In Butterfly Class we develop our skills through personalised learning journeys. We work towards our EHCP outcomes through a sensory based curriculum that is carefully planned to ensure we are engaged and having fun.
We hope that those of you at home are keeping safe and well. We can't wait to have all the children back together again soon.
We are arranging deliveries this week for those of you who said you would like a tac pac, switch toy, Big Mack or specific communication symbols/books at home. If you think of any other symbols that would be useful, please let us know and we would be happy to provide them.
As you will know children in Butterfly Class follow a curriculum that is designed around their individual needs. Learning is centred on the 5 areas of Engagement (realisation, exploration, anticipation, initiation, persistence) and your child's personalised EHCP outcomes. These are the most important things you can work on at home with your child.
Cognition & Learning: Outcomes in this area will usually be around shared attention and/or the 5 areas of Engagement in Pathway 1. You could set up an activity your child knows well or read them a story regularly or play the same sound story (on the class page) and see how their reactions change. Are they able to anticipate their favourite part or sound? During a sensory play activity, are they happy to explore items independently ? Does their independent exploration improve over time? When you set up an activity that your child enjoys but has not necessarily chosen to do at that time, will they join you in play, even for a short time?
Communication & Interaction: Look for opportunities throughout the day when you can encourage your child to communicate in their preferred way. Children can make choices for food, toys etc through eye pointing, body movements, Makaton signing, using PEC symbols or their communication book. When doing an activity they really like (blowing bubbles, water play, swinging, bouncing) can you find opportunities to stop the interaction and encourage your child to ask for 'more' in their preferred method of communication.
Physical & Sensory: For many of our children this is their physio program. A small amount of time for stretches or standing practise each day is hugely beneficial. Your child many also have sensory needs - can you find time each day to include some sensory diet activities?
We work on independence a lot at school, encouraging independence with dressing, going to the toilet, brushing teeth are all important.
Social, Emotional and Mental Health: Time for play and for relaxation are both incredibly important for our well-being. Trying to work from home while home schooling your children is incredibly challenging. It is important for everyone to make time to play and relax. We will be emailing weekly invitations to a class 'hello' session on TEAMS. This will hopefully enable children to still feel a sense of connection with their class and school.
Sensory Exploration Activities
Wrap up warm and head out in the snow, even if it's just into the garden for a short while. Encourage some exploration of snow, walking in it and hearing it crunch, feeling it with hands. Look at your footprints.
Build a snowman! If appropriate for your child, name the items as you 'dress' your snowman in scarf and hat and the body parts as you add them (eyes, nose, arms).
Bring some snow inside to explore. Use hands to explore where possible. use the word "cold" lots as you explore together. The children always enjoy an exaggerated "brrrrr" sound to accompany cold exploration when we're at school!
Compare hot and cold, by warming hands on a hot water bottle or warm drink after play. If your child doesn't like the feel of the cold, provide some utensils such as spoons and sieves for them to explore. Paint the snow!
Make a snowy picture using white paint, cotton wool, glitter.
Sound Story Activity
The children love listening to Sound Stories in class. One of their favourites is 'We're going on a Bear Hunt' by Michael Rosen. Its the perfect book for making sound effects. Its about a family that goes looking for a bear. They travel through a field of grass, a river, mud, a snowstorm, a forest, and finally end up in a cave where they actually find a bear! Then they run out of the cave and do everything in reverse order!
You could use the following to create your sound effects!
For the grass "swishy swashy": run a broom along the floor.
For the river "splash splosh": shake a water bottle.
For the mud "squelch squerch": shake a small pot of jelly.
For the forest "Stumble trip": bang a pot with a spoon.
For the snowstorm "hoooo woooo!" blow threw the top of an empty bottle .
For the cave "tiptoe tiptoe": bang a pot softly with a spoon.
Please find attached a 'bathtime' sound story for you to do with your child. Please remember that the learning in this activity is for them to listen and begin to distinguish and recognise familiar sounds so spend a good amount of time on each sound and try not to ask them to do anything else other than listen. Even listening to the story daily, it can take a long time before children really become familiar and begin to anticipate parts of the story. At school, we do one sound story per term.
Please let us know how your child is engaging with the packs sent home. If you need any more, any symbols to aid communication or have any questions, please get in touch.
The slideshow below gives a flavour of some of the learning that goes on in Butterfly Class.