Getting the pupil’s attention, materials and positioning, helping concentration.

General things to consider

Consider the following for each pupil:

  • what their eye condition and visual needs are
  • if they have some useful vision
  • if they have an unusual head position for looking
  • if they have a visual preference, right or left, central 
  • how they use their vision, for example at what distance they can see facial expressions, Makaton signs and resources

Pupils need lots of opportunities to use their vision. Develop their interest in looking by ringing in the changes, for example: 

  • use of sensory rooms
  • UV fluorescent materials
  • ICT
  • eye gaze technology
  • autumn colours walking under the trees 

Getting the pupil’s attention 

Approach the pupil from in front and gain their visual attention.

Make sure you attract the pupil’s attention by getting down to their level, in line of their vision and call or sign their name.

Materials and positioning

Find the best working position to present things, for example at eye level, as the pupil may find it difficult to look at objects placed on their trays.


  • the size of materials
  • the distance they’re presented to the pupil
  • using a tilted work desk or an easel
  • using a CCTV to enlarge and present materials on a monitor at the pupil’s eye level

They may need their own educational materials.

Make sure teaching materials stand out clearly from the background: 

  • use good colour contrast
  • reduce visual clutter for ease of access, for example maxess black felt boards

Make sure there’s good, even level of lighting, with glare reduced:

  • position the pupil with their back to the light source
  • use blinds or curtains
  • use resources with matt surfaces

Helping concentration

Give the pupil time to look and respond.

Reduce the background noise and visual clutter so the pupil can concentrate on using their vision

Allow time for the pupil to rest. It’s hard work to coordinate looking, listening and making a physical response.  

Contact us
Sensory Support Service
Elmfield House
Greystoke Avenue
BS10 6AY

Phone: 0117 903 8442
Text: 07810 506 669