Last Term Term our topic was Superheroes (Make Things Happen). This was a new topic for us and we had lots of fun learning new skills, helping around school and using our bodies to make things happen. This topic captured the pupils imaginations and helped to develop their self esteem as they took part in activities relating to things they are really good or “super” at and developed these skills further. All of the pupils had lots of opportunities for creative work and thinking as they created their own Super Heroes, including designing costumes and identities and comic books. Some children took part in completing a survey around the school of favourite Superhero Characters which also supported their communication development as they had to question unfamiliar people using a range of AAC strategies and devices. Our sensory learners took part in a range of activities learning about the world about them through their senses and took part in a Superhero/Superpowers sensory drama, parade with super capes and, wheelchair dancing. The topic culminated in a whole Department “Superhero Day” where the pupils showcased their skills and raised £110 for Children In Need by spending the day helping others around the school.
This term our topic is Stories from our Cultures which is another new topic for us and we are looking forward to embracing the challenges that the new topic brings. We will be having lots of fun learning through some familiar stories and also some new ones which reflects the cultural diversity in Primary 1. This topic gives us lots of opportunities for fun and inspiring lessons that develop the children’s understanding and knowledge and we will be making our own class books. We will be taking part in lots of creative activities to broaden the pupils learning including cooking, dancing and languages and we hope to have a department International Themed Day to consolidate out learning and celebrate our different cultures – watch this space. This is a lovely topic for our sensory learners who will use all of their senses to learn about the wide world around them and share experiences with their peers.
Next Term our topic is The Garden and Mini beasts which is a favourite of ours as it gives us lots of opportunities to take advantage of the good weather and take our learning outside. We will be learning about activities that take place in the garden as well as plants and growth, and we are looking forward to doing lots of scientific work and find out what “beasts” live in our gardens. This is a great topic for our sensory learners as it gives lots of opportunities to learn about the world about us using all of our senses and experiencing a different environment by learning outside. We will going on trips to local horticultural gardens and garden centres to consolidate our learning.
Autumn term 2017
Last term’s topic for Buttercup and Sunflower class was ‘Traditional Stories’(1st half term) and ‘Multicultural Stories’ (2nd half term).
Sunflower class learned the story of ‘The Selfish Giant’, creating artwork to illustrate the story and participating in a sensory version of the story.
We also enjoyed a puppet version of ‘The 3 Billy Goats Gruff’.
In our Science sessions our attention was held by ‘volcanos’ and ‘bouncing raisins’. We explored pebbles (as part of ‘rocks and soil’) and our observation skills were tested by looking for bears hidden amongst the pebbles.
In maths, we worked hard on our number skills and explored ‘big’ and ‘little’ .
As part of ‘Black History Month’, Baffour and Nana dressed up in traditional costumes and we all tried some chicken and rice. We also enjoyed singing and dancing and playing instruments along to African songs.
Our department Christmas performance of ‘The Nutcracker’ was a great success. All of the pupils in the department performed brilliantly to a large audience family and friends.
Buttercup Class had an extremely enjoyable term looking at lots of different books, particularly ‘The Enormous Turnip’, ‘The Gruffalo’ and ‘Handa’s Hen’. These books lended themselves perfectly to our science lessons where we explored soil, rocks and vegetables for the first half of the term and wild animals and their habitats for the second half of the term.
In maths, we focused on 2D and 3D shapes, recognising their names and understanding their composition. We also explored the position of different objects as well as their size. In addition, our numeracy skills and number recognition blossomed over the term and we had great fun counting turnips, gruffalo footprints and runaway chicks!
Some of Buttercup class took part in the gymnastics festival which was a great success and although we didn’t win, we had great fun participating.
In addition, we took part in our Christmas performance of ‘The Nutcracker’. Our parents/carers seemed to enjoy the show and we had great fun performing for them.
Rose Class worked hard on their ‘Listening’ skills this term. We used our PODD books to choose instruments, tell our news, make important choices and tell people what we liked and what we disliked. We had opportunities to take part in drama activities which focused on responding to the different props and listening to different sounds.
We enjoyed taking part in sensory Drama and luckily nobody was too scared in our ‘Hairy Scary Castle’.
Rose class have spent time listening to each other and responding to each other. We all like hearing the special sounds we make and value and celebrate each and every individual in our class and our school.
Rose class’s topic for this term is ‘This is Me’.
Exploring ourselves and what makes us so amazing. Investigating what makes us happy and devising individual ‘Happiness Audits’ through sensory sessions so that we can let everyone know what makes us happy.
We will continue to be encouraged to use our senses to register and interact with external objects, materials and substances and learning how to control our gross motor and fine motor actions.
We will be taking part in activities to develop our personal and self help skills. We will be taking part in a drama session where we will visit ‘Rose Class Happy Hair Shop’ and also work hard on face cleaning and oral hygiene routines to keep us looking beautiful and develop our independence.
This is a topic to celebrate all the amazing things about ‘ourselves’ – what we can do and what we have achieved.
Sunflower and Buttercup’s topic for this term is ‘Ourselves’.
In Mathematics there will be many opportunities for measuring and comparing.
We will use all of our senses in our Science sessions and learn about different parts of the body and how we differ from each other.
When we carry out physical activities, we will be made more aware of the effect of exercise on our bodies.
The importance of personal hygiene and taking care of ourselves by eating healthy foods will be part of the curriculum as well as exploring what is right and wrong.
Action songs and rhymes will help us to explore our bodies, and songs about emotions and feelings will help us to explore how we feel.
