up effective working policies that are relevant to all staff; learn how to shape these policies to provide a roadmap of how to evidence and evaluate pupil progress at every level
  • Identify potential problem areas at each key stage and employ effective data management systems that track learner progress and highlight when things are going wrong
  • Equip your staff with academic and pastoral insights, strategies and examples of good practice enabling them to make a positive contribution to tackling whole-school underachievement

Don’t miss Ending underachievement: policy for success to ensure that you start now in planning and implementing effective policy for tackling underachievement as it manifests amongst your students.

Age: Secondary

Price: £49

Get your copy of Curriculum Briefing Ending underachievement: Policy for success here


Edited by Angela Dewsbury

Whilst underachievement is not an easy issue to get to grips with – made complicated by the fact that it occurs at all ability levels and manifests in various ways among different pupil groups – schools can make a big difference by paying closer attention to the teaching and learning approaches they adopt.

Curriculum Briefing Motivating underachievers: Realising potential aims to bring these T&L approaches into the open, so that all schools can have the chance to turn around underachievement amongst their student population.
This publication will help you to:

  • Learn more about the causes and effects of underachievement
  • Develop in underachievers the emotional literacy skills they need to achieve their potential
  • Find out how to make curiosity, the most powerful motivator to learn, central to all teaching and learning
  • Gain a better understanding of the needs of underachievers from different learning groups, be it boys or girls, low-attainers, gifted & talented learners or those with special educational needs, pupils for whom English is not their first language and those who come from traveller families
  • Discover how to build a teaching and learning policy that ensure quality provision and promotes intrinsic motivation amongst all pupils
  • Learn how to develop the right approach to T&L, to ensure learning intentions inspire, lesson content motivates and strategies are used to release the commitment of all students to learn
  • Find out how to listen to and use the views of underachievers to optimal effect and understand more about how to best overcome any barriers to their effective learning

Don’t miss the chance to ensure your school fulfils its purpose of providing quality education for all, building a deep, sustainable and lifelong desire to learn in underachievers from all pupil groups.

Age: Secondary

Price: £49

Get your copy of Curriculum Briefing Motivating Underachievers; Realising potential here


Early Visual Skills

Author: Diana Williams

Primarily aimed at pre-school groups. Adaptable to suit needs of a range of children

Intended for professionals working with children who have under-developed visual perception skills associated with language delay or other communication difficulties, this practical manual provides photocopiable activities designed to stimulate and develop visual attention and discrimination skills.

The majority of the activities are non-verbal and are therefore suitable for children with limited spoken language, including the deaf, sensory impaired or those with autism or learning difficulties.

Offers visual perceptual tasks designed to help develop specific concepts such as colour, size and shape, which can also form part of an attention training programme.

Price: £36.99 (£5.00 + VAT p&p)

Order Early Visual Skills here


Early Listening Skills

Author: Diana Williams

Pre-school children or older special-needs children

This practical and comprehensive manual offers more than 200 activities in a format that can be easily photocopied for use in the learning environment.

  • Covers the basic auditory skills needed before meaning can be attached to sound
  • Deals with more advanced abilities including sound recognition and auditory sequencing
  • Includes materials on auditory detection, discrimination, recognition, sequencing and memory
  • Describes listening projects and topics for the curriculum
  • Includes activity sheets for parents

Price: £37.99 (£5.00 + VAT p&p)

Order Early Listening Skills here


Early Sensory Skills

Author: Jackie Cooke

Young Children

A comprehensive collection of practical and enjoyable activities for touch, vision, taste and smell. Invaluable to anyone working with young children. Includes six easy-to-use sections containing basic activities, games and topics to stimulate the senses.

  • Activity sheets contain detailed step-by-step instructions as well as suggestions for variations and ideas for similar activities
  • Provides simple checklists to record a child’s progress
  • Includes photocopiable material throughout with activity sheets, games and carryover work

Price: £34.99 (£5.00 + VAT p&p)

Order Early Sensory Skills here


Early Communication Skills

Author: Charlotte Lynch & Julia Kidd

Young Children

Since its first publication in 1991 Early Communication Skills has been an extremely popular and widely used resource. The newly revised second edition has been improved to achieve several aims:

  • More user friendly
  • Photocopiable in A4 format
  • Increased range of activities
  • Includes new section on Language and Play
  • Reflects recent research in the area

The publication retains its original winning approach to communication, providing a source of fresh education and therapeutic ideas for pre-school children.

