At Gascoigne Primary School, we believe that every child matters. Our Star Room was set up with this in mind. Here we work with children who have been diagnosed as on the Autistic Spectrum or have Social and Communication difficulties. Our aim is to provide the children with a structured learning environment that enables them to progress, improve their social skills and encourage independence.
We have provisions in both Early Years and Key Stage 1
Star Room - Early Years
Rainbow Room - Key Stage 1
A typical week in our provisions would include:
Use of visual timetables - using a visual timetable informs the children of what they can expect throughout the day and encourages independence as they take themselves from one activity to another and move around the setting independently.
Teacch Work Station - children are taught by an errorless learning approach based on the TEACHH approach used in the Borough. Children are given tasks which are visually clear so that they are able to learn independently or with minimal support. As children progress to completing the task completely independently, the task is adapted to increase the child's learning.
Independent Work Station - children complete a range of tasks without any adult input which encourages independence and confidence..
Communication Table - children work on skills such as, turn taking, PECS practice, programmes provided by the Speech Therapist, Colourful Semantics, making a choice and 1:1 teaching.
Attention Autism Session- this session is designed to increase the children's focus and attention time in a fun and engaging way.
Group Activity- children engage in a range of activities concentrating on understanding, listening skills, turn taking, waiting, sitting alongside others and interacting with adults and children.
Picture Exchange System (PECS) - we use PECS as a communication aid a various times throughout the day. This system is helpful for children to communicate their needs which eases frustration and gives children a voice. The system is used as a communication aid, it does not replace words.
Heuristic Play - this play session encourages children to explore natural materials at their own pace. It encourages imaginative play and exploration.
Structured Play - children take part in games that involve waiting and turn taking, such as, throwing a ball into a hoop, kicking a ball into a goal, throwing bean bags into a box. The game is structured in such a way that the expectations of the children are clear. They have visuals to tell them when they are waiting, when it is their turn, also, how many turns they have and where they are positioned in the line.
Sensory Room - children access a range of sensory experiences in the beautiful sensory room at Gascoigne Children's Centre. This is a time for the children to explore a range of resources and choose experience that they particularly enjoy.
Inclusion Time - this is a scheduled time when children have access to time with their Class Teacher and Class. Inclusion is scheduled at a time and in a way that best fits the needs of the child.
Garden - This is a time for fun and exploration!!
firstname.lastname@example.org - After school and Holiday Club
Barnardos - Little Stars - Respite Provider
Funky Willows - Respite Provider
Please come along to our drop-in coffee morning which we hold on the Shaftesbury site on a Friday every week at 9.00am.
Our coffee mornings provide a chance to chat with other parents, relax with a tea or coffee after the morning rush, sample our delicious biscuits and treats and share experiences.
We periodically invite professionals from other agencies to come in to demonstrate what is on offer in the local area and give us tips and advice.
Please feel free to come along. There is no obligation to stay or to come every week.
On Friday 30th June, De Hyde-Early Years Advisory Teacher for London Borough of Barking and Dagenham is coming in to talk to us about Structured Teaching.
Structured teaching via the TEACCH method was developed by Professor Eric Schopler and many of his colleagues at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The TEACCH method is not considered an actual therapy but rather a therapeutic tool to help autistic individuals understand their surroundings.
Autistic individuals often have difficulty with receptive and expressive language, sequential memory, and handling changes in their environment. The TEACCH method provides the individual with structure and organization. This method relies on five basic principles; a brief description of each is provided below.
Physical structure refers to the actual layout or surroundings of a person's environment, such as a classroom, home, or group home. The physical boundaries are clearly defined and usually include activities like: work, play, snack, music, and transitioning.
A schedule or planner is set up which indicates what the person is supposed to do and when it is supposed to happen. The person's entire day, week, and possibly month, are clearly shown to the person through words, photographs, drawings, or whatever medium is easiest for the person to comprehend.
The work system tells the person what is expected of him/her during an activity, how much is supposed to be accomplished, and what happens after the activity is completed. The goal is to teach the person to work independently. The work system is also organized in such a way that the person has little or no difficulty figuring out what to do. For example, the activity or task should be performed from top to bottom and from left to right.
According to the TEACCH method, the most functional skill for autistic individuals is a routine which involves checking one's schedule and following the established work system. This routine can then be used throughout the person's lifetime and in multiple situations.
Visual structure refers to visually-based cues regarding organization, clarification, and instructions to assist the person in understanding what is expected of him/her. For example, a visual structure may involve using colored containers to assist the person in sorting colored materials into various groups or displaying an example of a stamped envelope when the person is asked to place stamps on envelopes.
The TEACCH method is primarily used to assist the autistic individual in better understanding his/her environment. The techniques described above are not faded out over time; but rather, they are to be consistently used across a variety of environments.
If you are interested in this topic, please feel free to come along!!