Toe by Toe

Toe by Toe is an intervention devised to support pupils who have gaps in their phonics knowledge. This can prove to be a barrier to learning presenting difficulties in reading, writing and spelling.

Toe by Toe is administered on a daily basis. Each child is supplied with a reading manual which contains the highly structured and multi sensory program.

The program requires the pupil to say a particular word or sound correctly on three consecutive days in order for them to remain in their long term memory.

Each day, the pupil’s progress is logged in their reading manual.

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Working Memory

The purpose of this intervention is to develop a child’s working memory skills. These skills are important as they enable the child to retain new information long enough to manipulate and process it correctly.

Initially, the child will be assessed to establish a base line score and then approximately three months later they will be assessed again to monitor progress.

Working memory skills exercises are available in varying difficulty levels meaning that they can be used throughout the school.

Improving a child’s working memory can significantly improve their attainment and access to the curriculum.

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Lego Therapy

This intervention provides an opportunity for children to practise vital skills such as turn taking, listening, sharing ideas, communication, compromise and creative problem solving.

Children work in a group of three and take on one of three roles; engineer, supplier or builder.

The engineer has to explain to the supplier which piece is needed. They are not allowed to point to the piece, they have to use descriptive language.

The supplier takes instructions from the engineer to select the correct piece and then conveys to the builder what to do with that particular piece.

The builder takes verbal instructions from the supplier and begins to build the model.

The intervention takes place on a weekly basis and lasts for half an hour. The roles change weekly and the program lasts for a term.

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Fine Motor Skills Development

During Fine Motor Skill Development sessions, our dedicated SNA’s work with children on a one to one basis to improve their dexterity.

It is is a vital intervention as a delay in fine motor skill development can affect many areas of a child’s daily life and education.

It can present difficulties in daily self care, such as getting dressed, struggling with fastening buttons or tying shoelaces. It can also affect their access to the curriculum by affecting handwriting skills, the ability to cut, thread or even use a computer and other equipment.

There are several different activities which can be carried out to improve dexterity.

  • Placing pegs onto a peg board, using each hand in turn and aiming to beat a previous score, to achieve a personal best.
  • Threading beads onto a piece of string.
  • Picking up small objects using tweezers.
  • Taking dice out of a screw top container, holding the dice in the hand whilst at the same time, using that same hand to screw the lid back onto the container.
  • Scissor skills practice by cutting out shapes and cutting along the dotted lines.
  • Pencil holding practice, to improve letter formation and speed of writing.

These are just a few! There are many more activities available to improve these vital skills.

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Speech and Language Therapy

We have a variety of Speech And Language Therapy (SALT) programs running in our school.

Our Key Stage One and Two Learning Mentors work very closely with the SALT department in order to implement programs of work successfully in school.

Many of our Special Needs Assistants are also equipped with ELKLAN training which further enhances the effectiveness of speech and language development of our pupils in the classroom.

The SALT department visit school on a regular basis to provide programs of work to individual pupils with specific needs. They also offer advice in general. Our SNA’s work closely with their designated pupils to deliver tailored programs of work.

Examples of of some of the programs we deliver are as follows;

Talking about friends

The activities in this pack aim to develop situational understanding and verbal reasoning skills.

The children are presented with a big picture and a short story depicting what is happening in the picture.

We will then ask the child a series of questions to encourage the child to think about the characters and how they feel and why they behave in certain ways.

A further four images are them presented to prompt discussion on what course of action the characters in the story should ideally take.

Location and Fuction

These exercises help to encourage the efficient storage and retrieval of words from our internal word store.

Many children with speech and language difficulties have a disorganised word store which means they are unable to store words in the correct place, the meaning (semantics) attributed to these words is lost in the process and then therefore they cannot be retrieved for use.

The location word cards presented to the child require the child to produce a spider diagram of words related to things you may find in a certain place. For example, “name things you can find in a garden.” This prompts the child and SNA to have a discussion about these objects and they can be organised and sectioned correctly.

The fuction word cards presented to the child, again require the child to produce a spider diagram of words relating to things that you ‘do.’ For example, “name things that you can dig.”