Price: £34.99 (£5.00 + VAT p&p)

Order Early Communication Skills here


Early Movement Skills

Author: Naomi Benari

Young Children

Written by Naomi Benari who has a MA in Dance and has performed with Ballet Rambert and Israel Opera, this fifth title in the Early Skills series is designed to help anyone caring for very young children, whether in the home, school or clinic, to use movement to enhance cognitive, emotional and physical development.

Easy-to-follow activities, games, musical and rhythmical tasks are designed to enhance children’s self-awareness and self-esteem; increase their knowledge of their bodies, shape, size and space; help acquire social skills, develop relationships and foster creativity and self-expression; promote literacy, listening, speech and numeracy, and above all, be fun!

The activities are graded from simple movements initiated by the carer for children in very early stages of development, through to more demanding activities as children develop autonomy, confidence and skills to group activities which help develop social skills, relationships and turn-taking.

Price: £34.99 (£5.00 + VAT p&p)

Order Early Movement Skills here


Buy all 5 books in the Early series and receive 15% discount on the total price

(£153 instead of £179.95 – that’s a saving of £26.95!)

Order all 5 Early books for £153 here



Inclusion in the Primary Classroom

Author: Margaret Collins

Suitable for ages 5-11

Inclusion in the Primary Classroom is a practical resource to help promote inclusion and disability awareness. It is specifically designed for teachers working to raise awareness in the area of diversity and inclusion.

Both disabled and non-disabled children need help in recognising and understanding aspects of disability and inclusion. Bestselling author Margaret Collins provides a resource for the busy classroom teacher to engage all children in inclusive education. The book will help you to create positive attitudes and encourage children to change their perceived negative feelings. It demonstrates:

  • That there are different kinds of disabilities
  • What they can do to help
  • How to show empathy
  • How to interact

The first section focuses on making sure all disabled pupils are given a voice. The second section provides eight units of work that examine areas such as:

  • Race
  • Speech and language
  • Stereotypes
  • Special educational needs

The author provides differentiated activities for younger and older pupils. This allows a pick-and-mix approach. The book includes teacher notes, circle time and extension activities, and photocopiable resources (also on CD-Rom).

About the author

Margaret Collins is a senior visiting fellow in the School of Education, University of Southampton. Author of 24 publications, she writes teaching material for children, articles for early years journals and researches children’s perceptions of health education topics.

Inclusion in the Primary Classroom is suitable for ages 5-11. To read more and order your copy simply click here now.


Teaching Children with Special Needs

Inclusive Strategies for Meeting Individual needs

Inclusive Strategies for Meeting Individual Needs contains a collection of articles by experienced practitioners on different individual special needs, offering comprehensive information and useable guidance. Each chapter offers clear practical strategies that can be tried in a classroom without further training or expensive resources, as well as helpful references and web links for further information. This book will provide practitioners with the knowledge they need to be able to create an inclusive learning environment for all their pupils.

For quick access to information about a particular special educational need the editor has ordered each chapter in alphabetical order, according to the need. There is also a list of abbreviations used in the book and an index.

Inclusive Strategies for Meeting Individual Needs contains the following chapters:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) – Including pupils with ADHD by Finton O’Regan

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)/Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) – ADHD Inattentive Type: the trouble with girls by Finton O’Regan

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – Managing ASD pupils in the mainstream classroom by Sarah Rhodes

Bilingual Learners with SEN – Inclusive strategies for teaching bilingual learners with SEN by Lisa Kalim and Jenny May

Cerebral Palsy – Teaching pupils with cerebral palsy by Claire Hewitt

Complex Needs – Meeting the needs of pupils with complex needs by Julie Newman

Double Exceptionality – Gifted pupils with special educational needs by Diane Montgomery

Down’s Syndrome – Teaching pupils with Down syndrome by Sandy Alton

Dyscalculia – Distressed or dyscalculic? by Judith Boosey

Dyslexia/specific literacy difficulties – Challenging Talk by Marian McCormick

Dyspraxia – The dyspraxic pupil in the classroom by Jan Long

Epilepsy – Working with epilepsy by Amanda Cleaver

Hearing Impairment (HI) – Deaf pupils: teaching and learning strategies for successful inclusion by Stevie Mayhook

