Welcome to class 9 – class teacher Alice Sawyer

Students in class 9 are pre/semi-formal learners. We follow individual learning plans based on the Equals Curriculum. Our students have a rigid work/break routine that helps support them. Symbol strips, timers and clear direction supports their day. Their workrooms are low stimulus and walls are a warm neutral colour.

The academy day

Morning

The day starts with most of our students travelling to school on individualised transport. This supports students who suffer with high anxiety and can present a risk to themselves and to others. Students often travel quite a distance to get to school and many have not slept the previous night.

On arrival at school, pupils are met by familiar adults and then have time in our play area. This is our safe and secure play environment that allows students the opportunity to have time outside and to decompress after their journey. After a 15-minute break in our play area, students then move inside to their individualised rooms within The Base.

Each student chooses an activity to complete his or her individual targets whilst waiting for breakfast. We start the day with a sensology session that helps get our students ready for learning. This is then followed by registration/hello. This encourages communication and we build on relationships and social interaction skills. Being part of a small group supports our students who find social interaction difficult.

Following registration a break is needed outside and we encourage physical and sensory modulation. It essential that students in class 8 have regular breaks as this helps them to self-regulate, remain on their individual baseline and keep safe.

We return back to our small groups have a quick snack before starting lessons. Before lunch, we have another break. Some students will go outside to exercise on peanut balls or students who need to relax before lunch will have fifteen minutes relaxation.

Lunch time

Over lunchtime, many of our students have a restricted diet. They are encouraged to choose their meal and to develop their self-help skills.

Afternoon and home time

Our afternoons run much the same as the morning. Students need to be given time to prepare for the journey home, as this can sometimes be a trigger for their anxieties.

We communicate by home-school diaries and can report on what a student has done during the day and to pass on any messages.