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Teaching at phoenix

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The delivery of the curriculum

Teaching and Learning at Phoenix

The delivery of the curriculum is underpinned with the following supportive strategies that help learners with autism to understand and achieve:

1.  SPELL (National Autistic Society)

Structure:

  • Visual timetables
  • Known routines
  • Preparation for known changes
  • Visual cues to support spoken language (PECS, Makaton signs and symbols, objects of reference, etc)
  • Simplified language

Positive ethos

  • All staff respect pupils for who they are (see Mission Statement)
  • Small steps of achievement are celebrated
  • High staff pupil ratio ensures each pupil’s needs are met
  • Pro-active use of rewards and motivators
  • Staff have the responsibility to ensure that pupils learn about their rights and that they are honoured across the school

Empathy and understanding of Autism

  • There is a programme of training in autism for staff, including: autism induction, PECS, Sign a long, Intensive Interaction and Team Teach training.
  • Staff teams write pupil profiles, clearly explaining triggers and anxieties, likes and dislikes.
  • The school has good links with home through home-school books, telephone and regular parent meetings. Other agencies are invited to meetings.
  • Regular support groups and training for parents develop awareness and good links between parents and school.

Low arousal environment

  • All classrooms are clear, low arousal environments
  • Noise levels are kept to a minimum
  • Ear defenders are available for all who need them
  • Soft play-room, sensory studio and water therapy pool are used for aspects of the curriculum.
  • Classes have quiet areas/rooms for pupils to regulate or to work in.
  • Adults are trained to keep a calm voice and use minimal language when giving instructions or at times of crisis.
  • Links with families

  • Daily communication through home-school book

  • Telephone calls
  • Meetings:  annual reviews, parent/carer consultation evenings, parent training.
  • Families attendance at special assemblies and events
  • Initial Planning Meeting provides space for parents/carers to tell us all about their child
  • Support for meetings with other agencies and services