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Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

Children’s School Lives Study: Report 7

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Creating a learning environment for Chris

Chris needs to work one-to-one  with a familiar adult to access and attend to most learning activities. He has a sociable nature and can enjoy joining the rest of the class at times for whole class routine circle times, although he tends take movement breaks from these after around 3 minutes, walking round the classroom.

Chris has a lot of proprioceptive sensory needs which he often meets by rocking, squeezing his knees to his chest, making loud vocalisations or banging his head with his arm. To support Chris in positively meeting these needs and to increase engagement with the task, the adult working with Chris must support him to complete activities from his sensory diet (prescribed by the occupational therapist) at regular intervals throughout the day and before the learning begins.

His need for movement breaks can also make it difficult for Chris to stay seated at a table for a long duration. Therefore, activities planned for Chris include lots of movement or can be brought to him at various locations around the classroom (e.g. presenting items being explored in a tray that can be carried to a location on the floor).

Chris responds very well to routine and familiar activities. As much as possible, a routine based daily timetable is followed with familiar activities taught at the same time and in the same/similar place each week. Chris will always be shown a photograph of the activity that is about to start immediately before. Flexibility in timing is crucial to accommodate enough time for Chris to fully process what is happening/about to happen. The high staff to student ratio in Chris’ class allows for this.

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