Chinese New Year and Pancakes

We have had a very busy week in Beavers. As well as settling into our new classroom, we have been celebrating Chinese New Year and Shrove Tuesday.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – We have been getting used to our new environment and new routines. We have all adapted very well and are enjoying having more space to explore and learn. We have enjoyed lots of sensory experiences linked to our celebrations. This included trying noodles and pancakes, developing the skills of using a knife, fork and spoon and using our senses to explore.

Creative and Physical Development – We have used our creative skills to create pieces of artwork linked to Chinese New Year. We are learning to make choices linked to what colours we want to use and how we want to create our pictures. We enjoyed our music lesson with Bev and love to dance to lots of different types of music. We had our last swimming session of the term. We are constantly becoming more confident in the water. We are able to get in and out of the water independently and are getting better at floating and moving around in the water.

Communication and Language – We are continuously developing our communication skills using ALD’s, pictures, symbols and words. This week we used ALDs to help us to make choices with our artwork and we took part in daily Attention Autism and Sensory story sessions. We have enjoyed our new book corner this week and are beginning to develop independence when accessing books and are learning to use them appropriately. We have enjoyed making marks in different ways including using pens, chalk and the Interactive Whiteboard.

Problem Solving – We always enjoy problem solving activities. This week we have enjoyed exploring Numicon in water, play dough and rice. Our adults model counting and using mathematical vocabulary to help us to develop our number and problem solving skills. We have lots of puzzles and toys that help us to develop our problem solving skills. These include jigsaws, pegs, posting and ring stackers.

All change for Beavers

This week we have been busy completing activities linked to all areas of the curriculum. We have been developing our communication skills, practising using symbols and Makaton signs to request more and to communicate when we have finished. We are learning to use ALDs to communicate what we need and want. We have been developing our PSED skills by taking part in turn taking activities, waiting for our turn and watching our friends. We are continuously developing our problem solving skills, both in everyday activities such as learning to put on and take off our coats and tidying up at the end of an activity, and by completing activities and games linked to shape and number. We always enjoy sensory activities in beavers. These activities are planned for us to help us to regulate our emotions and meet our individual needs. Some of us like messy play, such as foam, play dough and rice. Some of us like to move about and enjoy the trampette, yoga ball and rocker. Some of us like visual sensory activities, such as bubbles and lights.

Our afternoon snack time is an important time of the day for many reasons. We have learnt to sit at the table with our friends to eat our food. It is a social time of the day that helps us to develop important life skills and independence.

We enjoyed our music lesson this week. Bev, our music teacher, brought in a gong and played it for us. It was very loud, too loud for some of us, but it was an interesting sound and we could see and feel the vibrations when it was hit.

At the end of this week, we have been busy setting up our new classroom. The room is ready for Beavers to move into next week.

Another busy week

Attention Autism is an important part of our daily routine which helps to develop the early fundamentals of language including awareness of others, attention, listening, shared attention, switching attention and turn-taking. We have become more and more focused during the year and enjoy ‘bucket time’.

Another important part of our day is our sensory story. Our sensory story at the moment is called, ‘That’s not my Snowman’. We enjoy listening to, watching and feeling the different elements of the story. This is not only an important sensory experience, but it also helps to develop our early reading skills, engagement and concentration.

We have been working hard in our PE lessons to develop our engagement in a range of physical activities, leading to us developing skills such as co-ordination and balance We are all now engaging in climbing and balance activities and are learning to move in different ways. We are also learning to develop our independence and confidence when completing these movements. These skills will help us in everyday life.

We always enjoy our swimming/water confidence sessions. Some of us are more confident than others, but we are all improving and are developing skills such as entering/exiting the pool safely, floating and moving around in the water.

Ice Worlds

We have taken advantage of the cold weather this week and have taken part in lots of activities linked to our Ice World topic. We enjoyed exploring the frozen gloop (cornflour and water). It was an interesting texture and we enjoyed breaking it and sprinkling it.

The large sheet of ice with red food colouring gave us lots of problem solving science opportunities. We enjoyed pushing down on the ice and watching the water move underneath it. Over time, the ice melted and became thinner. We were then able to break pieces off. We watched how the ice changed as it melted and also put things onto the ice and watched them slide on it.

We also investigated ice with numicon frozen inside. As the ice melted, we were able to release the numicon. The adults modelled counting the holes in the numicon and placing on the pegs. This sensory activity combined several problem solving skills involving number and science.

We also enjoyed lots of other activities covering all areas of our curriculum.

We always like to listen to songs and dance. These are our new songs for our topic. Moving to music is not only lots of fun, but is an important part of our physical and creative curriculum.

Christopher was our Superstar this week 🤩

Happy New Year

We all arrived back into school for the New term, happy and ready to learn. We had our first swimming lesson for this term. We are getting much more independent with getting into the water and are learning to use the steps safely. Some of us have more confidence than others in the water but we are all improving and our confidence is growing. We are learning to move about in the water independently and to float with and without adult support. We enjoy playing with the toys in the water and interacting with our adults. Some of us enjoy going under the water and being splashed. We are looking forward to our weekly sessions this half term to continue to develop our skills.

We complete lots of activities in class to help us to develop our early reading and writing skills. Our daily Attention Autism sessions help to develop our concentration and our visual timetable and now/next help us to learn to read from left to right. We also enjoy looking at books independently and with an adult. We enjoy bright and colourful books and books with textured pages. We enjoy making marks in lots of different ways. As well as using crayons, chalks and pens, we make marks in different materials, such as flour, glitter and cloud dough.

