Welcome to Squirrel Class
The class teacher for Squirrels is Jane Keese
The teaching assistants are : Val, Jo, Ruth and Danielle
.This year we will continue to focus on developing communication skills with help from familiar staff that know us well using musical cues, objects of reference, visuals, signing and the use of spoken word.
We are a Total Communication classroom which makes use of pictures and visual symbols. printed language. location markers, signalong, PECS, TEACCH, Communication Books, Aided Language Input ( ALI) boards, these adapted to suit each pupil and their receptive language level.
We do lots of learning both in and out of the classroom. We enjoy learning through play and enjoy free flow activities, group activities as well as individual activities working towards our targets.
We are excited to be working in partnership with parents to ensure each and every child in Squirrels achieves the very best that they can! You will receive a weekly personal newsletter sent home every Friday showing your child's progress and learning and what we have been doing during our busy week
Don't forget to check our page regularly- we update it with information and photos.
Regular Weekly Activities
Monday- Swimming every other week
Tuesday- Forest School
Wednesday-Sensory Circuit, Rebound Therapy, Music Therapy and Light Room
Thursday - Adventure Playground
Friday - Swimming
Parents we look forward to another fantastic year working collaboratively with you.
Please feel free to contact Jane via Class Dojo App or by contacting the school.
Below is a description of activities we do in Squirrel class
Dance massage is movement to music. We create a soundtrack of (usually modern/pop) songs linking to the topic and deliver different gentle massage movements for each one. We always play the songs in the same order to allow for anticipation.
We repeat the same Dance Massage workout once each week for a half term. A new half term means a new tracklist
During a Sensology workout we emphasise sensory stimulation, covering the five basic senses; see, hear, touch, smell, taste and the movement related sensory systems; vestibular and proprioception. There are repeated phrases used throughout and pupils are alerted to the sense we will be working on through touch.
Our Sensology routines are repeated once each week for a half term, using resources linking to the current topic. A new half term means a new set of resources.
During sensory story we use stimulating resources to bring to life a story or short poem. We read out a short section of the story then explore the resources linking to this part.
We repeat each Sensory Story once a week for the duration of a half term to allow pupils to become familiar with the story and so that they can begin to anticipate the different parts and corresponding resources.
Story Massage involves the use of simple movements (given through clothes), associated with words that help to build up an engaging and interactive story or poem. This can be an effective way to deliver sensory input whilst developing basic literacy skills. It is also a good alternative way to deliver old favourites such as songs and nursery rhymes.
During this session each piece of music is represented by a tactile object and helps to align all of the senses. Movements are made across the body in time with the music. In a typical session, pieces of music will begin at a slow pace, then build and become more dramatic before calming again to finish.
We repeat this session, with the same set of resources, once a week for a half term to familiarise the pupils with the music and tactile objects. Some key things we look out for in this session are anticipation and consistency in responses to stimuli.
Our music sessions are planned and delivered by our wonderful music therapist Georgina.
Georgina uses a range of stimulating resources, instruments and a mixture of new and familiar songs throughout.
Music is a great session for turn taking, interacting with others, using fine and gross motor skills and self expression. It is one of our favourite sessions of the week!
Within our sensory food sessions, we love to explore the textures, smells and tastes of different foods, communicating our feelings about them. Our sessions can get very messy and the outcome rarely looks like it does on the recipe but that's all part of the fun! We love be as independent as possible, using switch activated technology and encourage as much movement as we can when holding, mixing, chopping and feeling our ingredients. We also explore sizes and quantities within these sessions.
Our messy play sessions are physical communication sessions in which we encourage choice making and maximum independent input from our pupils. They are the perfect opportunity to work on our gross and fine motor skills and as far as we are concerned, the messier the better! Messy play sessions are more about the experience than the finished product and we incorporate as many different methods and resources as possible, making it a multi-sensory experience.
Swimming is a very important part of our school week. Within this session we access the school hydrotherapy pool to work on individual targets. These targets could be communication targets or physical goals which the physio team help to set for us.