Transitioning children with learning support needs from early learning into school
Early planning, parent engagement and strong relationships between the school or Kura, early learning service, parents and the Ministry are critical to a child with learning support needs making a successful and positive transition from the ECE service to school.

TKI: Te Kete Ipurangi – Ministry of Education
Enter the words ‘Down Syndrome’ in the Search TKI box to see what information they have available on their own site and other recommended websites.

Resources for students in Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) – Ministry of Education
Resources for students in the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) may include specialists, additional teachers, teacher aides, and a grant for consumables.


A Kid’s Guide to Down Syndrome (PDF)
New, updated version from the ADSA!

International Guidelines for the Education of Learners with Down Syndrome (PDF)
The guidelines have been developed to improve the availability and quality of education for people with Down syndrome around the world and to contribute to the realisation of their right to an inclusive education and lifelong learning as outlined in Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Starting School-information for parents (PDF)
Information from the Ministry of Education around starting school and what parents can expect to happen.

Collaboration for Success (PDF)
Individual Education Plans

The role of the teacher’s aide (PDF)
Information from the Ministry of Education.

Specialist Teacher Outreach Service (PDF)
The Specialist Teacher Outreach Service provides a specialist itinerant teaching service for students on the Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) who are enrolled in their local schools.

Learners with Down syndrome (PDF)
A handbook for teaching professionals. This is available as an online version but also available as a book.

Getting Started!!! Using Visual Systems to Promote Communication, by Dolly Bhargava (PDF)
This is a detailed information booklet by Dolly Bhargava on the benefits of using visual systems. This is available as an online version but we can also send it to parents who would like a hard copy of the book. Some recent research disputes some of the suggestions in this book.

Fiona Kenworthy, SLT, who presents the segment “Using visuals to assist children in accessing the curriculum” in Our Success in School-course, suggests the book Visual Support for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. However, this is aimed at children on the Spectrum and is not specific to Down syndrome.

This book is aimed at a broad range of ages, including high school students and includes some useful approaches such as colourful semantics. It also has some associated iPad apps/activities and lots of website ideas. It contains really good ideas for visual supports for handwriting, maths etc and shows images of students working on more complex topics (aim high!).

This book has great information on how to choose a system for a particular child rather than the one-size-fits-all method. Although it does specify autism, it is relevant for people with Down syndrome. A few negatives though are: it is not in colour, not as user-friendly as Dolly Bhargava’s book and is expensive.

Learning Better Together – Dr Jude MacArthur (PDF)
Working towards inclusive education in New Zealand Schools.

Daily Work Sheet (PDF)
A tool, developed by Sommerville School, to assist with communication between Home and School.

Passport example (PDF) & Passport template (DOC)
To be used to make information about the child to give to the teaching staff. Easily updated and to be passed on annually.