Birch Class

Birch class are a group of primary aged pupils. Birch class are following a life skills curriculum. They use a range of strategies such as TEACCH, PECs, Attention Autism and Occupational Therapy activities to support teaching and learning. Birch class follow our life skills frameworks and well as elements of the EQUALS curriculum. They have a large emphasis of our holistic curriculum to prepare them for life after The Mendip School.

Birch class love sensory activities, being outside and exploring our local community as well as practicing their interaction and attention skills. Our speech and language and occupational therapists spend time in class supporting the pupils.

Gemma Eades

Class Teacher 

Tuesday, Wednesday am and Friday

I have been a teacher at The Mendip School for 6 years, since 2017. I took a year out last year to have my beautiful baby, who I adore spending time with and going on adventures with. I love going on dog walks and exploring National Trust locations. 

I thoroughly enjoy working at The Mendip School and seeing children progress both socially and academically, to be as independent as they can be! 

Heather Wright

Class Teacher

Monday, Wednesday pm and Thursday

I am the class teacher in Birch Class. I have worked at the Mendip School for 6 years and as a mainstream Primary teacher before that. I enjoy walking my 2 dogs in our beautiful countryside, paddle boarding, travelling and gardening.

Zara Adams

Class Teaching Assistant

Emma Healey

Class Teaching Assistant

Nicola Barker

Class Teaching Assistant

Term 1 – Learning Overview

 

 

My Communication 

 

– Multisensory phonics – with focus sound tuff trays, songs and activities
– Name recognition, building, and tracing
– Mark making – copying shapes, letters & numbers in a range of media 
– Using communication boards to make choices and requests 

 

My Thinking and Problem Solving 

Nursery Rhymes 

– Learning and joining in with nursery rhymes 
– Self-selecting task resources / using resources with increased independence 
– Using communication boards to make choices and requests 
– Matching two of the same 
– Number recognition 

 

 

World About Me 

Water 

– Explore, observe and investigate water and its properties 
– Experience rain as ‘wet’ water with as many of their senses as possible   

 

– Explore moving through water 

– Explore transporting, carrying and moving water 

– Independently use taps in the classroom and around school 

– Fill up cups and bottles using the classroom tap 

 

 

My Creativity 

Art 

– Using communication boards to request mark making tools and media 
– Using different mark making tools to print i.e. leaves, pinecones, conkers 
– Painting autumnal pictures using a range of tools 
– Autumnal themed art i.e. using leaves, sticks etc to construct  
– Exploring colour – looking at seasonal colours 

 

 

My Independence 

Day to Day 

– Putting bag and coat away upon arrival to school 
– Taking off/putting on items of clothing (socks, shoes, coat, jumper) 
– Using communication boards to make choices and requests throughout the school day 
– Collecting own lunchbox and drink at lunchtime 
– Opening packets themselves or ask for help using a core board 
– Walking independently around the school 
– Sitting on the toilet during nappy changes, helping with dressing 
– Independently washing hands before eating/after toilet 

 

My Independence 

Offsite trips 

 

– Taking off / putting on items of clothing (socks, shoes, coat) 
– Travelling safely on the minibus 
– Staying safe / walking with the group on offsite trips 
– Safely crossing a minor road/car park 
– Using a visual shopping list to buy snack items 

 

My Independence 

Cooking 

– Independently wash hands before handling food 
– Explore different foods using different utensils         

 

– Use photos/signs/symbols to gather equipment 

–  Use a communication board to indicate likes/dislikes     

– Increase time spent in the Food Technology room 

– Explore colour and texture 

– Open containers and replace lids                                                                                    

 

 

PE 

– Remaining with the group during whole class PE session 
Movement, balance, and co-ordination based physical activity 
– Developing gross motor skills using large play equipment 
– Weekly focus on climbing, balance, jumping or throwing 

 

Fine Motor Skills 

 - Using pincer grip to grasp objects 
– Placing objects on a specific mark i.e. along a line 
– Threading onto a string – beads, cheerios etc 
– Shoebox TEACCH tasks 

Term 2 – Learning Overview

 

 

My Communication 

 

– Multisensory phonics – with focus sound tuff trays, songs and activities

– Pre-Writing mark-making

– copying lines, shapes, letters & numbers in a range of media like flour, shaving foam and rice!

– Using communication boards to make choices and requests.

 

My Thinking and Problem Solving 

Nursery Rhymes 

– Learning and joining in with nursery rhymes

– Self-selecting task resources / using resources with increased independence

– Using communication boards to make choices and requests

– Matching two of the same

– Number recognition within 10

 

 

World About Me 

Water 

– To explore water play

– To explore moving water

– To travel in water (swimming pool)

– Explore items that float and sink in the swimming pool

 

 

My Creativity 

Music

– Following the Charanga SEND scheme

– introducing instruments

– Using communication boards to request instruments

– Turn taking to choose and explore instruments

– Singing and signing a range of classic nursery rhymes and new songs

 

 

My Independence 

Day to Day 

– Putting bag and coat away upon arrival to school

– Using communication boards to make a range of choices and requests throughout the school day

– Collecting own lunchbox and drink at lunchtime

– Opening packets themselves or ask for help using a core board

– Following a personal hygiene visual / using a communication board to try for a wee on the toilet

– Independently washing hands before eating/after toilet

 

My Independence 

Offsite trips 

 

– Taking off / putting on items of clothing (socks, shoes, coat)

– Travelling safely on the minibus

– Staying safe / walking with the group on offsite trips

– Safely crossing a minor road/car park

 

My Independence 

Cooking 

– Independently wash hands before handling food

– Explore different foods using different utensils

– Use photos/signs/symbols to gather equipment

– Use a communication board to indicate likes/dislikes

– Increase time spent in the Food Technology room

– Explore colour and texture – Open containers and replace lids

– Using a blunt knife to cut and spread

 

PE / Swimming 

– Remaining with the group during whole class PE session

– Movement, balance, and co-ordination based physical activity

– Developing gross motor skills using large play equipment

– Getting changed for PE / swimming as independently as possible – taking off/putting on items of clothing (socks, shoes, jumper)

– To explore moving through water

 

Fine Motor Skills 

 - Using pincer grip to grasp objects

– Manipulating objects to post into holes of different shapes

– Negotiating cause and effect toys independently

– Placing objects on a specific mark i.e. along a line

– Threading onto a string

– beads, cheerios etc

– Shoebox TEACCH tasks

– Holding a pen to make meaningful marks on paper

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