Additional Support Programs - Enhanced Curriculum
In an effort to secure support beyond the everyday Curriculum on offer, St Mary’s has developed a range of interventions aimed at creating a ‘Support for Learning’ culture that all pupils can access.
Zones of Regulation
Regulation is something everyone continually works on whether we are cognizant of it. We all encounter trying circumstances that test our limits from time to time. If we can recognise when we are becoming less regulated, we are able to do something about it to manage our feelings and get ourselves to a healthy place. This comes more naturally for some, but for others it is a skill that needs more attention and practice. This is the goal of The Zones of Regulation (or Zones for short).
Speech and Language Therapy
St Mary’s works in close partnership with the Speech and Language Therapy Service provided by Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to deliver Universal, Targeted and Focused support for our pupils. All staff are trained so that universal strategies can be applied as part of quality first teaching. The SABDEN Multi Academy Trust employs an Integrated Therapy Assistant to work a day a week at St Mary’s so that pupils can access targeted support both within the classroom and, if necessary, by withdrawal – according to baseline assessment. Finally, the school has access to a peripatetic Speech and Language Therapist who carries out a range of interventions based on the needs identified within an individual’s EHC Plan.
The Speech and Language Therapy Service have trained a select few staff to deliver this aspect of universal support at St Mary’s. Lego Therapy is an intervention aimed at improving social communication for a group of students. The shared goal of building a specific Lego model according to the specific and ordered instructions provides the motivation for the group to succeed. Each group member is assigned a role (eg architect, supplier, builder, quality control etc) for the duration of a session (although roles may be swapped within a session) and stay within the role to either give or receive instructions as part of the team as the building process progresses. Use of precise descriptive language to identify both the correct piece and how it should be laid help to improve expressive and receptive language as well as problem building skills and co-operation.
Our newest therapeutic intervention. Our trained school counsellor offers person-centred counselling working with referred pupils on a 1:1 basis. Pupil clients are able to use this private and uninterrupted therapeutic space to talk through and explore any issues they wish, and use the time to reflect upon and explore their deeper feelings. Sometimes creative therapy is used to enable this. Six sessions are offered initially after which there is a review. Our school counsellor works under qualified external supervision and within the BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy) Ethical Framework. School counselling is subject to the whole school safeguarding policies and procedures.
At St Mary's we are using IDL cloud software that supports our students with developing literacy and numeracy skills.
IDL Literacy has been proven to increase pupils’ reading and spelling ages on average by around 11 months after just 26 hours of use.
A learner's performance in an initial assessment determines the point of entry on the programme.
The programme consists of approximately 1000 graduated exercises, commencing with recognition of the alphabet and finishing with comprehension and essay writing tasks appropriate to fluent readers (reading age above 12 years, 6 months), with accurate spelling (spelling age above 12 years, 6 months).
The progression through the programme follows a standard path similar to that defined in any standard phonics-based scheme, eg: Alpha-Omega (Hornsby and Shear, 1993). Additionally, a touch typing course is woven into the fabric of the exercises.