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Our next Parent Workshop will be on Monday 22nd April at 9.30am. This is the first of a four part course for parents about Autism. In session 1 we will be exploring what is Autism.
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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

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Oaklands School

Building Foundations for Fulfilling Futures

Writing

The Teaching of Writing skills at Oaklands: Due to our children’s profile of needs, reading, listening and speaking in their chosen voice will take prominence over verbal speech and writing, although mark-making/ writing will be taught to all pupils. This is because so much information in our digital age can be taken in and transmitted by our young people through symbols and signs but if they cannot read & select them, they will be significantly socially disadvantaged. It is therefore vital that our children can make meaning from the world and express their wants & needs first, with writing an important secondary skill.

Precursors to writing will be mark-making in a range of materials and in different scales from gross motor 'drawing' with water outside to holding a small crayon and making small lines and joined up shapes, as well as exploring patterns and developing grip control.

 

Nurture children are encouraged to make marks every day in a range of materials: they will tend to do this without tools and with gross motor movements, although some will enjoy tool use. They are likely to be able to make a series of lines and some closed shapes such as rough ovals but there will be little fine motor control for most Nurture children as they have yet to acquire full hand-eye coordination, due to their complex needs and stage of development. Physical development sessions will support them to develop more grip control and stamina in preparation for meaningful mark-making when they are ready to progress to this stage.

 

Willow children are encouraged to make meaningful marks every day in a range of materials: Willow children will be engaged in filling in given shapes and tracing simple shapes in a variety of media and encouraged to work on their grip development, through hand over hand and then adult modelling. Dough Disco and other individual and small group mark making activities (like completing a whole class art piece) will be planned into daily routines so that fine motor skills increase as does stamina. Writing their name (or an approximation) to ‘reserve’ a toy or get next turn or in celebration cards will be used a way to show that writing has a function and can be useful to a child.

 

Elm children are encouraged to write every day: Elm children will have many of the same opportunities to write as Willow but the time spent on functional elements of this will outweigh the creative elements as some Elm children learn to ‘sign up’ or ‘sign in’ to activities and to complete elements of their timetable by hand. When they are accessing Phase 2+ phonics, children will learn how to form graphemes and practice this as part of the sessions. Children moving through PECS and using Communication boards will be creating sentences using cards or AAC devices, and most Elm children will be introduced to Colourful Semantics as a way to write longer phrases and sentences.

 

Cherry children are encouraged to write every day in a range of lessons: Cherry children will be accessing formal learning within Literacy and Maths, and this will necessitate a wide range of writing, both by hand and using cards or pre-printed words to build meaningful prose. For those children who need the scaffold, Colourful Semantics will be used to write longer phrases and sentences. Many Cherry children will be completing their own timetables by hand rather than using images. In phonics lessons,  children will be writing a wide range of Phase 2+ graphemes.

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