Our Holistic Curriculum
Our Holistic curriculum encompasses everything in school we do to support our pupils learning and social and emotional wellbeing. This curriculum includes life skills, community access and careers and therapies. This is a key element to our school curriculum provision.
At The Mendip School we believe that every child should have a journey through school that is personalised to their individual needs. Our holistic curriculum is embedded into everyday life at The Mendip School. Our Holistic Curriculum includes, but is not limited to:
- Forest School
- Behaviour Support – PROACT-SCIPr
- Animal Care/interaction
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Attention Autism
- Play Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Occupational Therapy
- Sensory room
- Soft play
- Emotions Coaching
- Zones of regulation
- Mental health and wellbeing support
- Pupil led Play activities
- Outdoor learning
- Community access
- Work Experience and opportunities
- Welly Walks
- Primary Play
- Friendship Activities
- Reward trips and motivators
- Mendip Money
- TAC PAC
- Disco Dough
- Comic Yoga
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY INCLUSION?
Often this is mistaken for being synonymous with mainstream placement but it is so much more and is at the heart of all education. Inclusion is a state of being, not place. It is the flexible process on a continuum of provision that brings about the right provision at the right time in the right place with the right people.
Inclusion is being connected and feeling a valued participant. Inclusion is beyond a political statement and accepts the cognitive, access and behavioural needs as givens but focusses on the personalised and the affective. It celebrates how far forward one moves and not how high one jumps. It denies failure but sets high and personally rewarding challenges that lead to an engaged and fulfilled sense of purpose.
Inclusion values both the quality of process and outcomes. It has an eye on the future but makes the most of the moment. Inclusion maximises learning both for its own sake and for its usefulness.
It prioritises engagement and enjoyment. It demands empathy, intellectual rigour, resilience, good humour and a belief in bringing the best out of everyone and that everyone has something to give.
Inclusion is the holy grail: a sense of individual purpose, recognition and belonging brought about by differentiation of provision, method, task and outcome. Inclusion is not the preserve of those with special educational needs and disabilities but, in pursuing excellence of inclusion, all pupils in the system will benefit.
Pet Therapy at The Mendip School
Pet Therapy refers to the use of animals as a way to help people cope with some physical and mental health conditions. We have dogs and chickens. Sophie
Animal Therapy can be used to help children improve their adaptive functioning and social, emotional and cognitive skills. Juliet
Individuals with Autism often suffer from difficulties which can be helped by a trained animal in pet therapy. Josh
The dogs are owned by staff of the school and the children love them! Chica, a black Labrador who is loved by all, is often in Natalie’s office. The animals can be very therapeutic for some children as some find it very relaxing and a way to take an appropriate break. James
The animals are a comfort to some students who like petting the dogs when they are stressed or sad or mad…it releases stress for them…the dogs love it when you play ball with them. Carys
All the children can walk around with the dogs and do whatever they want with them and whatever makes them happy. We look after them, clean them out, collect the eggs (and sell them!) and feed them. Looking after the pets helps us improve our life skills because we learn how to look after them. Grace
We find the animals comforting and it helps some of us with our learning and helps us concentrate on our work. Cameron
The children like the animals because they can interact with them including telling them stories, feeding them, taking the dogs on walks around the school and sitting with them. I think animals are important in the school because they help with some people’s needs and that could help them thrive. Archie
“We like having animals in school because they help students with anxiety and other problems. They also make the environment feel more welcoming”. Toby
Other pupils’ thoughts:
“Our animals are calming” Theo W
“We have fun playing fetch with Luna” Joe
“The guinea pigs are fun to hold” Lily
“The guinea pigs are soft and fluffy” Josh
“We love the chickens and we love to see what they’re doing” Ruby
“We love walking the dogs” Theo A
Soon the amazing responses from the School’s students was being seen by others outside of the school and the obvious benefits that this approach was having. This led to requests and recommendations to supply training in the PROACT-SCIPr-UK® approach throughout the UK.
Marion understood that each person had different needs and not just as a child but that those needs continued into adulthood. Loddon Training & Consultancy was created in the early 1990’s delivering training not only to teachers, parents and carers but also organisations supporting adults.
At The Mendip School we start by understanding children’s behaviour. Our exerience of working with children with ASD/SLCN shows that behaviours of concern result from not being able to communicate their wants and needs. Our approach identifies distress early and we respond positively, in a non-restrictive way. We only ever teach supportive physical interventions when it is essential to safety.
This proactive approach comes from the PROACT-SCIPr-UK® philosophy. It is based on evidence and values and takes the ‘whole-person approach’ to supporting people whose behaviour can be of concern and in turn, can restrict their own lives and independence.
This positive approach gives our pupils independence and self-control which enables them to live a fulfilling life.
For more information please speak to the schools trained PROACT-SCIPr-UK® instructors, Natalie Hanna, Emma Cooper, Iian Conley and Grant Williams.