Welcome to the Chaffinches Class!


The Chaffinches class is a class of children who are ‘learning to learn’. The children are currently working on Flightpath 1, runways 1 to 7. All the children in the Chaffinches experience sensory processing difficulties causing them to require a specific structure to their learning. Some of the children also have varying VI needs.

Getting Ready for Learning

Each morning as the children come into school they are given the opportunity to access DMP (Developmental Movement Play) equipment, sensory toys or outdoor play. This helps the children alleviate any anxieties they may have during the transition from home to school to the class room. The children need time to centre themselves so they are ready for their learning. We also enable further ‘getting ready for learning’ time between 11.45am and 12pm as they finish their morning of lessons. The children require some ‘down time’ to regulate themselves after a busy morning of learning and engagement. We find giving the children this time helps to settle them ready for their afternoon sessions.

By having this time to regulate their senses the children become more engaged and focused during lesson time.

Sensory Breaks – Sensory Boxes

Sensory breaks are incorporated into our daily routine. Once the children have completed/attended a 15-20 minute learning activity they have a sensory break. Due to the children’s sensory processing difficulties we find the children need regular breaks during their school day to help regulate themselves and their senses. Each child has their own sensory box which has toys, twiddlers, chewlry etc. in them. These items are stimuli which have been suggested by Occupational Therapy found within their sensory profile report (see PLP’s). If during any time throughout the child’s day we feel they are showing signs of sensory distress they are offered a sensory activity to help them regulate.

Visual and Auditory Cues, Structure and Routine

The children in the Chaffinches use scents, songs, objects, symbols and photographs to provide them with visual, olfactory and auditory prompts to cue them into the timetable and routine of the day. It is paramount that staff inform the children of change during the day with their visual, verbal and object prompts. Staff ensure they use clear and simple language when giving children cues or instruction such as “****Chair”, “****Toilet time”, “****Coat on” this helps the children understand what is being asked of them and will build on independence. It is crucial for staff to provide the children with a running commentary on what is happening and what is around them for example “hand out for the table”, “feel/touch the ****”, “smell the ****”, “listen to the ****”. This ensures that the children with VI understand what is being asked of them, what is available to them and to encourage them to explore their learning environment. This ultimately helps them to build on their confidence and independence.

Use of DMP and Intensive Interaction

DMP equipment and intensive interaction techniques are used in all aspects of the Chaffinches learning. We find by meeting the children on their level/letting the children take the lead in learning sessions it aids in developing their independence, life skills and communication skills. By teaching the children using activities and stimuli they enjoy and interact with they become much more engaged and focused during lessons.

Key Days / Activities

Throughout each day the children will be engaged in messy activities. Presently we have no access to the laundry and so your children’s clothes WILL get messy. Please can you ensure your child has spare clothes in school each day. We will try to use waterproofs where possible to protect clothes and as school have made waterproofs part of the school uniform we expect each child to have them in school daily, along with wellies. We will send these home for washing when necessary. We have no access to the pool at the moment. 


Teacher: Fran Scholes

TAs: Kirsty Kelly, Pam Seers and Yvonne Gallagher

Mid Day Leader: Suzanne Barnsley

Sign of the Week

At Kingfisher we use Signalong as a part of a Total Communication Approach, we are constantly using core vocabulary with the children to support their language development and then through each of our topics we introduce new signs and language, which extends their vocabulary further. We also have two “Signs of the Week” which helps maintain and extend key knowledge and skills of everyday vocabulary.

Each half term we will be creating a short video showcasing and demonstrating our ‘Signs of the Week’ for the current term so that you can learn the signs and further this learning at home.

To view this signs of the week for this topic please watch the video below


If your child has a school dinner, the school menus can be accessed by clicking here. For children who bring a packed lunch, please remember to provide healthy and balanced options. We are a Healthy School and will be focussing on healthy eating and how children can make healthy lifestyle choices.