Rose classes topic for the Summer 2018 term is ‘Feel’
In this Topic we will be focusing on investigating textures and materials. We will be looking at what we like doing and what we do not like by trying out lots of different activities and experiences.
We will focus on exploring, recognising and noticing differences in textures, objects and materials and will have opportunities to experience ‘what’s in the Box’ activities.
We will have fun finding out about objects and sharing this with each other. We will continue to focus and develop ways in which we can communicate and develop talking about ourselves using our individualised AAC strategies.
Sunflower and Buttercup’s topic for the Summer term is ‘Clothes’ (1st half) and ‘Holidays’ (2nd half).
We will be able to talk about the clothes we are wearing and clothes we would wear at different times and for different occasions e.g. at school, when going swimming, when going to bed etc.
Reading skills- making books about clothes we would wear for different occasions, recognising words for items of clothing.
There are good opportunities for matching items of clothing which are in pairs e.g. socks, shoes.
Clothes can also be sorted according to colour, type, size, material.
For Science, the topic presents an ideal opportunity for us to investigate which materials are better to wear in different types of weather through experiencing the effects of putting clothes on and the testing them out.
Various skills can be learned and practiced such as dressing and undressing. We will learn about the need to wear clean clothes and how we wash our clothes. There are good opportunities to explore likes and dislikes of items of clothing and buying and wearing clothes that fit. The difference between girls and boys clothes can also be investigated and discussed.
There are many designers of clothes whose designs can be explored. We can then be encouraged to design our own items of clothing such as hats, pants, t-shirts etc. There are a range of materials which can be explored and used to create pieces of art such as tie-dying, silk screen printing, collages, felt.
There are a number of songs about items of clothing the different types of weather.
There are many opportunities for using money i.e. buying items to take on holiday, buying items while on holiday, booking and paying for a holiday. Items relating to holidays and leisure can be counted such as boats, fish, sandcastles, books. There are opportunities for measurement- capacity and volume using sand, water, and packing different sized suitcases.
Different types of Weather can be explored i.e. different holiday destinations – tropical, storms, snow, hot and humid etc
Foods can be cooked from different countries and cultures and foods relating to holiday activities can be cooked and assembled e.g. picnics, barbecues.
Equipment can be gathered and assembled such as camping equipment, equipment required when caravanning or on a canal boat.
Holiday games and activities can be played e.g. beach volleyball, tennis, bowling, roller skating. Fine
The different holiday destinations are ideal for creating ‘Soundscapes’ using percussion instruments, vocal sounds and everyday objects. There are also a variety of songs and pieces of music relating to holidays and holiday activities. Music and songs from different countries can also be explored.
Secondary 3 Department
This topic for the Summer term is Water
We hope that, as well as providing many opportunities to learn in all areas of development and curriculum, this topic will be lots of fun. With the weather warming up we will be able to do many things outside and if it rains we can bring that into our learning too. Swimming and hydrotherapy will also provide valuable experiences whilst building on physical skills.
Students in Ash and Hawthorn class will be exploring water in many ways across curriculum areas. Students will have opportunities to measure volume, to experiment with weight through floating and sinking, to explore the changing properties of water; solid (ice), gas (steam) and liquid, and to learn about wildlife that live in and near water as well as exploring their habitats. Students will learn about and compare different water features, lakes and ponds, seaside, rivers and brooks.
Students will also learn about the importance of water for life, for keeping their own bodies healthy, for sustaining wildlife and for growing plants and food stuffs.
Students in Willow class will follow a multi-sensory approach to learning suitable to their individual needs. Water provides us with loads of learning opportunities; exploring wet and dry, exploring water temperature, playing and splashing in water, anticipating wet spray, hiding under umbrellas, listening to water sounds, and planting and watering plants.
Students will continue to be given opportunities to build on their communication skills through choosing the things they like, asking for more and affirming their likes and dislikes. There will be a continued emphasis on learning how to communicate ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ and students will continue to build on their use of individual communication aids.
Secondary 4 Summer Topics
We will be looking at various topics this term.
Our PMLD students will continue to explore ‘Magic’ in many different ways as well as look into a new topic called ‘ Out and About’. Hopefully the students will have the opportunity to explore the local community and visit some new places with their friends. Learning will incorporate many sensory and stimulating experiences both in school and out.
For our SLD learners we will be exploring ‘Living Things’ and hopefully they will have the opportunity to investigate and handle a range of small and larger animals. A trip to Forty Hall Farm is planned to watch lambs being born and find out about other animals that are kept and looked after. Small pets will be allowed in to some classes and the students will learn how to handle them appropriately. We will also continue with our Therapy Dog visits and ‘Mutley’ will be on hand to walk, stroke and give the occasional sausage to. We also aim to link up with a dog walking group and allow some of our students to be part of this process taking dogs for walks in local parks.
Our Leavers Class will have transition as a main topic of study. We will be organising transition visits to Colleges and Day Centres and give all our leavers the opportunity to meet new staff and familiarise themselves with a new learning environment.
Our leavers will also be going on a two day residential trip to High Ashurst in Surrey in July. We will look into what we need to do to prepare for the holiday, what we must take, what are we going to do and how we will get there.
It will be an emotional time for our leavers and parents / carers. We will celebrate with them at a special gala leavers evening in July and then say our goodbyes on the final day. We will make their final term at Waverley a special and happy time.
Please remember you are more than welcome to join us at School for involvement in lessons, topics and events. We appreciate your support and welcome visitors throughout the year. Just let your child’s teacher know you wish to come in to class and we will be happy to arrange it.
Kind regards, Gary Smith (Head of Secondary 4).