Activities

October 2017

 

In October Heathfield School held a special week to celebrate AAC Awareness month (Augmentative and Alternative Communication).

Across the school we saw a huge variety of communication strategies being used to help support the children’s learning and engagement to activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the week we shared some singing and signing sessions with children from St Francis. Parents were invited to join in the sessions and we used a range of communication strategies to enable all the children in the group to take part in choosing a favourite song and joining in with the song.


July 2017

 

Just before the half term holiday the children had the opportunity to participate in our first ever 'Outdoor Week.' Each day they ventured into our fabulous school grounds and experienced a variety of different activities which covered subjects from across the whole curriculum. The weather was not kind to us, but we carried on undeterred. Outdoor learning continues, no matter what the weather!

The activities included:

A to B Challenge

A chance to work as a team and to test your skills of communication! The children were provided with a variety of objects and were tasked with getting from point A to point B, without touching the ground!

Orienteering

Here children searched for flags in the hedgerows and field. Some of them were looking for flags with letters on which, when all were found, revealed a secret message -'Keep fit and healthy!'. Others looked for and matched symbols of minibeasts and, just like in real orienteering, used a hole punch to show that they had been successful in finding them.

Trim Trail with Positional Language

Can you get from one end of the trim trail to the other, with the added proviso of following sets of directions? The children went up, down, left, right, clockwise, anticlockwise, over and under in this exciting physical challenge - great for a brain work out and for improving those all important motor skills!

Pond Dipping

Perhaps the highlight of the week, with the chance to delve into the depths of the school pond, which lies adjacent to our beautiful new outdoor classroom, and to identify what lurked there. With the guidance of our new and knowledgeable Outdoor Learning Teacher, Maria, the children found tadpoles galore as well as water fleas, waterlice (like woodlice but aquatic) and even newts! (a protected species, so a very rare treat.)

Tree Sprirts

Our talented art teacher, Helen, led the children in discovering the legend behind ancient tree spirits. They had the opportunity to make a clay tree spirit to be displayed outdoors and also to participate in a Celtic dance around the trees, thanking the gods for Summer.

Journey Sticks

Each child took a walk outdoors and, as they went, gathered natural bounty to attach to their sticky journey stick! At the end of their travels they were able to make these into unique pieces of jewellery in the form of a bracelet or crown.

Natural Treasure Hunt

There's a wealth of beautiful flora and fauna within our school grounds, just waiting to be discovered. The children loved racing around searching for some of them to tick off their lists - who would be first to find everything?

Whole School Picnic on International Outdoor Day

 

Armed with our picnic blankets, we adorned our freshly made natural jewellery and congregated in the school hall (it was rather soggy outside!) where we enjoyed our hot dogs or packed lunch. A fantastic end to an exciting and action packed week. I wonder what we will get up to throughout the next year and what new discoveries await us every day in our wonderful outdoors?


Duckling Diary - May 2017

    

         

   

                 

Grounds Day - May 2017

  

    

 

 

 

Communication News - April 2017

 

At Heathfield School we have been working hard to develop communication for the children. Across the school we are seeing a huge variety of communication strategies being put in place to support children with their acquisition of language. Our aim is to provide all children with communication autonomy. This means every class is expected to provide a total communication approach and an environment that encourages this autonomy. All teachers this term have had the privilege to attend the Elklan course to challenge our thinking and embed practical language development in the school curriculum.

       

 

Some examples of Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) being used in school include Makaton Signing; Communication Books; Proloquo2Go (high tech app); PODD book, PECS and speech devices. We also have a number of language strategies including the use of barrier games, Lego Therapy and Colourful Semantics.

Each week at Heathfield School we have a

 

This is to support staff in developing their signing and is linked to the theme of the week, from Red Nose Day to Easter and our current school value happiness! Each class is encouraged to teach children topic signs to support in their own personal communication development and confidence to communicate with others.

We are currently running Level 1-4 Makaton course in school for parents, carers and families. This has been a great success and hope to run more in the future.


Safer Internet Day - April 2017s

In the Spring Term Heathfield School held a Safer Internet Day; and themed week with computer based activities.

For this each class revisited the school’s E-Safety Rules embedding them as part of the learning and teaching pupils how to keep themselves safe online.

During the week pupils took part in a variety of activities with a particular focus on using cameras and learning how to ask our friends’ permission to take a photograph.  We also used different control devices in cooking.   


Marwell - April 2017

This half term saw six classes visit Marwell Zoo.

Cherry, Pine and Fir classes used the trip as a 'hook' to meet the animals at first hand which appeared in our book 'Big Red Bath'. The children were totally engaged in observing the animals and enjoyed naming and signing them. The visit also gave us meaningful opportunities to practise our communication skills back in school as the children recalled their experiences. We were immensely proud of how the children coped with waking around the large site and the enthusiasm they showed us throughout the day.

Redwood, Ash and Chestnut classes have enjoyed the topic of 'Become an Explorer'. They had learned about different habitats in class and were experts at spotting the animals that came from these different areas of the world. They really enjoyed their workshop where they got a hands on experience of looking at different animal artefacts. It helped them to understand how important conservation is and enriched their learning linked to their chosen book -'Elephant Diaries'.

 

 

  

Golf - April 2017

During the first half of the spring term we have been lucky enough to have a golf coach, Dan, coming in on a Wednesday afternoon working with Maple, Redwood and The Treehouse children. Dan is a coach from the Christey-Clover Golf Academy. The children have listened attentively, enjoyed learning some new skills, building upon their hand-eye co-ordination and having a go at a sport that traditionally they wouldn’t have the chance to try. The Christey-Clover Golf Academy have passed on how much the coach has enjoyed working with our pupils too. So keep an eye out if you’re on the fairway, you may see a Heathfield pupil attempting a hole in one!

          

    


Red Nose Day - April 2017

 

We had lots of fun raising money for Red Nose Day. Our red noses were a huge hit and we sold every one – thank you! As our dressing up theme was ‘Wear what makes you happy,’ we saw lots of wonderful outfits from Super Mario and princesses to pyjamas!

Each class planned activities, such as baking red nose cakes and face painting, as well as learning about how the money raised helps others in this country and across Africa.

We had a special visit from Cai at Juggle Puppet who showed us some amazing circus skills; then we all had a go ourselves! We tried juggling with scarves and balls, balancing peacock feathers, spinning plates and tricks with devil sticks. After our assembly we had a Red Nose Day dance party.

The day was great fun and we raised £176.95 for Comic Relief!!!