Owl class is a middle phase group (Upper KS1/Lower KS2) made up of pupils with MLD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. There are currently 18 pupils within the group, all of whom are working at pre-key stage standards. We try to demonstrate a balance between practical learning activities and written tasks, challenging all pupils to progress academically, personally, and in terms of their independence.
Communication, Accessibility and Our Environment.
All of our pupils can communicate verbally so a range of individual, paired and group activities are planned across curriculum areas to ensure that all pupils have opportunities to interact with their peers. Our staff are role models for effective verbal communication, working closely with Speech and Language professionals to provide additional support where needed.
Visual symbols, pictures and labels are used throughout the classroom environment to ensure everything is accessible to all. A visual timetable helps to provide structure, routine and reassurance, particularly for our ASD pupils.
Owls are encouraged to take an increased responsibility for their own learning by collecting equipment and taking ownership of their own learning space. Due to this, our classroom is arranged to enable children to access as many of the resources that they need for their learning, as possible. Each table group have their own box of resources that they use, look after and tidy as they go.
Pupil’s work is displayed within the classroom, celebrating what we have achieved. There is also a range of visual material for reference, that the pupils use to support their learning. We really want our owls to become less reliant on staff support and encourage them to use a range of different strategies to overcome barriers – peer to peer support, use of classroom displays, and the use of personal dictionaries amongst others. The classroom aesthetics evolve and change with the needs of our children. Reference material will be removed when not needed, or to provide further challenge.
Here in owl class, our staff are all keen to tailor support to each child. We have 18 individual characters in the group, all with different personalities, strengths and needs and how we support each child looks very different. Table groups have been organised with this in mind; some tables may have a higher ratio of TA support, while others work more independently. Staff are still available should these pupils need help, but it often amazes us what our children can do without adult intervention; we only step in when there is a need.
Owls learn to become responsible members of our school community, taking on small roles within the class, like taking the register to the office or helping to wash up after breakfast.
To enhance our curriculum, Owl class participate in a range of fun and educational activities both in and out of school. We attend weekly swimming sessions at a local leisure centre, where pupils develop key skills in order to stay safe and keep active. Visitors to the class are welcomed, offering us the chance to learn dance routines or play musical instruments.
Most of our visits are directly related to our topic at the time, although you may see us visit the cinema, eat out at a restaurant or go shopping to develop broader skills as an holistic approach. Staff encourage pupils to help organise and plan educational visits or experiences as a reward, celebrating hard work and achievements.
Rewards and Achievements.
To recognise the positive behaviour and good work of our pupils, we have created a class ‘reward shop.’ ‘Pennies’ can be earnt throughout the week and pupils how they spend (or save) them. As well as being a reward system, it helps to develop an understanding of the value of money, as well as basic skills such as paying for goods, working out change etc. It forms part of our maths area and is open once a week on Friday during golden time. This is our primary reward system, but pupils may also get stickers, certificates, stamps or ‘on the spot’ prizes (for those children that need that immediate recognition).
Mrs G Lewis
Mrs N Butler
Mrs N Morris
Mrs L Lowe