Emerald class is a newly allocated Reception class and part of the Specialist Resourced Provision (SRP) at SCCN. It has a total of 6 pupils accessing a bespoke EYFS curriculum. Emerald class follows on as an extension from Green class and offers that personalised prospectus for each individual child and their needs which we assess via SCERTS as well as child based play and learning through the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage).
SCERTS programme is broken down into 3 areas which focus on “SC” – social communication, “ER” – emotional regulation and “TS”- transactional support.
Social Communication enables us to focus on how children are communicating and set targets for small steps of progress, concentrating on encouraging children to interact with others and use different methods of communication.
Emotional Regulation focuses on using adult support to enable children to maintain sensory regulation throughout the day and reduce anxiety.
This distinctive model provides a framework that focuses on relationships with adults and adaptations to the learning environment to support those children within the Autistic Spectrum Disorder. The SCERTS model is a toolkit to help aid children with communicational, social and emotional difficulties and further develop these skills.
Communication and language
Emerald class is a total communication environment. We are focusing on the development of communication throughout the whole day whether this be an adult led group session or simply through the basis of play. Communication and language is the very foundation of what we strive for within Emerald class, as it enables children to communicate their needs. Communication and language is supported through the use of our Attention Autism sessions which consist of stage 1 and 2, as well as our listening and attention group and our literacy sessions. The children again have access to devices to help aid with their communication and to encourage language where possible, the various tool they use are sound buttons, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) and Aided Language Display (ALD) boards.
Our literacy sessions are theme based throughout the terms. For example in September our topic was ‘all about me.’ We looked closely at stories that discussed the difference and uniqueness of every individual child and their families. We focussed heavily on PSED – personal, social and emotional development within these books, to support the children with emotional regulation when starting the new academic year and adapting to an unfamiliar environment. Our literacy sessions are sensory based, also known as sensory stories. These consist of the children using all of their senses when taking part in the literacy session such as sight, taste, smell, sound and touch. One adult leads with various objects and props relating back to the story which involves each child. The Early Years Practitioners (EYPs) support the children and model the types of behaviours associated to help enhance their communication skills as well as their listening and attention.
Our maths sessions vary between listening and engaging in nursery rhyme songs that include number rhymes as well as the introduction of numbers and shapes taught in a captivating way. Our maths sessions involve a carpet input which consists of an introduction with a song, the use of our whole body through movement and then activities set around the classroom that involve what was presented during the carpet input session.
Reading and writing
The children within Emerald class will be exposed to various signs and symbols which is the foundation of reading, also highlighted within the SCERTS model. The children are also exposed to writing and symbols through the use of our PECS, sound buttons, ALD boards and generic labelling around the classroom. We have various interventions in place to encourage this where possible such as their TEACCH activities and phonics interventions for those children that are showing signs of language.
The pupils within Emerald class have access to a tailored occupational therapy programme, which consists of a sensory circuit. This helps build the children’s core muscles as well as emotionally regulating them getting them ready for a busy day full of learning. The children have access to the little garden attached to Emerald Class, which varies from various activities to help enrich the children’s gross and fine motor skills. The children also access the big playground in the mainstream part of the nursery school which is part of their inclusion. The children have a vast amount of space to use their gross motor skills as well as taking risks and exploring challenging boundaries. The children have been offered a tailored PE plan which helps them to engage in a fun and active way. The parachute game has offered lots of augmentation within their engagement skills as well as listening and attention.
Personal, social and emotional development interlinks with our SCERTS model for learning. Here the children are forming positive relationships and learning about boundaries. The children are also learning about themselves through new preferences and dislikes in certain activities and or food. Experiencing and exploring new foods that have nutritional benefits. Learning about personal hygiene and becoming independent in some areas of personal care. Lastly, the children will be exploring emotions and what they can do to help self-regulate as well as allowing an adult to help regulate them when feeling a certain way, such as upset or angry.
Expressive art and design
Our children enjoy exploring through art and design as they seek sensory experiences and learn to express themselves. We have tailored EAD to be impactful as possible through the use of communication with ALDs (Aided language displays). We also offer the children various construction materials such as Duplo, wooden blocks and musical instruments to enhance their play skills through construction with aid of the adults around the classroom modelling play, sharing skills and conversations.
Understanding the world
The children have been learning about the world around them, whether that is do with seasonal change or understanding about different religions and cultural celebrations. They are exposed to this through the use of our displays, exploration trays and our group time sessions which are introduced in a highly motivating way, such as attention autism sessions or through a cross curriculum.