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Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Creative Futures delivers specialist arts programmes with children in mainstream and special schools, and has a particular focus on deaf children of primary and secondary age.


Sounding Out

Sounding Out is a music programme with deaf and hearing impaired children. Its first phase ran from 2015-18 in two London specialist secondary schools and one primary. Since spring 2019 it has been running in two mainstream primary schools with deaf units. The programme involves a partnership with researchers at the UCL Institute of Education to assess the programme’s impact on aspects of the children’s musical and communication development.

“Overall, our data suggest that Sounding Out programme has been a success musically, with clear evidence of virtually all pupils achieving more advanced musical behaviours as their academic year progressed. This is very commendable and provides a solid evidential foundation from which to argue that all HI pupils should have access to appropriate music education provision, whether in Primary or Secondary schools to support learning in and through music.” - Welch & Saunders, UCL IoE, 2018

A feature of Sounding Out is that is explores different approaches to music-making with deaf children, and shares our approaches and learning in a free online Toolkit. This online resources is aimed at teachers of the deaf who want to try out music delivery, and for musicians working with deaf children. A refreshed and updated version was published in April 2021. The Toolkit is available here.

“I saw your toolkit last week and think it’s great. As always, Creative Futures produces high-quality and outstanding resources that are rooted in real practical Teaching & Learning. Superb!” - Stuart Whatmore, Head Tri-borough Music Hub

Two project reports are available:

Other S.E.N.D. projects

We have delivered a number of other projects in Special Schools including with pupils with profound & multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).

“The teacher seized every opportunity to develop pupils’ skills and deepen their understanding by moving very adeptly from one activity to another and keeping a clear focus on practical activities. Pupils’ learning was exceptionally well supported by the use of pictures, signs and symbols.” – Quotation from an Ofsted inspector’s report about a Creative Futures music and movement lesson for pupils aged 11-18. The session involving young people with profound & multiple learning difficulties (PMLD) was judged “outstanding.”

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