Speech and Language Therapy is a vital intervention for those children who have difficulties in this area. By improving their skills in word processing and semantics, their access and ability to succeed in the overall curriculum is greatly enhanced.

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Exploring time and money

This week in Life Skills we spent some time recapping our knowledge on time and money.

First of all, we talked about morning, afternoon and evening and what we do at each times of the day. We also talked about how the environment and what we see changes at each time of the day.

We then discussed how time can sometimes pass more quickly and at other times more slowly. We talked about how some things take more time than others.

We ordered the days of the week and the months of the year and we also discussed the what we do at the weekend and on the week days. We talked about which month of the year our birthday was.

We then discussed the four seasons and how the weather changes. We talked about what activities we do and what clothes we wear.

We then had a look at the clock and we took it in turns to tell the time.

We then moved on to money and we explored the different coins and notes we have in our currency. We discussed the properties of these coins and we compared their values. We also discussed what would be a reasonable price to pay for everyday items.

It was a very useful session and the children got a lot out of it.

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Hello everyone!

Hello bloggers! Long time, no see!!! Life Skills have been incredibly busy since we last wrote to you all. Of course we are now in a new year, 2015! Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun!

Here is a summary of things we have been doing since we returned to school back in September 2014.

  • All about me and social games
  • Traditional tales
  • Autumn walk
  • A visit from Specsavers Opticians
  • A visit to Eureka Children’s Museum
  • Recycling
  • Learning about the aspects of church and making poppies
  • A visit to Pets at Home
  • Fine motor skills – Finger Gym
  • A visit to our Church
  • A visit to Specsavers Opticians Store
  • Making Christmas calendars and other fun things
  • Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary
  • A visit to Tesco – Farm to Fork
  • Review of Farm to Fork

As you can see we have done a lot so far this school year and each week we gain new experiences, learn new skills and develop our social skills and strengthen our relationships with friends and teachers.

We are going to be blogging on a regular basis again from now on so keep an eye out for some interesting reports and photos!

See you again soon!

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Thankyou Life Skills! The end of the year!

Our Year in Life Skills

 

Here is a review for you all to see,

how Life Skills has benefitted me.

We have made new friends,

had lots of fun,

and now the school year is nearly done.

We visited the fire station,

the garden centre,

and Boomerang too.

We have been on lots of walks,

had lots of talks,

and even did some woodwork at B and Q!

These things are really just the beginning,

If we listed them all your head would be spinning!

Life Skills isn’t just about fun,

there was lots of hard work and learning to be done.

We have explored our feelings and emotions a lot,

Talked about what makes us happy and not.

We have listened to each other and respected other’s points of view,

we have felt safe in an environment where we can speak too.

We have discussed what is the right and wrong way,

to conduct our lives and go about our day.

We have learned lots of new skills,

armed for the future we are.

Being safe on the roads,

never wandering off too far.

Preparing food, practicing hand hygiene,

looking after our bodies and keeping them clean.

Staying safe out doors,

being aware of strangers,

how to recognise hidden dangers.

We have kept fit and healthy,

Tried new things to eat,

Ran around and around until we felt beat!

We’ve done all of these things,

and much more besides,

but now its time to say our goodbyes!

Thank you Life Skills,

For the friends we have made

and the skills we have learned,

We’ll be back another day!

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Our lovely visit to Kirkby Malham Primary School!

Well, we made it! We got on the minibus bright and early from school and set off to the rolling hills and fresh air in Yorkshire. On our way, we talked about how we could see the landscape and the views changing. So long, many many houses, so long lots of cars and hello sheep and cows and beautiful fields! When we arrived, we were greeted by all the staff and we joined the school assembly. We were then split up into two groups and we went off to do different activities. The first group went to the hall and did P.E and the second group went into a class room and made a grass head!!! We played out at playtime and we had lunch and played out at dinner time. We made new friends and had a really wonderful time! Thank you so much for making us so welcome and for planning a lovely day for us! We hope to see you again very soon! Have a wonderful summer!!!

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Keep your eyes peeled!

Look out! Coming soon, photos and a review of our time spent at Kirkby Malham Primary School! Also will be writing a review of our year in Life Skills. we be discussing the many exciting things we have done, the skills we have aquired and the friendships we have made!

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