Welcome to Poplar class, a specialist provision for Cognition and Learning!
Poplar unit is situated at the end of the mainstream school where we have our own secure space which consists of one large teaching room, a sensory room, a second smaller learning space as well as our own kitchen with cooking facilities and our own toilet facilities. Whilst we have full access to the mainstream playground, field, play equipment and outside gym equipment we also have our own secluded outdoor play area which consists of having our own outdoor gym trail.
Our children arrive by their own entrance which is situated at the top of the school driveway at 8.45am and are greeted by two members of staff (one of which being the class teacher.) We believe that meeting and greeting the children paths the way for the rest of the day. This also provides an opportunity for parents/carers to talk with us should you need. We can also provide upon request each child with their own parent/school communication diary where you are able to log any messages you may have for us. As a dojo school, you will be able to message directly should you need to make contact.
Once inside the children are then offered breakfast where there is a variety of choices. The learning rooms are set up with a range of sensory circuits as well as hand gym activities. Once the children have finished we come together to complete the register and our lunch menu. Our lunch menu consists of many different options including a hot meal option, a vegetarian option, as well as the daily choices of pasta and jacket potatoes with a choice of fillings. Children also have the option of choosing from a selection of desserts. Alternatively, the children have the option of bringing in their own packed lunch.
Our daily structure is shared with the children through a variety of methods including visual resources, which is verbally shared with the children, as well as individually through the children’s time tables. The unit consists of 6 adults in total and this enables us to group the children into smaller groups and teach them according to their needs and abilities. An adult is always on hand to support interaction and learning at all times. The children are taught by all members of the team over the course of the week. We follow the National Curriculum where appropriate to the child and teach them in a holistic and multisensory way. We plan your child’s small step progress using a variety of tools including their EHCP targets as well as our data collection system IASEND.
Our class has a total of eight laptops and five chromebooks of which are used by the children throughout the day. Voice recorders and ear defenders are also provided for children who require them. As well as this, children have access to their own sensory self soothing box which is tailored to suit your individual child.
The sensory room is used by children who require a sensory break in a calming and low sensory environment. The room also doubles as a THRIVE and Nurture room where 1:1 interventions are provided and delivered to your child. The interventions include play therapy, THRIVE, Lego therapy, Nurture and Rudland Short term memory interventions. We love reading in Poplar and your child will always have their own reading book which is changed regularly. Your child will have access to the Library where they will be able to choose from a variety of interesting fiction and nonfiction books to suit their interests. Your child will have their own reading schedule where they will read daily with a member of staff in a calm environment free from distraction. We also have a class reader book which forms the basis of our daily guided reading sessions. In Poplar, we always finish off the day together by sitting and listening to an end of day reading book.
Throughout the day learning is punctuated with sensory, THRIVE, physical and nurture breaks to support your individual child’s needs and development. We also structure regular dance and movement activities into our day. We use communication aids as well as teach the children basic makaton signs. The signs are then implemented by all staff into our daily routines to encourage the children to communicate using a variety of differing methods. We enjoy our outside time at breaks and lunchtimes where staff from the unit lead provide the children with supported games and activities. This can include an outdoor gym trail, using the parachute or a simple game of hot potato. (Always a favourite of the children.) As mentioned before, children who prefer a quieter area have full access to our own secluded play area which is also supervised by members of staff.
Your child’s EHCP is reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that the outcomes remain appropriate for your child’s needs. We link your child’s outcomes into our daily structure ensuring the provision is clear and successful in delivering the progress you expect whilst ensuring your child’s wellbeing and development take priority. Send plan targets are reviewed and updated termly and you will be involved within the process to ensure your thoughts and opinions are heard and actioned. We believe that strong parent/school relationships are crucial in providing your child with the best possible learning experience. As we start a new school year we will continue to teach your children in a therapeutic educational setting, always placing your child’s needs at the forefront of our practice. We start the year by using baseline assessments to enable us to gain a clear picture of your child’s learning needs. This enables us to then plan specific and therapeutic interventions to support your child’s needs. Where appropriate we provide your child with opportunities to join the mainstream classes such as PE, Art and Enrichment sessions. Your child will always be supported by a familiar member of staff with these integration sessions.
We use dojo to share your child’s learning experiences throughout the day and we would encourage you to sign up so that you have the opportunity to see and praise your child on their achievements.Poplar staff are very excited to welcome all of the children, both present and new and we cannot wait to be a part of your ongoing learning journey. Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or require any further information at any point.
Ms Burns, Poplar Class Teacher