Provision for pupils who benefit from a highly structured approach.
Woodlands School has a dedicated class for pupils who benefit from a highly structured approach on both the lower and upper school sites. The classes have a high staff to pupil ratio and follow a structured teaching programme based on strategies developed and refined by the Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication handicapped Children (TEACCH) programme.
Structured teaching develops teaching strategies and changes the environment to make the world more meaningful for children with special needs. These structures can be utilised at all developmental levels and do not limit the curriculum. The calm, predictable and familiar environment reduces the potential for anxiety.
Pupils benefit from:
1. Physical structures
The physical layout of a classroom is an important consideration when planning learning experiences as many pupils have organisational problems, not knowing where to be and how to get there by the most direct route. Because of receptive language difficulties, they often do not understand directions or rules. The well-sructured room provides the visual cues they need to understand their environment.
- Clear physical and visual boundaries
- Minimum visual and auditory distractions
- Identified teaching areas including snack, play or leisure, transition and work areas
- Daily schedules visually tell the pupil in a way that s/he can understand what activities will occur and in what sequence.
- Each pupil has a way to indicate when an activity is finished on the schedule.
- A systematic way for the pupils to receive and understand information
- A meaningful routine that answers these questions for the pupil - What work/ How much work? When is it finished? What happens next?
- A predictable pattern with clear visual markers that highlight the structure of a lesson or activity
- Teach the pupil to look for the visual instructions that give meaning to the task
- Show the pupils what to do with the materials
- Includes both visual instructions and visual organisations
- Picture communication system to facilitate expressing needs and responding to social interaction
- A multi- modal approach incorporating speech, MAKATON signing, Widgit Rhebus symbols pictures, photographs and objects of reference
- Small group training to practice social and play skills such as turn taking skills
- Sensory activities are interspersed throughout the day to help the pupils learn how to achieve the correct level of alertness for learning
- Sensory circuits are available each day
- It uses the pupil's visual strengths to help them focus on the relevant information in their environment
- Adaptations to the environment make it more orderly and predictable
- It incorporates routines and makes things more familiar
- It teaches the concept of "finished"
- There is a focus on the development of independent skills