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Castle School

Castle School

Wolfson Class

Meet the team

 


Introduction

Wolfson is made up of students aged 16 – 19. 

Our group takes the opportunity to ground ourselves and build up our bank of ‘calm’ during tutor times so that we can learn how to ground ourselves, making us more emotionally aware and helping us be ready to learn and participate in lessons as possible.  We all have our own list of ‘grounding activities’ to choose from, which draw on a range of therapeutic opportunities. 

Pupils in Wolfson enjoy Brushing; TACPAC; Resonance Board; Sound Beam; Touch and Taste; Clever Fingers and Identiplay to compliment their Life and Living Skills Units for Communication and Number work, balanced with life skills and creativity opportunities timetabled for each day. 

 


Supporting our students to learn

Communication (reading; writing; speaking and listening); Number; Technology; and PSHE are taught through pupil’s Individual Programmes and across all timetabled activities. This allows pupils to better generalise the skills that they are learning, and use them in real-life situations. As well as formal reading opportunities linked to Life and Living Skills, Wolfson Students have a weekly ‘Reading for Pleasure’ session in the Castle School Library where staff support students to find books that they can enjoy and develop reading engagement and comprehension in a fun way. Work Related Learning is a great opportunity to generalise and consolidate learning in real-life situations, and this is tailored to individual pupil needs.

 

Pupils develop social skills across the school day, with staff guiding and modelling positive and appropriate interactions for our young people. Pupils are encouraged to use a 5-Point emotional scale to identify and share emotions, and to seek and accept appropriate support to regulate emotions for improved mental health and social interactions.

Opportunities for scaffolded social interaction occur throughout the week, for example, Touch and Taste Café which gives a lovely opportunity for pupils to share news and information about their weekend, and parents note information in home-school diaries so that staff can help students to remember what they did, and to structure their news. This helps pupils to feel valued and accepted, and to develop meaningful friendships with their peers.

 

Pupils develop their sensory and physical skills through their Individual Programmes (for example, through fine and gross motor work; physiotherapy exercises; body brushing; massage; and pool-bases physio sessions). Pupils also have timetabled physical and sensory opportunity with Circuits; PE; Cooking, TAC-PAC; Cycling; Forest School; Resonance Board; Boom Whackers; and Dance Fitness. Our Touch and Taste sessions give opportunities for exploring and experiencing new foods (visually, and through touch, smell, and taste).

Wolfson group eats lunch together in the classroom. This gives us the opportunity to work on life skills associated with preparing to eat (personal care and home management); independent eating skills such as cutting food, and tidying up their things, according to their Individual Programmes and targets. At break and lunch times, pupils are also encouraged to participate in activities that promote physical exercise as well as offer social and communication opportunities where appropriate. (For others their physical development might be in practicing recognising when down-time is needed or finding ways to calm).

 

Pupils develop their communication and interaction skills through their Individual Programmes; across their timetabled day; and also in break and lunch times (supported by the Wolfson team).

Timetabled opportunities are Touch and Taste Café, where pupils listen and respond to others (staff and peers) as well as taking a turn to communicate their own news and ideas; Work Related Learning; Identi-Play; practicing recognising understanding and using Makaton signing through its use across the school day, and in Singing-Signing sessions; sharing equipment in PE, Cooking and Cycling; 1:1 time for pupils to communicate lunchtime preferences; listening and responding in Resonance Board and Sound Beam sessions.


Topic for this half-term

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Our timetable

 

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Individual Programmes

Each of our students has an Individual Programme that is based on their individual learning needs.  In these sessions all aspects of the student’s learning outcomes are touched upon, with opportunities for the student to consolidate and generalise their skills. 

Some students have the opportunity to complete a series of work trays focusing on Key Skills; for some it can be an opportunity to complete Clever Fingers exercises to improve their fine motor skills.  Other students may focus on their gross motor skills.   

All students have grounding activities built into their programmes to help them settle into their day, or to transition between activities throughout their school day, and to help them generalise their ability to manage their emotions, either independently, with verbal prompts, or with support. 

 

Creativity across the curriculum

It is important that all our pupils have the opportunity to express themselves creatively, and the Wolfson Timetable has been carefully constructed to afford as many opportunities as possible for pupils to do this. Drama is used in our Reading for Pleasure sessions; Identi-Play sessions offer opportunities for creative interaction; music and rhythm are celebrated and enjoyed daily, whether in recreational activities; music assembly; using Boom Whackers, Resonance Boards, or Sound Beams. Forest School and Cooking give opportunities for pupil creativity. Drama games are also used to develop other areas of learning (communication; social skills; physical movement; and attention).

 

Preparation for Adulthood

Wolfson group have lots of opportunities to develop life skills over the week, both in specific lessons (such as cooking, enterprise sessions, forest school, DofE, and college visits where appropriate) and through their Individual Programmes and break times and lunch times. Pupils are given time, encouragement and scaffolding to develop independence and confidence in vital Life Skills that will prepare them for adulthood in areas such as personal care; food preparation; keeping themselves safe; and accessing the community. This will also encompass generalising their communication skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), as well as emotional regulation and social skills.


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