Some children find it difficult to follow instructions in the classroom environment, complete tasks that have been set for them, and maintain focus during whole class input.
To help overcome these difficulties, the listening skills groups allow the children to maintain focus in a quieter environment. Activities are fun based, easy to follow, and give the children opportunities to practise their listening skills in a supportive environment. Small follow up activities are practised throughout the week.
This group meets for an hour once a week and is run by two of our experienced Learning Support Assistants. The main purpose of this group is to help the children develop both a sense of identity and a sense of belonging and so strengthen their self-esteem.
Through a variety of activities , they will also develop their social skills, such as learning to take turns in conversation, to play together, support each other and to take into account other's feelings. The group will create a story together, and in doing so the children will begin to listen to each other's ideas and work collaboratively. Games are played, kites made, pictures drawn, stories read, junk models made and many other activities completed.
Sometimes children find their relationships with other children tricky to manage. They may find it difficult to find and maintain friendships, this often leads to low self-esteem and feelings of isolation. The Social Skills group offers a familiar setting where the children are encouraged to consider how their behaviour affects others and what the consequences of unfriendly behaviour can mean. The children are encouraged to focus on their many positive strengths and work towards supporting other children in the group. They are given strategies to help build friendships and, if necessary, deal with anger. Each week they are encouraged to try out a new strategy and discuss how effective it was. Throughout the sessions the children are given clear guidance in a very supportive and positive environment.
BASIC WRITING SKILLS (BROGY)
The Basic Writing Skills group is for children who need a little extra help in constructing sentences as their writing in class becomes more demanding. This will give them the confidence to approach a larger writing task with the clear basic knowledge of sentence construction under their belts. We use a published scheme to support this work and tailor it precisely to the needs of the children in the group.
Successmaker is a personalised computer spelling programme that is used daily. Children work at their own level on the programme, as their spelling ability develops, the work becomes more difficult. If the children struggle with a group of spellings, lots of repetition is used. Children complete activities using spoken and visual instructions. At regular intervals the class teachers are provided with details of specific difficulties so that work can be followed up in class spelling time. Regular reports show the progress that the children are making. Regular attendance brings about the most noticeable improvements so we encourage children to attend with a series of small incentives throughout the year.
Lunchtime Club is run by an experienced Learning Support Assistant. It is for children who may find the unstructured time at lunch difficult to handle. The Lunchtime Club is a happy, fun time. The children are free to attend as regularly as they please. Games are played, lego is provided, activities are supervised and these children can interact with each other, or play in small groups, with an adult always with them. Friendships are made and often these children leave the club with friends to play with.
SPEECH AND LANGUAGE SKILLS (SALT)
30mins per week, as appropriate
Max 4 children per group
Difficulties with speech and language skills, whether in terms of expressive or receptive skills, often require additional support in order for children to fully access the curriculum in the classroom. We run small groups in a quiet environment where children are given the opportunity to learn and practise these skills. Materials often used have been provided by speech therapists and with advice from specialist teachers. Small games to support the skills being learned are available for you to borrow from school.
mIND MAPPING IDEAS (WRITING)
Sometimes children find it difficult to get their thoughts down on paper. Sometimes ordering their ideas may be tricky. The skills taught in Mind Mapping give children a real strategy to help with these skills. They learn how to sort information in a way that suits them, whether colour can help them organise ideas, and how to arrange simple notes in a way that allows them to put their ideas together in a coherent manner.
fINE MOTOR SKILLS
Some children find difficulty with their pencil control and using scissors and other tools. These children benefit from specific activities to strengthen their muscles and develop their fine motor control. Recommended activities from occupational therapists are used as appropriate. In class, pencil grips are available to try out, and for children who have exceptional difficulty with writing, we have a small number of writing slopes available. For the older children, we have a number of Alphasmart word processors for use with longer pieces of work.
The objective of the Maths Language Group is to support children who have difficulty in picking up, and using, new mathematical terminology. Before a new topic is introduced in class, these children are taught the meaning of the maths language in a small group, in a quiet place and at a slower pace, with plenty of time to ask questions and do practical activities to reinforce their learning. Consequently, when the subject is then introduced to the whole class, they can understand what is required of them and not be lost at the instruction part of the lesson.
1:1 or small group sessions with our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant. Children are given the opportunity to talk about things that concern them, sort through friendship issues or deal with anger. Sometimes drawing therapy is used.
3 x weekly 1:1 time focusing on specific aspects of reading, spellings or number skills. The child challenges themselves each day and receives visual feedback of progress made.
EAL CONVERSATION GROUP
A small number of our children struggle with the complexities of the English language. This may be as a result of English being an additional language (EAL). For these pupils we can provide a course of conversational opportunities to enable them to be introduced to a more extensive vocabulary. This is based around board games and word finding activities.
SUPPORTING A YOUNGER CHILD
For children with lower self-esteem we find that by supporting a younger child, they can feel more confident in themselves. This activity usually takes place during the summer months and involves an older pupil supporting a year 3 child on a weekly basis, either with their reading or maths. A wonderful rapport is built up, the younger child feels special and the older child feels more responsible and confident.
Lego is a great motivator for many children! Our Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) uses this interest to help children foster positive play skills, turn-taking and self-esteem. Mrs Cazaly meets with three children for six sessions where they follow a structured course of cooperative play.
Disclaimer - The above details are subject to change.