University of Exeter
Tools for Schools
Switch the itch

Switch the itch

Key Points

This strategy is about supporting the student to be ready, emotionally or mentally, for a transition or something happening next. It’s all about getting ready for a change

How is this tweaked for flex?

Students who flex is designed for may not be able to manage transitions and changes as quickly as other students, and need more support to prepare and be ready for a change- whether that is expected or unexpected

  • When the student is finishing an activity and about to transition to the next one, have a chat with them about what (specifically) went well with the last activity. Focus on the positives and check their perception of the situation
  • Tell the student what is happening next, and ask them which regulation station they think they should be in for this (or what kind of energy they should bring to it). Guide them to come towards an agreement with you based on what you think, or agree to disagree!
  • Ask them what kind of energy they currently have, and whether they need to switch this for the next activity. Ask if this is a match or a mismatch - do they need to ‘switch the itch’? Use the regulation station as a visual aid
  • Together choose an activity to switch their energy to the appropriate level for the next activity and flex to allow them to do this
  • We’ve created some icons you can put in your lesson plans (or use stickers/coloured doodles) to remind you to check in about switching the itch at the right time- prompt yourself to use these at transition points during the day
  • You can use the large icons as flashcards to remind the student of the process
  • Does this help the student arrive for their next activity in a positive state of mind? If not, why do you think not? Use the reflection template to note your thoughts
  • Talk to your SENCo, colleagues or the student’s family about what the barriers are to doing this with the student. Is it not having enough time between activities for them, or not having enough people in the room to help?
  • How can you overcome these barriers? Make a plan and follow it through, then review again after another week