At Gilbert Scott Primary school we have two 6 place MLD Units. In FS/KS1 (Foundation Stage/Key Stage 1) we have the Butterfly group and in KS2 (Key Stage 2) we have the Sunshine group.
It is our aim to provide an inclusive and caring learning environment which enables our children to make excellent progress within a mainstream school.
Each unit is headed by a specialist teacher and supported by trained SEN TAs. All our children are statemented and are allocated a place in the Unit by the SEN Placement panel.
FS/KS1 MLD UNIT-The Butterfly Group
The children attend the FS/KS1 MLD unit for the whole morning. During the morning the children are given the opportunity to learn through play, develop their listening and social skills and to develop their maths and literacy. The morning is broken down into activities covering TEACCH tray time exercises, greeting time, table top activities and play. The children have a mixture of 1:1 teaching and small group work. The SEN unit uses a visual timetable, visuals and signing to aid language, instructions and understanding. We have a ‘time out’ place and individual behaviour charts and a reward system in place to help with behaviour and the development of right and wrong. The children also have access to a soft play room and weekly swimming sessions in the summer term.
KS2 MLD UNIT- The Sunshine Group
The children attend the KS2 MLD Unit each morning for Literacy, Maths, reading, Speaking and listening, social skills and some learning through play. The work is highly differentiated and whilst children are encouraged to work independently, there is always support where needed. All children have the use of visuals, a multi-sensory approach to learning, 1:1 and small group teaching to support instructions, language and learning. We have established routines, as part of the Unit, which cover; greeting time, social skills and learning time with reward systems in place for appropriate behaviour and learning, to aid concentration, confidence and behaviour. In KS2 we follow the school passport system to promote good behaviour. There is a timeout place to help with understanding of right and wrong although this is not usually needed.
Each afternoon the children return to their main stream classroom with TA support to continue their learning in the foundation subjects. At our last Ofsted the inspector commented on how hard it was to pick out our SEN children within the mainstream classes because they were so well integrated and included.
‘The support of teaching assistants allows pupils from the two MLD units to access the full curriculum in the afternoons when the pupils are well integrated with their peers. This has a positive impact on their learning and self esteem.’ OFSTED Report 2011
Additional SEN Support
Where necessary, interventions are put in place to offer additional support for example, we have a trained speech and language TA who takes groups of children out of class for 20-30 minute sessions. There is also a listening group to support children who have listening difficulties. Several of our children are using the Toe-by-Toe, a scheme which helps children to develop their phonetic knowledge and reading skills. This is especially helpful for children with dyslexia.
‘Pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities and those who are at the early stages of learning to speak English make good, and sometimes outstanding, progress due to a range of highly tailored and well-managed support programmes which are delivered well by teachers and teaching assistants.’ OFSTED Report 2011.