The LEANS resource pack for primary schools
LEANS is a free curriculum to introduce pupils aged 8-11 to the concept of neurodiversity, and help them explore how it impacts school experiences. It is a teacher-delivered resource for the whole class.
LEANS was developed with reference to school contexts in the UK and Ireland, but is freely available to users anywhere in the world. Currently, it is only available in English.
Our about LEANS pages have more details about what LEANS covers, what the resources are like, and FAQs. We encourage you to have a look before downloading the resource.
LEANS in a nutshell
|What is LEANS?||
This resource introduces the concept of neurodiversity to children, and how it is relevant to their own schools and lives. It is a multi-session curriculum, with a mix of hands-on activities, storytelling, and factual resource items. LEANS was developed by a neurodiverse team of researchers and educators.
|Why should a class deliver LEANS?||Better-informed, more accepting school communities can help make school experiences more positive—for everyone. LEANS’ goals are to change pupils’ knowledge about neurodiversity, their beliefs about neurodivergence, and the actions they take at school.|
|Where should I deliver LEANS?||LEANS is for whole-class delivery in mainstream primary schools, to children ages 8-11 years.|
|Who should deliver LEANS?||LEANS is a teacher-delivered resource, but it won’t be the right tool for every class. We provide a self-evaluation exercise within the handbook to help you decide.|
|When should I deliver LEANS?||Delivering LEANS takes an estimated 15-19 hours of classroom delivery time, or about 1-2 hours per week over a whole school term.|
|How can I deliver LEANS?||
The teacher handbook is a ‘one stop shop’ for developing your understanding of neurodiversity concepts, guidance on teaching this topic, and LEANS activity plans. It's a training course, in a book!
The resource pack provides all you need to prepare and deliver LEANS. It’s all free of charge, but does require a time investment, especially the first time you deliver it. We estimate 6-8 hours for initial programme preparation, to work through the handbook content and the planning and safety steps it outlines.
The handbook and associated LEANS materials are published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license: Attribution-NonCommercial- NoDerivatives 4.0 International.
- You may freely print or photocopy the LEANS materials, so long as you do not sell them.
- You can adapt the LEANS resource for use within your own classroom, but you may not distribute adapted resources e.g. by sharing with other schools or posting them online.
- You may not use these materials, including the LEANS illustrations, for any commercial purposes.
Please note that a small number of users have experienced download problems on local government or NHS computers, due to security settings. You may wish to try your download on a personal machine.
More download information
File size: zipped file, 125MB
This download contains the complete LEANS resource pack. It is a zipped file, and you will need to un-zip it after downloading in order to use the content.
In addition to the Teacher Handbook PDF, this download includes:
All PowerPoints and printable classroom materials for the 7 units
The LEANS story booklet for teachers
Seven printable unit posters for classroom display (A3 and A4 size)
Scripts for the LEANS videos. The LEANS video files aren’t available for download, but are linked from the handbook. No login needed to view.
Template letter about LEANS that could be sent home to families
Printable copy of the self-evaluation exercise from the Teacher Handbook (‘Is LEANS right for your school?’)
Please note that the download does not include any of the content from our more resources page.
You can contact the LEANS team by e-mail (LEANS@ed.ac.uk). Please explain your query as clearly as you can, and please note that we are a small team. It may take some time for us to follow up with you.
Please contact the team by e-mail (LEANS@ed.ac.uk) with subject “resource download problem”. Please give as much detail as you can, to help us sort out the issue.
Are you downloading from an NHS computer or local authority computer (including schools)? A small number of users have reported problems where they are unable to download LEANS, or the downloaded files are un-openable. Often there are no associated error messages. We think this has to do with local network security settings, which is something LEANS can't fix. Your local IT team may be able to help. Or, you can try downloading on a personal computer. The files aren’t huge—just too large to e-mail! Please try these options before contacting LEANS! Thank you.
Please cite the full LEANS resource pack and the LEANS teacher handbook as follows:
Alcorn, A.M., Fletcher-Watson, S., McGeown, S., Murray, F., Aitken, D., Peacock, L.J.J., & Mandy, W. (2022). Learning About Neurodiversity at School: A resource pack for primary school teachers and pupils. University of Edinburgh.
View the complete list of resource pack credits and acknowledgements (also in the Teacher Handbook PDF, Appendix C)
Looking for even more readings and resources, or for organisations that provide information and services? See the more resources section of our website.