Portage Workshop - A Small Steps Approach to Learning for Children with SEND

This is a certificated training course delivered by National Portage Association Accredited Trainers. 

The Portage Workshop is an introduction to the Portage Approach to working with children with additional needs and their families. The workshop is suitable for anyone interested in finding out more about the Portage model, including  early years practitioners, therapists and parents.

Central to the course are the ‘Portage Principles’ and the ‘Three Circle Model of Portage’.  The NPA has set standards for minimum workshop content and length.  The Workshop has a core curriculum consisting of seven modules and must last a minimum of 2 full days plus a Follow Up session.

Additional Information

What does the course cover?

The Workshop consists of a Core Curriculum of seven modules:

  1. The Portage Model & it's Relevance to Early Years Settings.
  2. Helping Children Learn – Using Clear Language
  3. Helping Children Learn – Planning for Success
  4. Helping Children Learn – A Small Steps Approach
  5. Examples of Planning, Recording and Sharing
  6. Supporting the Development of Play
  7. Positive Approaches to Children's Behaviour

All Workshops will also include a Parent's Perspective of Portage.

A Follow Up session is offered to support the Implementation of Portage Principles in the Workplace.

What are the course aims?

To give participants:

  • An understanding of Portage Principles and the Portage model of support
  • Knowledge of Portage in the context of Early Years provision
  • The basic skills to deliver Portage under supervision
  • The ability to apply Portage skills and implement Portage principles in their own workplace and home

What will I learn?

  • The Portage partnership model of working with parents and other professionals
  • Portage principles and how they can be applied in the home and in settings with young children who have additional needs
  • Strategies, materials and resources used by Portage that can be used in the home and early years settings
  • How to plan for success and set long term goals
  • The importance of using clear language
  • How to use a small steps approach in teaching children new skills through play
  • Strategies to overcome the barriers to play
  • Approaches to help children generalise skills
  • Basic appropriate responses and approaches to address behaviour
  • Strategies for planning suitable activities, assessing progress and recording children’s successes

Who is the course suitable for?

  • Early Years Practitioners working in PVI, maintained and children’s centre settings
  • SENCOs
  • Reception class teachers, nursery teachers, HLTAs and teaching assistants
  • Childminders and foster carers
  • Parents
  • Speech therapists/assistants/language development workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Sensory support teachers
  • Advisory teachers
  • Inclusion development workers
  • Family Support Workers

Why should I attend?

Attending a Portage Workshop gives participants the opportunity to:

  • Gain practical strategies, ideas and resources that can be used straight away within the home and in settings, to differentiate and provide for children with additional needs
  • Work with and learn from parents and other professionals
  • Develop links and gain access to support from highly skilled Portage professionals working in the field of early years/SEND
  • Improve their everyday practice to the benefit of all children, not just those with additional needs
  • Develop an understanding of how to achieve real, meaningful inclusion in settings
  • Increase their confidence in working with disabled children
  • Access follow-up training, support and CPD that could lead to further career progression

What could it lead to?

As an optional development, the Portage Workshop can lead to:

  • A BTEC Certificate Level 3 in Portage Skills
  • Attendance on Portage Continuing Professional Development training relating to Autism, Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties or Behaviour
  • Early Years Settings becoming Portage Approved Settings via the NPA Stamp of Approval Scheme