The Den and Home Learning
Dear parents of children attending The Den,
As you are aware, a great deal of how your child learns is planned individually and daily, using a combination of guided teaching, “my turn-your turn”, independent, group and whole class teaching methods.
Alongside the academic learning tasks, staff within The Den use many different teaching approaches aligned to ASD and SEND, such as TEACCH, PACE, ELSA and emotion coaching.
It is therefore difficult to replicate this at home.
However, I would suggest that you explore the resources within the relevant Greswold School website Year Group folders for your child as these contain lots of very useful and fun learning links. Alongside this, I shall continue to update the Greswold Inclusion and SEND page and use Tapestry to keep in touch and add familiar and helpful links for our children which you may find useful.
In terms of learning that you can continue at home, I would also advise the following:
• Lots of counting, forwards and backwards, as well as counting everyday items.
• Practical maths games, such as hunting for shapes around the home, counting different coins, simple card games, board games or puzzles.
• Sharing stories, both books and video, and asking your child questions about the characters, pictures and the order of events.
• Developing fine motor skills by colouring and drawing, using playdoh, writing numbers and letters, their name or other letters or words they can attempt.
• Simple exercises, balances, dancing and movement will help their core strength and gross motor skills.
You may also wish to add any examples of home learning to your child’s Tapestry account.
As an example of the routine your child would be used to, the following is a typical timetable for a day within The Den:
• Morning register, then individual tasks. These usually include a maths, writing and reading activity. Most children within The Den complete these activities in a total of 20 minutes or less, some take longer or have breaks between each task.
• Exercise and singing, sometimes accompanied with musical instruments.
• Main short teaching input led by Mr Jones (usually a combination of speaking and listening skills, taking turns, maths, fine motor skills and answering questions).
• Snack Time. Turn-taking, sharing, speaking/listening, choosing a snack or using communication boards to make choices.
• Outside play time.
• Phonics – some children attend their phonics teaching with children from their year groups, others remain in The Den for whole class practice of sounds and blending skills.
• Lunch time.
• In the afternoons, The Den becomes a focus for creative activities, such as painting, making, drawing, sensory exploration, reading and library times, outdoor forest school and free choice exploration and child-led learning.
Throughout the day, we use songs as signals for transition times, such as tidying up, washing hands and lunch time. This all helps to structure the day for the children. We also have a dedicated P.E. time involving playing games with small and large equipment, platforms and benches to develop strength, agility and team work.
The Den offers your children a nurturing, calm, positive and welcoming environment in which to learn and explore.
Every interaction, however small, is a learning opportunity.
We are also blessed to have two very special commodities: time and space.
It is this time and space which allows each child to learn and grow at their own pace and for us to develop our understanding of their unique strengths and needs.
On behalf of all the staff working with your children in the Den, I wish you all a safe and enjoyable time with your children during this period of uncertainty.
ELSA 14-Day Home Activities:
Here are a series of mindful, craft activities which are designed by the wonderful ELSA support team.
Click on the PDF file below called "ELSA 14 Day Home Challenge" to get started.
Chose an activity by clicking on the blue text. This will then link straight to the resource on the website. Have fun!
ELSA Support 14 Day Photo Challenge:
A photo challenge for you and/or your children from the people at ELSA Support.
Each day you are prompted to take a photograph.
This could help to create a positive attitude and also give a purpose or focus for each day.
All photos can be taken in your house, your garden, your yard or during your daily exercise.
Click this link to see the photo suggestions:
Speech and Language Help
https://speechandlanguage.info/parents is helpful for parents of children with speech and language difficulties.
Miss Lansdown has found a nice set of pictures which can be used at home to show children choices for activities
(please see the .pdf file called Visual Supports).
This is similar to the system we use within The Den and that autistic children often find crucial for communication, comfort and structure.
They can be used to create a timetable or to show activities which will happen "Now" and "Next".
Please also take some time to look through this great section from the National Autistic Society which gives further guidance and resources for the use of visuals (see attached website link called Using Visuals at Home).
Here is a reminder of how to use the column method to add and subtract and some practice activities.
There are also some more resources and activities to help with time and fractions.
(The fractions game has three parts: instructions, cut outs and board and an example of the finished activity).
Don't worry if some of it feels tricky to start with. Take your time and remember you are doing really well.
Here is a guide to the 'Blanks' levels of questions, alongside a Level 3 and Level 4 reasoning activity.
These activities help children to develop and practice understanding of language, verbal reasoning,
inference and thinking skills.