We enjoyed our cooking session again this week. We are continuing to develop a range of skills. Pouring, stirring and rolling are all skills that we are using. We are also learning to sit and work as a group, taking turns and watching our peers. We will be continuing to have regular group cooking sessions and will keep you updated with our progress.

Christmas, Christmas, Christmas 🎄🎅

We had a very exciting Christmas themed week this week. We took part in lots of Christmas and Winter themed activities, including having our Christmas party and parent activity sessions.

We had lots of fun at our Christmas party. We enjoyed our party food and then enjoyed music and dancing in the hall. We also had a very special visitor. Father Christmas came to see us. Some of us were not too sure about this new person, but some of us enjoyed meeting him and were particularly interested in his big white beard.

Developing relationships is a very important part of our curriculum. We are learning to initiate and enjoy interactions with familiar adults and are learning to interact in a positive way. We always have lots of positive interactions and this week was no exception. We have enjoyed singing, dancing and intensive interactions this week. This has included us using our own means of communication to initiate the interactions and to request more of something. It has given us sensory experiences, including sound and touch and has helped us to develop creative and physical skills through music and movement.

Our parent activity session was very successful and was enjoyed by all. We enjoyed Christmas themed sensory activities including cinnamon play dough and a Christmas fruit sensory tray enabling us to use our senses of touch, smell and taste. We also enjoyed some Christmas themed painting. It was lovely to see the interactions during this session and everyone’s obvious enjoyment.

We have had a wonderful term and are looking forward to the new year. Have a wonderful Christmas and we will see you in 2024.

Baking and sensory fun

This week we enjoyed making short bread. We all took part in this activity and helped at each stage of the recipe. We took turns to pour the ingredients into the bowl. We don’t find waiting and turn taking easy so these are very important skills for us to practise and we did very well today. We then enjoyed mixing the ingredients together and rolling out the dough. Baking helps us to practise lots of skills. Pouring, mixing and rolling helps us to develop our hand eye coordination and are important early play skills. Watching the ingredients being weighed and watching how the ingredients change as they are mixed together are part of our problem solving curriculum. We also used our communication skills to communicate whether we wanted to take our turn. Most importantly, we had lots of fun and chose to participate showing enjoyment and engagement.

As always, we enjoyed many sensory activities this week. We all have different sensory needs and our activities are planned to ensure these needs are being met. This week’s sensory activities included coloured ice mark making, shaving foam, dry sensory ingredients (rice, pasta, porridge oats), bubbles, water play, painting and lots of physical activities, including trampoline, rocker, yoga ball, spinner and scarves.

Musical Fun

We always enjoy music in Beavers and this week was no exception. Bev brought in lots of different materials and the drums and we enjoyed feeling the different textures and listening to the different sounds and beats from the drums. The adults enjoyed it too.

We really enjoy joining in with the parachute songs that are part of our daily routine. Some of us have learnt to anticipate what is going to happen when we see the parachute and will come straight away to join in. We are learning to hold the parachute and to join in with the actions of the song, jumping at the correct time and going underneath the parachute. We develop lots of skills in PE, including engagement, perseverance and gross motor skills such as balance and coordination.

In Beavers, we are always trying to develop our independence and self care skills. This includes becoming more independent with taking off and putting on our coats and with getting ready for home time. Some of us are able to find our own lockers to fetch our bags and some of us are the developing the skills to be able to do this.

Jigsaws are not only fun to complete but they also help us to develop different skills. They help us to develop our hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. They also require problem solving skills and perseverance. We are learning to persevere with tasks that we do not find easy and also to ask for help when we need it.

Oliver was our Superstar this week ⭐️🤩.

People who help us

This week, as part of our ‘People who help us’ topic, we role played being doctors. We enjoyed using the bandages and the adults enjoyed it too.

As usual, we engaged in a variety of sensory activities, giving us the opportunity to explore using a range of senses. We enjoy using our hands to explore wet and dry textures and some of us enjoy taking off our shoes and socks and feeling different textures with our feet.

We combined our sensory play with numicon tiles, helping us to develop our early number skills. Adults model mathematical language such as numbers and shapes and encourage. We enjoy pushing the numicon into the cloud dough where it fills the holes and into play dough. This play is important for us to help us develop early number skills and understanding.

Diwali, problem solving and communication

This week we have celebrated Diwali. We created Rangoli patterns using coloured rice, by spreading glue onto our picture and sprinkling on rice. We also made Diyas using clay. Both of these creative activities helped us to develop our fine motor skills and creative skills. For both activities we had to use our hands in different ways, moulding and rolling the clay for the diyas and grasping the rice and sprinkling it in the correct place for the rangoli pictures. We also needed to engage in the activities and focus on what we were doing. We also tried some samosas and some sweets. Some of us were happy to try these foods and some of us were more reluctant.

In Beavers, we are always developing our communication and language skills. This includes learning to use words, symbols and signs to communicate and to learn how to make marks in different ways. This week we used dabbers to make spotty pictures for children in need and were given other opportunities to make marks. Playing with toys helps us to develop our language and communication. The adults in class help us to name objects and to learn new words and signs. The curiosity approach is an activity which helps us to develop the concentration and engagement needed to enable us to develop our language skills.

We have continued our work at the work stations this week to help us to develop our problem solving skills, engagement and hand eye coordination. We have also used sensory activities combined with numicon to help us to develop our early number skills.

Musa was our superstar this week.