We are keen to help schools by providing quality information on how they can support all children with Movement Difficulties. We have a range of resources to help.

Our training course for education staff on Developmental Coordination Disorder and Hypermobility.

School staff may attend our free Movement Wise workshops with (or instead of) parents of referred children with Movement Difficulties.

We have an ever growing list of help sheets which give ideas on various skills and how to support success.

If you are concerned about a child's physical development you might like to suggest that the family sign them up to our Multi-sports sessions. This is collaboration between the Children's OT service, Jubilee 2 Leisure Centre, and Stoke City Community Trust.

You can call the department to ask for general advice about children with movement difficulties or to discuss whether an OT referral might be helpful for a child. If a therapist is visiting your school for a particular child, and there are others you wish to have a discussion about please let your therapist know so they can allow more time. Please note we cannot give specific advice about a child without consent from the parent, but we are happy to advise on general principles which help and to discuss whether our service is well placed to help or not. Our contct details are at the bottom of this page

We can suggest a range of motor programmes some of which we are able to supply for free to schools in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Writing is a complex skill that relies on many foundational abilities such as visual perceptual skills, visual motor integration skills, cognitive skills, finger dexterity, shoulder stability and core stability, to name a few. The following Handwriting Help Sheets are provided to help give schools ideas on how to develop these foundation skills in children who may be struggling with their writing.

What programmes are helpful to support handwriting?

Many schools use the Dough Disco videos from Shonette Bason to help children gain the movements necessary for writing. You can find these on YouTube.

Before you begin a writing programme, please consider whether the child is developmentally ready to write. If the child's development is behind that expected for their age, introducing writing too soon can lead to abnormal and inefficient pencil grip habits that can cause difficulties later. Instead, offer a multi-sensory approach to learning shapes and letter forms (eg tracing patterns with fingers in sand, dough, shaving foam etc rather than pencil practice.)

For children who are ready to write, these programmes are often helpful starting points:

The Write from the Start Programme (Ion Teodorescu)

Helps a child develop the fine motor and perceptual aspects of writing. Comes in three photocopiable books of increasing difficulty. £20 to £30 for the three books

Speed Up Programme (Lois Addy)

Uses movement activities to develop fluent hand control and wrist movements (such as scrunching bandages). For ages 8 and above. Approximately £11

Write Dance

Comes in an early years version (3 to 5 years) and original version (6 years and older). Uses a series of music tracks and themed dance moves to teach the foundational movements children need write. £31 including digital music and video download.

Printing like a Pro

Designed for children who are not ready for cursive writing. A graded programme that uses rehearsal of verbal strategies to learn the letter forms (eg down, dot for the letter i). Good for older children with strong verbal ability and cognition, but poor motor skills. Download from Child Development & Rehabilitation - Classroom Resources.

‘Wheel of Apps’

Information technology can support pupils who continue to struggle with aspects of school work as a result of Dyslexia, reading or writing difficulties. The ‘wheel of apps’ has categorised apps that can support pupils with these challenges. Download from CALL (Communication, Access, Literacy and Learning) Scotland


For children with movement difficulties up to the end of Year 6, the Children's Occupational Therapy Service requires that schools deliver a motor programme before referring to our service.

These programmes are not intended for children with a physical disability, nor a diagnosed condition. They are recommended only for children whose movement skills are behind the rest of their development.

Free Motor Programmes

Cool Kids Motor Programme (provided by the OT service)

  • Two programmes available: 'Primary' and 'Nursery & Reception'
  • Easy to deliver by school staff with simple equipment readily available in schools
  • Supports schools to work at targeted level in line with the graduated response
  • Gives pupils the opportunity to develop motor skills before seeking specialist NHS referral

Free of charge by email for SENCos who request it from childrensOT@mpft.nhs.uk

Solent NHS Trust Programmes

South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust Fine Motor Programme

Manchester Motor Skills Programme (MMSP)

Fizzy (gross motor) and Clever Hands (fine motor) programmes

North Yorkshire Council Motor Skills Programme

Paid for Programmes

There is a vast range of paid for Motor Programmes available to purchase online. Some of the common ones are listed here.

Title Description Approximate Cost
Helping Children to Improve Their Gross Motor Skills: The Stepping Stones Curriculum by Rachel White A4 manual with downloadable PDFs which enable programme delivery and progress to be recorded. Comes with baseline assessment £25
Jungle Journey A4 Paperback booklet. A whole-class Programme. Fine and Gross motor £25
Sensory Circuits Comes from a sensory approach. Warm ups, skills and cool down format £10
Smart Moves Manual with CDROM. Screening tool, Activity Pack £90
BEAM (Balance, Education And Movement) Programme 6 week programme. Can replace PE sessions for reception class £75
Take Ten Fit to Succeed DVD, three books and teacher’s guide £49
Motor Skills United Activity cards, colour-coded by skill area £60
Fit to Learn Double DVD and CD training pack £100


The Children's Occupational Therapy Service in the north of the County offers two training workshops for SENCO’s, Teachers, or Teaching Assistants working in Primary or Middle Schools. This takes place at a venue in Stoke-on-Trent. It supports the graduated response to children with movement difficulties.

The two workshops run on the same day (DCD in the morning, and Hypermobility in the afternoon) and you can purchase both courses for a discounted rate of £100.

We can also offer one or both courses as a school INSET day workshop at your school premises. Please contact childrensOT@mpft.nhs.uk to discuss options.

To receive the dates of the next courses and the booking forms please contact childrensOT@mpft.nhs.uk

Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) / dyspraxia 

£75 per delegate.

This workshop will help school staff to:

  • Understand terminology and medical criteria for DCD
  • Have a greater insight into the difficulties faced by children with DCD
  • Support children with DCD within the classroom with personalised and differentiated approaches and tasks
  • Be aware of resources that can be used within the classroom for those children who need more targeted support

Joint Hypermobility / Joint Hypermobility Syndrome

£35 per delegate

This workshop will help school staff to:

  • To understand the terminology and diagnostic terminology used in connection to Joint hypermobility
  • To understand the signs and symptoms associated with Joint hypermobility Syndrome
  • Have a greater insight into the difficulties faced by children with joint hypermobility syndrome
  • Support children with joint hypermobility within the classroom with personalised and differentiated approaches and equipment
  • Be aware of resources that can be used within the classroom for those children who need more targeted support
  • To understand what specialist management approaches may involve

Occupational Therapy (Children) Contact Details

East Team (Lichfield, Tamworth and East Staffordshire)

Children's Occupational Therapy
Wilnecote Health Centre
49 Smithy Lane
B77 5LB

01782 427 450


North Team (North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent)

Hazel Trees
Duke Street
Stoke on Trent

01782 427 450


West Team (Stafford, Cannock and South Staffordshire)

The Bridge
Crooked Bridge Road
St. George's Parkway
ST16 3NE

01785 221 664