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These sessions begin with a ‘Forest Activity’ as an initial stimulus to engage the children.
Forest Activity Examples:
This activity is lead initially by the adult teaching who presents the activity to the children. From this adult lead activity the children move into Nature Explore. The nature of the Forest Activity provides enough stimuli that the child may then reflect their learning and thoughts within the natural environment for example may collect leaves, watch the wind blow through the trees etc.
For children working within Flightpath 2, Move and Mark can develop gross and fine motor skills but can also give the opportunity for children to begin forming writing patterns such as circles using gross motor skills (e.g. big movements using scarves) and moving onto fine motor skills (e.g. drawing circles in shaving foam using fingers).
Children learning at this early stage of English will be beginning to respond to familiar rhymes and stories, showing interest in books for short periods, recognise pictures of familiar places and objects. As children progress through the Flightpath they will begin to ask and answer simple questions, matching symbols/picture to objects, identifying simple differences, building their vocabulary (30-50 words/signs/symbols), joining in with action rhymes and turning pages in books.
Understanding of the World is an aspect of learning which helps children to learn about the world around them and gain a better understanding of the world and their place within it. It is fundamentally exploratory and investigative, preceding subject specific learning. This is achieved by providing children with the opportunities to explore and investigate, to make observations and to recognise similarities and differences while supporting decision making skills. It is about allowing them to engage in a range of activities which encourage and develop their interests and curiosities while enabling them to feel secure in a stimulating, safe environment. Children need the freedom to take risks, express their wants and needs whilst respecting the preferences of others. This area of learning precedes subject specific teaching in Science, Computing, History, Geography, Languages and RE where children can learn and develop the generic, pre-requisite skills needed for more conceptual subject specific learning in these subjects at Flightpath 3.
For children at Flightpath 2, this approach involves aspects of sensory food play and starting to learn and practise some basic life skills including food preparation such as mashing, chopping, washing, spreading and so on. Food discovery would be seen within Creative Development preparing children for Flightpath 3 in developing skills within the three strands of Nutrition, Sourcing Food and Preparing and Cooking
Creative Development encourages self-expression and decision making skills; learners develop a better understanding of the world around them and their place within it. It is about enabling learners to explore, manipulate and play with a wide range of media and materials with the freedom to take risks, express preferences and share opinions whilst respecting others thoughts and expressions. This area of learning precedes subject specific teaching in Design and Technology, Art and Music where children can learn and develop the generic, pre-requisite skills needed for more conceptual subject specific learning in these subjects at Flightpath 3.
Physical Development at Flightpath 2 should encourage children to consolidate the skills they have gained prior as well as beginning to develop more complex skills in preparation for PE lessons at Flightpath 3.
Children will continue to explore movement in its many forms. Children would be expected to copy movement and movement patterns modelled by a teacher. They may be able to copy sequences of movements and adapt how they move according to their environment and/or stimuli such as music and lighting. Children will continue to explore and investigate balance, agility and co-ordination through Developmental Movement Play (DMP/Jabadao).
‘Time for Me’ lessons will have links within Wellbeing, Sensory and Physical and Communication. They provide children with a range of activities to promote positive wellbeing.
Throughout these sessions children will have opportunity to:
Early Maths is divided into 4 main areas:-
Planning for Early Maths will include activities from all 4 areas and Number will underpin those activities. The teaching and development of numbers (1 and 2) is important at Flightpath 2, however this should be taught through Build, Sort, Manipulate and Play opportunities. Although many children are highly motivated by the use of ICT for developing skills, the early development of maths skills relies heavily on concrete experiences with which the use of ICT can be used to further develop that thinking once it is embedded.
Fine motor skills involve small muscles working with the brain and nervous system to control movements in areas such as the hands, fingers, lips, tongue and eyes. Developing fine motor skills helps children do things like eating, writing, manipulating objects and getting dressed as they develop.
Fine motor activities for example jigsaws, puzzles, moving coloured pom poms to bowls and threading can provide a calm repetitive sensory motion for children with autism. Exploring fine motor activities can teach problem-solving, improve memory, enhance attention span, teach sorting skills, promote patience and persistence, and provide endless entertainment. As children cognitively progress they may start to explore TEACCH activities, workstations and file folders.
Vision skills plays a huge part in learning, so accessing and developing it is part of the everyday curriculum and not something that is just applied occasionally, or only worked on by the Visual Impairment Team. Vision plays a large part in the engagement and attentiveness of a child and thus, the more it can be incorporated into teaching and learning opportunities, the more we should find engagement, as well as visual skills developing. Any child can have visual skill difficulties, not necessarily just those with a visual impairment.
