Welcome to the Starlings Class! 



Staff

Teacher: Sam Lord

TAs: Christine Pimlott, Danielle Taylor and Matthew Brook

Mid Day Leader: Andy Fitzman


Newsletter

Food Glorious Food

Hello 

This half term, we have been very busy in the Starlings class! These are some of the lovely sessions we have been exploring:

Play Skills – Starlings enjoy exploring different kinds of play in dedicated sessions. In line with our ‘Food, Glorious Food’ learning theme, we have accessed many food and taste-related resources, planted and explored play opportunities, and investigated different tastes and textures. We used tools to fill, empty, mix, and pour sand and water play. We have also developed our fine motor skills in Skill Building sessions, threading beads on a string, manipulating dough, posting and sorting.

Wellbeing – All the children engaged well in various wellbeing sessions each week. A sensory session involving visual stimuli to encourage engagement and visual skills has been very popular. Using UV lights and reflective resources has been highly engaging. Intensive Interaction and Developmental Movement Play are key strategies used in class to support co-regulation and develop communication, engagement, and interaction.

Physical Development –We have accessed multiple areas around school this half-term, including Soft Play, Jack’s Yard, the Jungle and the Studio. Parachute sessions before dinner have successfully gotten the boys to engage in movement to calm, regulate and relax.

Using Technology – Starlings love their weekly iPad session, with an adult supporting them for a focused, short learning time on an app an adult can extend and embed learning on. The children are then free to use the iPad as they choose. A session dedicated to cause-and-effect games on the whiteboard has proved very engaging. After these games, children can then explore switch and cause and effect toys (e.g. toys that have buttons and other parts that cause light, sound, or other responses).

Communication – Daily communication activities encourage using photographs and symbols to develop expressive and receptive communication. Choice making communication sessions are highly engaging for the whole class too. The boys wait for their turn and then choose a photo, symbol, or real object to engage with a resource with a related song. For example, if the ‘bubbles’ symbol is chosen, as the bubbles are blown, the song ‘There are bubbles in the air…’ is sung to the child who selected them. Children are encouraged to extend this interaction and request ‘more’.

Respond – Create – Interact – Our weekly music sessions motivate the Starlings. Using the structure and familiar songs of Charanga Music, the boys are beginning to play instruments they have selected with greater independence and alongside their peers. Creative activities themed around our topic ‘Food, Glorious Food’ have included mark making with cooked spaghetti, making prints with fruits and vegetables, exploring prints and textured materials, using doh to make food and decorating our own biscuits.

Personal Care – Each child has continued with Personal Care sessions once a week. This taught session encourages the boys to wash their hands and face with a cloth and encourages familiarity and independence with tooth and hair brushing.

Daily worship and assemblies – The Starlings have enjoyed two weekly assemblies this half-term. We have enjoyed seeing and sharing our Good Work with the classes in our assembly group. At the end of each day, the boys join in Candle Time, reflecting on all we have achieved that day and saying the school prayer. 

We hope you have a lovely Easter break, Team Starlings. 


Follow along with this half term’s Signalong video!

Signalong

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 signs relavent for the current term so that you can learn the signs and further this learning at home.

Click play to watch this half terms Signalong video!


Lunchtime

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 focusing on healthy eating and how children can make healthy lifestyle choices.


How You Can Help at Home

The following activities are suggested to enjoy with your child and reinforce sensory learning around our ‘Food, Glorious Food’ theme:

Can you make your favourite foods together and discuss what you do when making them? Can you support your child in setting the table? Are there evenings you have family meals, or are there any celebrations coming up in your household that involve food? Could you explore foods and mix them, like cereals with milk or making a cake?

Learning time will focus on multi-sensory play. We will explore different foods from different cultures in our school community and beyond! We will explore soil, digging, growing plants and what kind of plants we can grow and eat. Adding natural items like spring plants and new growth will encourage exploration of growth, change and the different sights and smells of spring. Building with blocks and other materials can develop an understanding of balance, structure, and adding ‘more’. Is there an opportunity for you to observe these changes with your child outside?

Communication activities like interacting with puppets and choosing symbols provide expressive and receptive language opportunities. Intensive Interaction is a key approach to communication and relationship building that we will use throughout the day. Can you extend this by giving your child choices between 2 objects or using their PECS/Communication Aids at home?

Wellbeing sessions will help regulate through calming sensory experiences. Relaxing activities like observing plant and food-themed sensory bottles or creating playdoh ‘food’ using doh, spaghetti and cereals to explore alongside the doh or manipulating the doh and exploring the enhancements can develop calming strategies that could be used at home.

The Starlings will practice movement skills through Developmental Movement Play. Crawling, rolling, and climbing over equipment improves coordination. Obstacle courses boost balance and motor planning skills, refined in a weekly Soft Play session. Could your child visit a local park and use the play equipment to continue developing these motor skills?

Can you help your child practice self-care skills like washing hands, brushing teeth, dressing, and managing clothing fasteners? Focus on skills your child is working on. Lay clothing in a sequence so they can dress as independently as possible.

As we approach, spend time together as a family and enjoy the spring season – read books, watch movies, cook and play together. Stay socially connected in safe ways.


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