Welcome to Pine

Teacher - Elm Hannah Dunne
Photo of Hannah Dunne

We are a group of 11-14 year olds. We are creative and inquisitive, we love to learn. We enjoy everything messy, loud and colourful. There are five pupils in our class and we always have four or five staff members working with us as we have a varying degree of medical and sensory needs within our class. We go out into the community once a week to  learn about our local community, the people within it and everyday life skills.  We are trying to develop our life skills and have fun as we learn. We use a total communication approach with signalong, voice, photos, symbols or objects.

Each of us enjoys eating and cooking food, we can become very creative when cooking and baking. We can operate kitchen equipment using adaptive switches. One of our favourite lessons take place in the sensory room where we can activate the technology around us with our switches and participate in sensory stories. Some of us have hydrotherapy sessions twice a week where we get to relax and play with our friends in the pool. We also use this session to stretch and work hard to control our own movements. On Thursdays we each have a turn on the trampoline for rebound therapy. Not only does this give us a physical work out, we also get to use our own voices and communication skills to communicate our enjoyment and what we want.  We take every opportunity we can to get outside, we spend playtimes with the other pupils on the well equipped primary playground.  Once a week we visit the sensory garden in the patch to do a spot of gardening.

We have our own tailored PMLD curriculum and assessment which we follow that helps us to meet all of our learning needs.

Autumn Term 2 Timetable

Curriculum Information for ParentsAutumn Term 2
SubjectTopic for this half term: Europe
Community AwarenessWe are going to visit several different local towns to try to find items that are associated with various European cultures. This will include supermarkets for shopping, exploring and café experiences as well as ice cream - brrrr! – and patisserie. The pupils have been really enjoying our Tuesday visits and we are getting more confident about what works for us as a group, so we will be developing social skills in these settings to help support lifelong learning around shopping, cooking and socialising.
CommunicationWe will work on communication skills throughout every day, including around expressing feelings and needs when out in the community. This half term we are really going to focus on saying Hello and Goodbye, and on choosing snacks using pictures, ipads and signs. Signalong will support spoken language in all activities.
Problem SolvingThis half term as the weather gets dull and dark outside the pupils in Pine class are going to be using brightly coloured toys and games so that they can develop their understanding of colour names, matching and sorting.
Social and EmotionalWe are going to do tac pac this half term. Communication during the session will be a priority with pupils working 1:1. We also have several opportunities to do things with the wider school community, for example Halloween themed activities with Oak, the whole school Thursford Trip and a visit to Norwich Cathedral with Rowan and Elm. The children will also use the photographs taken on our visits out as slide shows to look at pictures of themselves and their friends.
Creative In keeping with the Problem solving theme colourful creative work is going to feature bright, shiny and reflective materials to stimulate visual responses and help with hand-eye coordination. We will make some seasonal decorations whilst we play.
Stories & BooksThe pupils will go to the school library every Thursday afternoon to share story sacks and books. The props will include puppets. There will be opportunities for 1:1 reading and story time during this session. At other times during the week books are offered in choosing time and first thing each day when pupils do early work.
CookingPine class will be making a variety of European dishes. They will be shopping for some of the ingredients on our Tuesday trips. This half term is also going to be about using small electrical appliances to help with cooking and using a switch to do this safely. The switch interfaces allow us to plug different appliances in and operate them easily.
MusicMusic in Pine is good fun, the children are going to be listening to folk music from each of our European theme countries and choosing instruments to play along
ExplorationWe will continue with our weekly visits to The Patch, we are lucky enough to coincide with Beech class being over there so it gives us the opportunity to work alongside peers. The weather is likely to be getting a bit more challenging so please remember to send warm clothing on Mondays.
Ideas to do at home.Look at seasonal displays in local shops and supermarkets, Halloween will morph into Bonfire Night then Christmas. Try to encourage your child to help you with the cooking, which may mean allowing more time for the whole experience. If you are going to be eating out, maybe try an Italian restaurant, or something connected to another European country. Visit your local library if you have one and share stories there. Many libraries have story sacks you can use. Listen to European folk music at home or in the car.