Children's School Blog
(currently hosted by Class 10 & Class 23 )
Maths Sensory Workshop
On Friday 11th May, every class within school took part in our Maths sensory workshop. Each class picked their favourite sensory Maths activity. Once that activity was chosen, it was then placed into a shared room within school. Each class had a chance to explore every activity within each room. Children then voted for their favourite activity. Each activity focused on one area of Maths – number, shape or measure.
This Maths sensory workshop was a great opportunity for children to explore a range of sensory Maths activities that were appropriate and motivating for them. Teachers were also able to get a range of ideas and see which activities their children enjoyed and replicate them within their class Maths lessons.
Come Learn With Me
Key Stage One started ‘Come Learn With Me’ sessions this half term. Parents/guardians were invited into class for half an hour to work alongside their child, focusing on English activities.
In Class 23, we took this opportunity to begin by demonstrating an Attention and Listening session. During this Attention and Listening session, we read a story as a whole class, using a range of sensory props throughout. We then split into groups, with some children focusing on mark making and writing activities and some children exploring reading books with an adult. The groups then swapped.
‘Come Learn With Me’ was a lovely opportunity for children to complete a range of focused learning activities, within their class and with the support of their parent/guardian. We’re already looking forward to the next ‘Come Learn With Me’ session next term!
Class 23 - Tacpac
Class 23 have been lucky enough to begin taking part in daily TacPac (Touch and communication pac) sessions. Tacpac is a sensory communication resource using touch and music to help communication and social skills. You can find out more here http://tacpac.co.uk/.
We have had daily Tacpac sessions for the past week that are currently held from 2:00-2:30. Already we can see the impact these sessions are having on the children. The children are able to deeply relax, develop trust and build strong relationships with the adults throughout the session.
We’re looking forward to continuing watching the children progress and develop through these Tacpac sessions!
Science with Class 10
Hello and welcome to our first blog post. Don’t forget to check here regularly to see what we have been up to in class 10 and throughout lower key stage 2.
Class 10 have loved this terms Science topic ‘States of Matter’. We’ve had the opportunity to take part in lots of fun experiments; making changes to materials and closely observing these changes. We have been following the Attention Autism structure to teach these sessions, first using lots of fun and engaging toys to capture the children’s interest before demonstrating the experiment. The children have been really focused and engaged during the experiments and have enjoyed watching how the materials have changed (the foaming volcano using vinegar and baking soda was a particularly big hit). Each child in class has then had the opportunity to participate in the experiment for themselves. Class 10’s favourite experiment in this topic had to be making home-made lava lamps; each child enjoyed pouring the oil and water into a plastic bottle through a funnel and watching closely as the liquids separated. They then loved watching the lava lamp bubble as they were supported to slowly add salt to the mixture. Here are some photos of us making our lava lamps.
This is Class 23’s first post this year on our school blog space and we are so excited to show you some of the things that we’ve done in class. We will continue to post on this blog every half term for the rest of the year so keep your eyes peeled for our new entries!
We have had an exciting half term in class with the run up to Christmas. We have especially enjoyed learning a range of Christmas songs for our Christmas concert. Yesterday we performed our Christmas concert for our parents, who then joined us in class for a range of Christmas activities! We made snowmen, Christmas trees and baubles! As a teacher, it was great to have this opportunity to watch parents work alongside their children within class. It was wonderful to see the pride the children showed in their work!
Today we had a very special visitor in class…Santa Claus! He came in to deliver presents to each of us and wished us a very Merry Christmas before going to the other classes in the school!
From Class 23, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, see you in 2018!
In class this term we have been learning about plants. As a teacher this is one of my favourite topics to share with the children in the Summer months. Class 23 have developed fantastic observation skills over the year (thank you Attention Autism sessions!) and it has been a wonderful way to finish the year by using these skills to explore the wonder of the natural world.
We have used sensory stories to understand the journey a seed goes on before it becomes a plant; we have used knives to cut up fruit and vegetables to discover where their seeds are, and we have planted our own seeds and are caring for them in class.
Today we got our hands dirty and planted sunflower seeds. We will be watching carefully to see whose sunflower grows the tallest! I hope you enjoy the photos and can use them to talk to your child about what they did in school today.
Reflections on Manchester and London Bridge
Everyone has been affected in some way by the tragic events in Manchester and on London Bridge. Strangers have been talking together on the tube and on the street about the impact of these terrorist attacks. Yet it can be hard as a teacher and as a parent to know how to acknowledge such difficult issues with children. I'd like to share with you how we worked as team in Class 23 to address these issues.
I am originally from Manchester and wanted to share some special time with the children in the wake of the attack. I lead an Attention Autism based session on feelings - I explained that lots of people were feeling sad because children had been hurt in Manchester - we all signed "sad". I then used the "What's in the box" stage 1 activity to explore things that help make me feel happy when I am feeling sad. I encouraged discussion around what makes our children happy when they are sad. For Stage 2 I used a Gina Davies idea that she shared in the wake of the attack. I placed multicoloured laminated cards in a circle and then one by one invited each child up to place their hand on a card whilst I shook flour over their hand. We were left with a brightly coloured wreath of hands touching each other. As we looked at the wreath I read Michael Rosen's poem "Today. One Day".
We then shared one of my favourite stories as an interactive sensory story - Beegu by AlexDeacon. In this story the children in a school are kind to a lost and lonely alien and are described as the hope of the world. We enjoyed the story together and talked about how when people are sad the best thing we can all do is be kind to each other.
The children in Class 23 bring an enormous amount of happiness to everyone who works with them - it was very special to celebrate this and think about this in the wake of such sad news.
A new therapy for us - TacPac
Class 23 are lucky enough to have been asked to participate in an evaluated trial of TacPac. TacPac is a structured session aimed at combining touch and music to increase communication in children. You can find out more here: http://tacpac.co.uk. We began our trial last Tuesday and are leading a session each day from 11:45 - 12:15. It is fast becoming a favourite time for both the adults and children. The children are able to deeply relax during the sessions and for the adults it gives us a quiet time to build trust with the children and develop our relationships. It's a very special session and every child in class is currently benefitting from this. I'm looking forward to seeing even more changes as we continue on our TacPac journey this week!
Class 23's School Blog
This is the first post on our exciting new blog space. Class 23 have had a wonderful fortnight watching the hatching process of chicks and then learning how to handle and care for the new chicks. We had 8 eggs and an incubator arrive at school on Monday 24th April. We visited the eggs and took photographs of them on the Monday and talked about what we thought might happen. On Tuesday we saw little cracks start to appear on the shells and we were happy that Simon set up a web cam so that we could watch what happened when we were out of the room. On Wednesday 2 of the chicks hatched just as we were in the room! This was amazing and we have watched the time lapse footage many times since as the children showed genuine awe at the process! Some of the children were worried that the chicks looked so tired and floppy when they emerged from the eggs, so it was wonderful to go back on Thursday and see active and fluffy chicks running around! Every child in class had the opportunity to visit on a daily basis and watch the chicks learn to feed and drink. By the second week we all used one finger to very gently stroke the chicks. We had to say goodbye to the chicks on Thursday, they have gone to a wonderful family farm with lots of space to run around in and we will be continuing to learn about animals in our science lessons this term.
This was the first time we have had eggs at Hatton and it was such a powerful experience to share first hand with the children that we are looking at getting ducklings next year!