At West Lea, we differentiate in all our lessons so that the individual needs of pupils can be met, within the normal classroom environment. This includes questioning which is appropriate to their current understanding (Blank’s Levels), task planners (to help pupils remember instructions) and the use of visuals, such as photographs, symbol and ‘real’ objects. Children also work within an adapted curriculum, designed to meet the needs of learners and allow them to develop independence skills.
Sometimes, a pupil, or groups of pupils, will need to access some additional teaching to support their learning. This will involve the setting of targets, and will be reviewed on a regular basis. Often, this may last for half a term. This may be led by a member of the class team, with support from a specialist teacher. Examples of this include ‘lego therapy’ (to aid communication and social skills), ‘speech bubbles’ (a series of drama sessions to promote team work) or ‘The Five Minute Box’ (a numeracy resource to develop maths skills).
Some pupils also access highly specialist activities outside of the classroom to support their learning. We have a range of English interventions available, including ‘reading mentors’ (older children reading to younger pupils, ‘Phonological Awareness Training’ (reading and writing activities) and 1:1 reading with a parent/carer. We are also able to offer some specialist activities for pupils with difficulties of a dyslexic nature. If your child is accessing a specialist intervention, you will be informed of strategies which you can use at home to aid their learning, as part of the intervention.
West Lea has a range of therapists who work across the sites. Our speech therapist, supported by our communication TA, works with all classes as part of the total communication approach. This means that children’s speech and communication skills are developed at every point in the day. Staff use Elklan strategies to developing communication skills, and a high proportion of staff achieved accredited qualifications in Elklan,
We have two art therapists who are part of the West Lea team. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of expression and communication. This can be particularly beneficial to children who have social and emotional needs. Our occupational therapists support classes with activities that support daily living skills, such as being able to manage different sensory conditions, and fine motor skills involved in dressing/undressing. Our physiotherapists provide fun and motivational activities for children who require their support, and advice on equipment such as adapted bikes and play equipment.
The school also works closely with peripatetic teachers to support our learners, such as the hearing impaired and visually impaired team. Some children have access to music therapy to support their cognitive, psychological and emotional wellbeing. Other professionals, such as educational psychologists, support our children, staff and families, to ensure that every child receives the support they need to succeed in life and be the best that they can.
Here are some photographs of some recent sessions…