Welcome to the Starlings Class!
The communication needs in the Starlings class are varied. Children communicate their wants and needs through gesture, vocalisation, signs or words. Some children use real objects to make choices alongside photographs and some are at a very early stage of symbol recognition. Some children have a communication book which has been tailor made for them by speech and language therapy (SALT). Class staff work alongside SALT to make adaptations to these books when necessary. Other children use PECs in class at an early stage.
Adults are always looking for opportunities to communicate with children and do so through gesture, Signalong, modelling and some limited speech. Adults adapt their language dependant on who they are communicating with and encourage the children to progress in their receptive and expressive communication in accordance with their individual targets found in their speech and language guidelines. Staff can re refer children to SALT at any time for their guidelines to be reviewed.
In the Starlings class we are working hard to implement “One Voice” please respect our learning environment when sharing our space.
The children start the day with getting ready for learning and have short bursts of learning interspersed with sensory breaks. Staff are aware of the children’s sensory needs and will encourage the children to use appropriate equipment to encourage them to feel regulated (calm, at ease).
For most learning sessions, the children are split into two learning groups and are grouped by ability/ learning style. The children are able to access a few tables of activitities within a session and are encouraged to do so. Each activity is designed to meet the children’s learning goals during this time. Some sessions are not in the main classroom and we may visit other areas of school such as soft play, the hall, shared play or the studio. For these sessions we may continue to split the class into the smaller groups or move around as a class team.
The children predominantly learn through sensory experiences and play. The range of abilities in class ranges from runway 6 to runway 8 which covers early exploratory play and learning to learn within more structured sessions. Staff encourage and model exploration and early play skills such as stacking, pushing, rolling and appropriate use of toys. The children have been grouped together as they have similar learning styles to one another.
Getting Ready For Learning
We believe that most of the time the children are able to select their own getting ready for learning strategies but staff will often direct them to a specific activity, especially if we sense that they are feeling anxious.
We use the morning getting ready for learning session (8.45-9.15) to ensure the child’s physiological needs are met. These needs include food and drink (some children have a healthy breakfast and a drink) and we ensure that all children are clean and comfortable and have had any personal care needs met. At this time, any child who appears tired may have a rest on the blankets.
The children have access to the DMP space where they are able to practice calming strategies such as bouncing, rocking, climbing and jumping.
Children can also access their sensory boxes at this time which include a selection of specifically chosen toys which have been selected by taking advice from each child’s sensory profile, their PLP (personalised learning plan) and our knowledge of the children’s likes and dislikes.
Some children choose to access the outdoor area where they can explore the space independently or to play with adults, staff often set up sensory activities such as sand, soil and water for the children to access.
Massage and deep pressure is available for children who feel calmed by this.
Key Days / Activities
Swimming – all children- Wednesday
Teacher: Emma Dixon
TAs: Carrie Ashworth, Matthew Brook and Andrew Fitzman
Mid Day Leader: Andy Scholes
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.