Special Education Needs Resources for Primary Schools

Here at Essential Resources, we strive to make teachers’ lives easier.  

We extend this to supporting teachers to best meet special learning needs. Included here are those students who, for whatever reason, are at risk of being left behind, through to gifted and talented students requiring further extension.  

Our special needs resources for schools cover the full spectrum, from A to Z of Special Needs. We also provide titles with guidance on classroom and behaviour management, emotional literacy and multisensory learning. 

Make your job a little easier. Check out how Essential Resources can help you support students’ learning needs. 


How do I support a learner with special needs? 

To support a learner with special needs, teachers need to believe the child is a capable and confident learner. This involves connecting with the child and understanding their strengths and interests.  

The author of special education resources, Anne Vize, has written a blog on strategies for supporting special learning needs children. To support them, she recommends: 

  • using team approaches, where teachers draw on allied health professionals, parents and carers and the child themselves to find the best way to provide access and inclusion 
  • creating environments that reduce the sensory load from sounds, lighting and movement 
  • using auditory and visual prompts to support routines and transitions 
  • developing an understanding of behaviour as communication, eg, working out what the behaviour is saying 
  • building individual adjustments into learning experiences and routines. 

What strategies support effective behaviour management in the primary classroom? 

A strategy that supports effective behaviour management in the primary classroom in NZ is forming a relationship with your students. Teaching is “all about relationships,” after all.  

Positive teacher-student relationships can improve students’ self-esteem, engagement and cooperation. While they may not solve all issues in a classroom, they provide a solid starting point. 

Another effective behaviour management strategy is to set clear expectations and the consequences of these upfront. Even better, co-construct these with your students. 

Take the time to work with students to clarify what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviours and what the expected consequences will be. This also creates buy-in from students by giving them agency.  

In an interview with us, author Donna-Marie Wardle said the most important thing teachers can do is not to give up. “The real key to behaviour, and basic classroom management for that matter, is consistence, persistence and insistence.” 

Once you have established expectations and consequences, stick them to them every time. Without any follow-through, students will think these do not matter. Be consistent. Be persistent. Be insistent.  

What are your gifted and talented resources? 

Our gifted and talented resources for primary school students include the following: 

Learning Quests for Gifted Students by Debbie Smith 

Fill the gap left in planning when trying to find topics of interest for gifted students with learning quests. These have been designed to build up the repertoire of skills students need to carry out independent study in the present and throughout their schooling.  

Additionally, students are challenged to develop their thinking skills. The units emphasise the importance of researching all sides of an issue and presenting a reasoned argument. 

Made Practical by Rosemary Cathcart 

These gifted and talented resources provide practical solutions for meeting the needs of gifted children while juggling other teaching demands.  

Both resources provide primary school teachers with a sound platform for preparing and implementing differentiation in their classrooms.  

Literacy Magic by Selena Gallagher 

Bring some magic into your classroom! Combine the power of Harry Potter with imaginative activities to extend your gifted students.  

The high fantasy genre to which Harry Potter belongs lends itself to gifted readers, who can see beyond the surface of the story to the spirit hidden within. In this way, Harry Potter is the perfect context for gifted and talented literacy activities.