Starfish is a mixed key stage 1 & 2 class for pupils with profound and multiple learning difficulties and other complex needs. We have 6 pupils; Kaidee, Lexi, Joshua and Finley are staying with us and we are excited to welcome Oscar and Mikaela to our class! We are saying goodbye to Rose and Bruno but know they will have lots of fun in their new classes.
Charlotte is our class teacher and we have a team of fantastic SSAs: Tina, Liz, Tracey and Natalie (Tracey works Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday am and Natalie works Wednesday pm, Thursday and Friday). Ally and Gaynor help us at lunch times and Cathy covers Charlotte’s weekly PPA time.
We follow the National Curriculum, adapted to meet our individual needs, accessing learning through a multisensory approach, enjoying a range of practical - often messy - activities! Our main focus is encouraging pupils to learn through exploration and play by making learning engaging and fun!
Each pupil has an individual ‘empowering’ curriculum which maps out, holistically, their targets for the year. These are reviewed regularly and changed as necessary. These curriculums form the basis of our weekly timetable. We also have a ‘stimulating curriculum’ which contains our topic work and exciting seasonal activities! This year’s topics are ‘Seasonal Celebrations’ in the autumn term, ‘Homes’ in the spring term and ‘Plants’ in the summer term.
Communication is of paramount importance and is a huge focus in Starfish. Each pupil is encouraged to develop their own individual method of communication and initiate communicate in any way they can across the day – we will follow this in whatever direction this takes us! We work closely with the speech and language therapy team and use a range of AAC to communicate including vocalisations, co-active hand under hand signing (Makaton signs and symbols), big mac switches and object cues. Some of us also use the eyegaze technology and TASSELs.
In addition to speech and language therapists, Starfish work closely with physiotherapists and occupational therapists to support our physical needs.
Across the week we follow a routine with a busy and varied timetable, but are flexible at all times to accommodate the needs of the pupils. We enjoy sensory stories, messy play, TAC PAC, resonance boards, swimming, massage, cooking, the magic carpet, art, music and use of the sensory, dark and soft play rooms.