Resources for Special-Mainstream Linking


Special-Mainstream Games, Pack 1 

These games are broadly aimed at primary pupils.  Our thanks go to Stephanie Clements, of Co-op Academy Delius, Bradford, who has put together these lovely resources and shared them with us.

These resources can be viewed individually below, or downloaded together as a Powerpoint, or word doc (this includes all of the primary games shown below in this first section of resources).

With all activities it will of course be necessary to adapt ideas to suit the needs of your students.

Making Music Circle Game

Making Music Circle Game ppt and word doc

What you need:  Music to listen to whilst gathering/ at the end. Foot stomping – shoes on a hard floor covering works well, but it will still work on carpet.  Shoes can be worn on feet or hands as necessary/preferred.  Pupils can clap their hands together, on their knees, on their chest or on the floor.

Team Art

Team Art and Group Monster Games in ppt and word doc

What you need: All pupils will need a piece of paper and pencils, or an iPad where they can create their own picture by dragging pictures onto a page.

Whats in the Bag? Game

Whats in the bag? Charades and Moving Bingo Games  ppt and word doc

What you need:   

  • In advance, prepare a bag/tray filled with the images or objects to do with favourite activities featured on the All About Me worksheet or have them on a computer screen generator if playing on Zoom.

What Can You Feel? Game

What Can You Feel Game in ppt and word doc

What you need:   A range of different tactile materials for each group of pupils.

(These could include a small blown-up balloon, a paint brush, an art roller,  tissue paper, plasticine, soft toothbrush, cotton wool, velvet). Practise describing surfaces- soft, prickly, smooth, scratchy etc

The Lion Sleeps Tonight/ In the Jungle Zoom Sing Along Activity

The Lion Sleeps Tonight’/ In the Jungle sing along zoom activity with Makaton signing ppt  and in a word doc

What you need: a copy of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ song.

In advance, pupils choose their favourite jungle animal, they could make an animal mask in an art lesson that they can wear for the zoom session

Practise the song ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’, let the pupils know that the children at the link school are also practising this song

'You've got a Friend in Me Zoom Sing Along Activity

‘You’ve got a Friend in Me’ zoom sing along with Makaton signing ppt and in a word doc

What you need:

‘You’ve got a Friend in Me’ song

Before the session:  Talk about what makes a good friend and what you can do when making a new friend eg smile when you meet someone new. How many ways do we know to say ‘Hello?’ (ppt slides)

Pupils practise their own special wave that they will do on the screen

Practise the song ‘You’ve got a Friend in Me’, let the pupils know that the children at the link school are also practising this song

Drama Time: The Rainforest

Rainforest Drama – You can download this activity in a ppt format or a word doc

What you need: 

A copy of the powerpoint or word script to talk through

 Special-Mainstream Games Pack 2  

Our second pack of activities, listed below is aimed more at secondary pupils.  Our thanks for these go to drama specialists Sophie Hammond and Annice Avery,  of Hazelbeck and Beckfoot Schools, Bradford,  who brought about a performing arts triumph through their Secondary Special-Mainstream linking in Bradford.

All of this second batch of activities can be view individually below, or downloaded as a word document here.

Getting to Know You Games

Getting to Know You Games

What you need:

Space to come together in a circle

Snack time chat – snacks, background music

Drama Warm Up Games and Activities 

Drama Warm Up Games and Activities 

What you need:

Familiar songs to play/ learn/ move to and decent sound system,

Access to YouTube (if you want to follow a dance warm up on line),

Large space for moving around

Ideas pack: paper, pens, iPad/ laptop for each group

2 chairs for a park bench improvisation

Ideas for Art Activities

Ideas for Art Activities

What you need:

Sensory resources: eg jelly, small objects, tweezers, shaving foam, water tray with equipment, slime (you can make your own or buy), sand tray and equipment, cornflour and hair conditioner

Art resources: eg jigsaw piece templates, display tree trunk and cut out ‘leaves’, straws and marshmallows, clay

Ideas for Outdoor Games


What you need:

PE equipment for games or an obstacle course, items you can hide outside for a scavenger hunt

Music and Parachute Games

Music and Parachute Games

What you need:

Plastic bottle shakers: empty clean bottles and materials to decorate them, fill with rice/ lentils/past etc

Familiar songs to play/ learn/ move to and decent sound system,

Access to Shabang, large stretchy elastic bang, parachute

small plastic balls

Shared Learning Experiences

There are several shared learning experiences which teachers might like to use, including M6 Theatre plays: When we Started Singing and Bird Behaviour; assembly resources and more. here 

Social Stories

There are sample social stories on the website, here, they include: Introducing Myself, Sending My Picture, Meeting New Children,  Visiting a Different School, Children from a Different School Coming to Visit Me.

For each story, consideration is given to the perception of the child, and should help the child to access the concept.  The story can and should be adapted for individual children.  We would recommend that the parent or caregiver is contacted regarding adaptations.

The social stories are provided as a narrative only or narrative with supporting images.

You can find out more about social stories in general at

Creating an Autism Friendly Welcome to a Neutral Venue

This video below was created by M6 Theatre who provide the Neutral Venue Visit for Rochdale Schools Linking classes. It was created following advice on creating an Autism Friendly welcome and the ideas here can be used by other venues who host linking

Understanding Autism

This powerful video could help children and adults alike to understand how the world is for an autistic person. This is all part of helping us consider the needs of all children before starting linking.

‘I’m not naughty, I’m autistic’