Structured Learning Approach
The Structured Learning Approach, provides learning environments that support pupils to understand learning expectations. Pupils who work within structured classes move through school in key stages but will be in a class of pupils with similar cognitive ability. Structured classes work with a similar ethos and approach, e.g. short slot lessons, independent use of ICT, development of key independence skills, emphasis on small group and 1:1 learning, development of self regulation skills and the inclusion of regular physical activity.
Within the Structured Learning Approach we use a Total Communication approach whereby we encourage use of signing, speech, a variety of visual communication systems and customised communication aids. Pupils will follow a bespoke curriculum which emphasises communication as a pillar of provision along with Living Skills and opportunities to meet their individual sensory and motor planning needs.
Communication is a key element of the Learning Approach. Communication, including language and literacy, are embedded throughout the school day. The SCERTS programme, Attention Autism and PECS are used within the learning approach. Pupils are encouraged to make choices, indicate feelings and use appropriate means to indicate or communicate needs. The speech and language therapists work collaboratively with the class teachers to formulate targets. Communication focused targets then become a key element of a pupil’s provision.
Most classes use a TEACCH approach to provide structure and encourage independence. Equally there is an emphasis on contextualising learning through Living Skills and use of the community. A variety of physical and movement based activities throughout the day are also included to meet pupils wider sensory needs; activities include sensory circuits, amended Brain Gym, Activate, BEAM, bikes and trikes, Massage in Schools Programme, FAW Yoga programme and Clever Fingers amongst other interventions. Therapy input, namely speech and language and occupational therapy targets are integrated into the teaching day and are, for the most part delivered by class staff.