Mental Health Difficulties – Strategies for teaching pupils with mental health difficulties by Mary Penwarden

ME (Chronic fatigue syndrome) – How to help ME in school by Dr Esther Crawley

Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) – Brain-Friendly teaching for MLD pupils by Jean Parry

Mutism – Supporting pupils with selective mutism: strategies to help in class by Maggie Johnson

Physical Impairments – Strategies for teaching young pupils with physical impairments by Jackie Casey

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD) – Strategies for teaching pupils with emotional and behavioural difficulties by Colin Bowpitt

Speech and language difficulties – Supporting pupils with speech and language difficulties by Stuart Norman

Visual Impairment (VI) – Including a pupil with a visual impairment by Suzy McDonald

Click here to order your copy now


Teaching Children with Special Needs

Specific Intervention Programmes and Strategies

This book focuses on specific interventions which can be used for children within the four areas of need as identified in the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice (DfES, 2001):

  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD); speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and dyslexia
  • Physical impairments
  • Cognitive needs
  • Social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD).

The interventions and strategies offered in this book will provide you with ideas to try with a pupil and get you thinking about how best you can meet their needs with the resources you have available. Many of the chapters also provide you with additional ideas to try with all the pupils in the class, improving access, engagement and participation with the curriculum for all.

This book has been divided into the four areas of need in which there are a number of chapters about the most frequently used intervention programmes and strategies. All the interventions and strategies have been tried and tested and will provide you with the confidence to try out other ideas you think will also be effective.

Specific Intervention Programmes and Strategies contains:

Part 1 – Autism spectrum disorders (ASD), speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) and dyslexia

Chapter 1 Circle of friends by Pat Haworth

Chapter 2 Cued articulation by Marion Emmerson

Chapter 3 Social stories by Stuart Norman

Chapter 4 Miscue…..then what? By Ann Callander

Chapter 5 Augmentative and alternative communication by Gillian Hazell

Chapter 6 Music interaction by Julie Newman, Alex Smith and Michael Rodwell

Chapter 7 Thinking in pictures – mind mapping and thinking skills by Ann Callander

Part 2 – Physical Impairments

Chapter 8 Brain Gym in primary schools by Gillian Hindshaw

Chapter 9 Kinaesthetic learners – move through the day by Alison Silby

Chapter 10 Understanding perception by Jill Jenkinson

Chapter 11 Teaching handwriting by Janice Rolnick and Jacquie Buttriss

Chapter 12 Boosting auditory learning by Alison Silby

Chapter 13 Boosting visual learning by Alison Silby

Part 3 – Cognitive Needs

Chapter 14 Improving spelling skills by Ann Callander

Chapter 15 Improving memory skills by Jacquie Buttriss

Chapter 16 Developing an understanding of concept vocabulary by Ann Callander

Chapter 17 Coping with mental mathematics by Janet Rees

Chapter 18 Improving writing skills by Sue Soan

Chapter 19 Improving ICT skills by Terry Freedman

Chapter 20 Improving mathematical skills by Steve Chinn

Part 4 – Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties

Chapter 21 Developing social skills by Stuart Norman

Chapter 22 Developing young children’s social and emotional skills by Tina Rae

Chapter 23 Managing behaviour in the classroom by Jenny Crisp

For SENCOs, teachers and teaching assistants in primary schools

Price £59.00 (+£6.50 p&p)

To order your Specific Intervention Programmes and Strategies click here now!



Teaching Children with Special Needs

A Practical Guide for Teaching Assistants

A Practical Guide for Teaching Assistants provides useful information specifically for teaching assistants and other support workers in a primary school setting, to enable them to play an important part in providing a learning environment that enables every pupil to achieve their potential. This book has been planned to help all teaching assistants find information they need about a variety of special educational needs as quickly as possible and to give them lots of practical strategies to try with the children in their class.

For SENCOs, teachers and teaching assistants in primary schools

Price: £19.99 (or £59.00 for pack of five) (+£6.50 p&p)

Order ONE copy of Teaching Children with Special Needs: A Practical Guide for Teaching Assistants (£19.99) here

Order pack of 5 Teaching Children with Special Needs: A Practical Guide for Teaching Assistants (£59.00) here