SMALL SPECIALIST CLASS
Our small specialist class, (SSC), offers eight places for children aged 4 to 7 years with Autistic Spectrum Condition and Social and Communication Difficulties.
The children in our SSC are provided with an individualised curriculum which is determined by their individual stage of development and specific needs.
Each child has a home/ school book established which provides daily feedback from home and school. The SSC staff work closely with parents and carers and other agencies and professionals such as the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Sensory Occupational Therapist to create individual targets and Individual Learning Plans, (ILP's) for each child. Each child's provision is reviewed at least once a year as part of the statutory assessment procedures.
The classroom environment is split into two areas. One offers a play based curriculum, with areas of structured play such as the home corner and book area. There are a wide range of sensory opportunities available including water play, sand play, along with textured resources and music and light resources. Tables provide opportunities for the group to get together for snack and small group activities such as turn taking games. The other section of the room is a low arousal area where each child has their own workstation so that they can engage in individual activities without interruption. These workstation areas have the pupils One Page Profiles and the class reward system of star charts, which the children respond really well to.
There is a secure outdoor area adjacent to the classroom which is used for a range of activities throughout the day. Our SSC pupils who find the large playgrounds difficult to manage use this area at playtimes. We also have a Sensory Room attached to the classroom with a range of sensory resources for the children to access throughout the day.
Along with spoken language, signing and pictures are used to communicate. The pictures we use come from PECS, (Picture Exchange Communication System), and a software package called Boardmaker. A class visual timetable is used to show the day's activities and each child has an individual timetable.
In order to support the children's social and communication skills and their general development we aim to provide as many opportunities as possible for the children to integrate into the mainstream classes. As with the rest of the curriculum, these opportunities are planned for on an individual basis.
The staff arrange regular meetings throughout the year for all parents and carers to meet together with staff and discuss common issues and ideas. We also invite professionals such as the Speech and Language Therapist to attend these sessions to offer advice and support and signpost people to the services available in Trafford and the Greater Manchester area.