The Goldmine


This term we have launched our new intervention room called ‘The Goldmine’. It is used for many purposes throughout the day including phonics, clever fingers, social skills/nurture, reflection time, speech and language, ‘Style On’, ‘Monday check-in’, 1:1 or small group work.

Supporting our children’s learning:

This academic year we are trialling some new interventions over and above quality first teaching which we feel will benefit some of our children. Children who have been identified by class teachers, external agencies or Miss Walledge as SENCO will be offered a place on these intervention programmes. Children in receipt of pupil premium funding may also be offered a period of time in these interventions if considered suitable.

Fine motor skills/Clever Fingers

Fine motor skills are vital to the development of many competencies in children. Activities are divided into sections focusing on warming up, hand and finger strength, manipulation and eye-hand co-ordination. Clever Fingers programme is used together with scissor skill activities, handwriting and fun and games which are delivered by trained TAs and overseen by Miss Walledge.

Monday check in

An opportunity for a drink, a biscuit, a game and a chat to ready ourselves at the beginning of the school week. A chance to ‘check in’ emotionally and socially and remember what makes us brilliant learners.

Nurture groups/social skills

Our nurture/social skills group is small and provides a sociable, safe and emotionally warm environment for children to build and fulfil potential. The curriculum offered includes three key areas namely:

· the development of self-esteem;

· the use of play to teach social skills such as turn-taking, sharing, cooperating

and appreciating the feelings of others; and

· developing language for communication.

Through Nurture/Social skills groups children learn to identify a range of basic emotions in themselves and in others. They begin to use this information to solve potential problems and take more appropriate action. Children are more aware of when they are successful and what they have done to gain appropriate praise and reward. They become more independent. For example, children learn to look out their own materials and resources and complete activities with less adult direction or assistance.

Through the small group situation children are better able to relate to adults and other children in an appropriate way. They use more appropriate language and gesture and receive positive feedback as a result which sets up a ‘virtuous learning cycle’. Children develop their confidence and social skills through working together in meaningful and imaginative contexts. For example, they learn to take an active part in activities such as baking and gardening. This promotes their confidence,

their personal development and readiness to learn.

Style On

Mrs Rundle is a qualified hairdresser and teacher of hairdressing. She offers part of NVQ level 1 as a social skills, confidence building and creativity workshop. This also gives opportunity for furthering manual dexterity, thinking skills and problem solving.

‘Monday check in’ and ‘Social skills/nurture group’ are planned by Miss Walledge and run by trained TAs ‘Style On’ is planned by Mrs Rundle and overseen by Miss Walledge.

All children have an 8-10 week programme in a group before impact is measured. They may then go on for a further period of time.

Sensory Circuits

Participation in a short Sensory Circuit prepares the children involved to engage effectively with the day ahead. Behavioural clues such as fidgeting, poor concentration, excessive physical contact or overall lethargy can indicate a child is finding it difficult to connect with the learning process. Sensory Circuits is a great way to energise or settle into the school day.

The children really enjoy working with each other and the adults leading the sessions. They complete a series of activities as detailed below and for the majority of children this leads to improvement in alertness and co-ordination in class. The class teacher should be able to notice a difference quite quickly from the children, usually 2 – 3 weeks. Children are reviewed every 6 weeks. This involves teachers, parents and the children commenting to see if Sensory Circuits has been beneficial.

The three Sensory Circuits areas are:

Alerting: These activities stimulate the bodies’ central nervous system in preparation for learning. These include spinning, bouncing, skipping and jumping.

Organising: These activities demand the brain and body to work together. These include balance, co-ordination and concentration.

Calming: These activities give awareness of their body in space and increases the ability to self regulate sensory input. These include heavy muscle work and deep pressure.

These sessions are planned by Miss Walledge and run by TAs. Parents will be consulted prior to children being offered a six week programme and at the end of it to assess impact.

‘Dream On’

As part of our development of learning beyond the classroom we are trialling a couple of new groups. One of these is called ‘Dream On’. Its purpose is to introduce business skills and enterprising projects.

Good enterprising teaching and learning should:

· provide opportunities for learners to think and act in enterprising ways

· provide a clear focus on core and employability skills, and the ability to transfer these to different contexts.

· promote positive attitudes and confidence.

· provide opportunities for learners to develop skills such as problem solving, decision making and evaluating risks

· provide entrepreneurial experiences.

The contribution enterprise in education makes to the personal growth of children and young people can enhance their chances and choices. It can help them to become successful learners, more confident, responsible individuals and effective communicators.