First Steps Pathway (Based at Discovery site)
The First Steps Pathway is designed to meet the needs of pupils following an adapted Early Years Curriculum Progression into a successive Pathway and an appropriate curriculum will depend upon the pupil’s barriers to learning, their needs and long-term goals.
At Hawthorns, we recognise that every child is unique and our EYFS profile changes year on year.
At present, we have three classes within the First Steps Pathway: Hazel, Ash and Oak.
At Hawthorns, our First Steps Pathway consists of reception children and a number of older children for whom an Early Years Curriculum remains appropriate.
Pupils will develop an awareness of others by being part of a group
Pupils will be actively engaged and adapt to a range of situations
Pupils will develop consistent responses in order to communicate wants, needs and preferences
Pupils will develop their skills of mutual and joint emotional regulation
Pupils will develop their skills of joint and independent attention
Pupils will learn through play and a specially adapted, meaningful topic-based curriculum
Learning through the Early Years Framework: Staff working in our Early Years classes support learning in the seven areas of Communication and Language, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World, Expressive Arts and Design. We consider each child’s unique needs, interests and stage of development when planning activities. Teaching and learning is delivered in a cross curricular way and planned activities often cover more than one area of learning.
Learning through play: Child-initiated play has an important role in children’s learning and development, because children explore and learn from their own thoughts and ideas through the freedom and creativity that child-initiated play enables. First-hand experiences allow children to develop an understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.
Child-initiated activities are then picked up on and supported by an adult – these are opportunities for ‘sustained shared thinking’ to take place.
Adult-led play activities are based on our own professional understanding of what we should teach our children and what experiences they should have. Through adult-led activities, we introduce children to new ideas, provide opportunities for them to develop their skills and ensure that they experience all areas of learning
Learning through continuous provision. The environment is arranged to enable learning through continuous provision. We recognise continuous provision as the resources we offer children as part of an enabling environment and the resources that are safe for children to explore independently. It is important to remember that continuous provision is not just provision that is continually accessible; it is also a selection of resources that continue children’s learning with or without adult support. We enhance the provision, adding additional resources according to children’s interests or to support a theme or topic. We ensure the provision is evolving, stimulating, creative and engaging
Learning through multi-sensory approaches using teaching methods that involve engaging more than one sense at a time. Involving the use of visual, auditory and kinesthetic-tactile pathways, a multisensory approach can enhance memory and ability to learn.
Learning through planned activities which draw upon the following interventions, methodologies and practices:
- Attention Autism to develop natural and spontaneous communication through the use of visually based and highly motivating activities.
- Visual Supports- Presenting information in a way that is meaningful to a learner to increase expressive and receptive language and increase independence. These include
– whole class visual timetable
– individual pupil timetables/schedules where appropriate
– use of objects/photographs/pictures/symbols of reference to support transitions
– Now and then boards
- Colourful Semantics communication boards: a method of teaching children how to understand and build sentences
- Pairing and Intensive Interaction: the process of building rapport and solid relationships through shared positive relationships
- Task Analysis- Breaking down complex skills or behaviours in to smaller steps.
- TEACCH- To support pupils with ASC, the use of structured teaching across the areas of physical structure, visual schedules, work systems and task organisation.
- PLAY Autism Intervention Project: an intervention to engage the child in a playful way that promotes his or her development.
- Sensory motor strategies and resources is any equipment or technique that increases or decreases sensory input to help a pupil to focus and learn
- The Zones of Regulation-a curriculum geared towards helping pupils gain skills in consciously regulating their actions by increasing control and problem-solving abilities.
- Transactional supports: desirable hands on activities, use of visuals, concrete and pictorial, responsive adults who notice subtle signals of energy/emotional state
- Elklan Approach: To supports pupil’s language and communication development in a structured manner
- Wellbeing profiles: identifies key supports for each child to promote and maintain positive wellbeing in the areas of Social and emotional, physical and sensory, environmental, educational and communication.
The impact of the curriculum, interventions and strategies are measured through ongoing assessment and target setting.
- Personalised Learning Plans: Are produced termly and map out children’s targets in line with their EHCP outcomes and how the development of these skills will be facilitated by carefully matched provision.
- Early Years Foundation stage: Reception children are baselined and tracked throughout the year and termly to assess them alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage month bands. At the end of the EYFS, staff complete the EYFS profile for each child.
- Evidence for Learning: An assessment system to evidence, assess, review and plan for meeting the unique needs of our SEND learners linked to pupil’s PLP’s and our key skills
Pupils within Hazel class who have specific needs in the areas of Social Communication and Emotional Regulation will follow aspects of the SCERTS curriculum. SCERTS is an acronym for Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Supports.
The aspirational goal for all pupils is to become confident and competent communicators so that they are able to actively participate in social activities. Pupils who are able to communicate effectively have access to increased opportunities for play and learning and are able to participate more fully in enjoyable social relationships. In SCERTS social communication is addressed in two areas; Joint Attention and Symbol Use.
Emotional regulation is the ability to be actively engaged and be able to adapt to different situations. The child’s ability to regulate emotional arousal so they are more able to attend to, process and filter environmental and sensory information. In SCERTS emotional regulation is addressed in two areas; Mutual-Regulation and Self-Regulation.
The curriculum will be guided by the EQUALS scheme of work: My Play and Leisure.
The scheme outlines learning opportunities, staff’s role in enabling learning and what progression might look like in structured play (adult initiated) and free play (child initiated).
Within free play, the levels are:
- Sensorimotor play
- Relational play
- Functional Play
- Symbolic play
- Socio-dramatic play
We recoginse that although these levels of play are broadly developmental, they do not automatically relate to either age or cognitive ability levels.
Play, as a fundamental area of learning, is an ideal opportunity to develop skills of social interaction and progressing through the social dimensions of play:
We recognise that although both the levels and social dimensions of play are broadly developmental indicators, they are not linear and progress is not dependent on achievement within the previous level
Pupils in Oak class who have been assessed as ready for subject specific learning will be taught 1-1 or in small groups:
- Reading: Following Hawthorns Guided Reading Framework
- Phonics: Following Letters and Sounds Framework
- Maths: Following White Rose Scheme of Work
They will also develop knowledge and skills using a thematic cross curricular approach to learning in
- Science: Following EQUALS SOW
- Foundation subjects: Following the EYFS framework and Hawthorns skills progressions