For some Flightpath 1 classes or for individual children with a Visual Impairment or whom are at pre-reading stage in their development it may be beneficial to deliver discrete ‘Visual skills development’ sessions either 1:1 or whole class. These may take place in the classroom, studio or MILE room where children will be supported to develop their visual skills e.g. UV resources in the studio, lights in dark tent, Eye Gaze programme, MILE room equipment
Where appropriate, we follow the Positive Looking programme. This gives a shared understanding of the hierarchy of visual skill development.
For children working at Flightpath 1, Move and Mark can develop gross and fine motor skills which are essential in pre-writing. Learning opportunities could be delivered as discrete ‘Move and Mark’ sessions or as part of other activities. Responding to stimuli, anticipation skills, understanding of cause and effect and making choices can all be developed through the approach alongside the gross/fine motor skills.
Children will be given the opportunity to explore movement, how their bodies move, what their bodies do and how movement can be adapted to meet specific needs. Children will explore and investigate balance, agility and co-ordination. Children may partake in activities such as Developmental Movement Play (Jabadao), bikes, swimming. Exploring gross motor skills will provide children with a good basis to go to develop higher level learning in the future.
This may encompass activities such as massage, holistic therapy, yoga, repositioning or Physio exercises and mindfulness. Children will partake in activities such as Developmental Movement Play (DMP) and Intensive Interaction which will promote positive mental health through interactions and engagement. Children will begin to develop their ability to make choices and express themselves using their preferred method of communication. Relationships, trust and feeling safe is a key element within Flightpath 1.
‘If children feel safe they can take risks, ask questions, make mistakes, learn to trust, share their feelings and grow.’ (Alfie Kohn (1999). “Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes”, p.255, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The approach is used and appropriate for all children where their primary need is ASC. Attention Autism can be used for children of varying developmental stages.
Attention Autism is delivered as a stand-alone session, ideally several times a week. Classes who are at Stage 1 may wish to deliver the approach daily as this stage is no longer than 5 minutes.
The content and activities within a session can be planned for with the interests of the learners in mind. Class teams know the children in their classes the best and what makes them tick! Get creative! Activities can be linked to the Kingfisher topic cycle or may also be used to teach new concepts or ideas. Stage 2 of the approach is a brilliant tool for modelling new learning to the children e.g. Number; Emotions; Mark-making.
‘The ability to understand others, express views and contribute to personal decision making is a basic human right…’
This may encompass activities such as sensory stories, Intensive Interaction and communication games. Some children will be using PECS to make choices and some children will be exploring Play Mats to introduce early vocabulary using fun and motivating activities. Children will develop understanding of key vocabulary for example, ‘me, more or again’ through games, play and making choices. The helpful adult will model and provide lots of opportunities to develop communication throughout the day. Always refer to children’s Communication Guidelines when planning for learning.
Being in Nature is a child lead exploration session which is done within the woods, a natural open space, Jungle, Sensory Garden and for some children it maybe within their own classroom outdoor space. It is about being present with the child/children within a natural environment and there is an essence of Awe and Wonder which can happen within these spaces as the child interacts with their surroundings.
For children working at this stage of development they learn about the world around them through the use of their senses. Exploring food in lots of fun and playful ways develops the child’s confidence and curiosity, helping them to really enjoy the experience and become more willing to try new foods! From early on children will react to smells and begin to associate these smells with experiences which is why it is important to explore the sense of smell in fun and imaginative ways. Let children get hands-on and explore a variety of touchy-feely sensations.
Sensory Food Play can help the children to learn about and become familiar with different textures, shapes, colours, sounds, tastes and smells in a calm, happy and fun environment. Sensory Food Play sessions should allow the child to explore the new foods using all their senses.
Respond, Create and Interact is an approach created with Live Music Now and Kingfisher Special School. The fundamentals of the approach are to develop the following:
Children will explore technology in the form of Interactive Whiteboards, iPads, switch adapted toys, and switches. They will learn to develop cause and effect skills and learn to anticipate what may happen next. They will use their bodies for example eyes, fingers, hands to make something happen. They may press a switch to operate electrical equipment such as a fan, blender, radio, foot spa or they may change a screen or make a toy work.
Children will have the opportunity to experience through their senses of touch, taste, hearing, sight, smell, and physical activity. The activities may include tactile toys or materials eg: playdough, sand, gloop, water, finger paints etc. Appropriate toys maybe used to encourage investigation such as trains, cars, small world, Duplo etc. Play will allow the children to gain mastery of their bodies and external objects, children’s play may consisting of repeated patterns of movement or sound, such as sucking, shaking, banging, babbling, and, eventually, “peekaboo” games in which objects are made to repeatedly disappear and reappear. As children learn more about the properties of objects and learn how to manipulate them, they begin to monitor the effects of play on their environment.
Children working within Runways 1-7, are at the very early and emergent stages of learning, they will focus on key personalised learning through non-subject specific teaching.
For children working at this Flightpath the children’s learning will be predominately sensory in nature. Children will be provided with a range of opportunities and experiences to develop early learning skills.