At Millennium Primary School we have a a Designated Special Provision (DSP) which is a smaller space in our school for up to six children with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children who are allocated to our DSP spend time within our provision, but also access their mainstream classroom at different points during the day. Only children who are allocated to our DSP are able to access the provision. To be able to have a DSP place, children need an ASD diagnosis and an ECHP (Education Health Care Plan). Once an application is put through, this will go to the DSP panel which is held termly.
To apply for a place in our DSP please see the SEND Admission Policy and Special Deginated Provision Document
Most of the children in our DSP, begin their day in the provision with our DSP teacher and another member of DSP staff. They have time to settle, usually with an individual sensory circuit. They then access phonics and reading in a small group or individually and throughout the day they have English, Maths as well as other subjects from the wider curriculum.
Where appropriate, our pupils still benefit from National Curriculum coverage of Maths and English at a level that is suitable for them. There is also a strong emphasis on functional Literacy and Numeracy skills even for those pupils who are not yet ready to access the National Curriculum or need a more modified approach. These are delivered in tailored Maths and English sessions every morning and also through practical activities in the afternoon such as sensory groups, individual or group Speech and Language sessions, and practical life skills sessions.
Our children learn about number and place value. They develop fluency with their counting skills starting from 0-20 and progressively working their way up until they can count to 100 forwards and backwards securely. They continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of addition and subtraction by finding one more and one less and number bonds to 10. They learn how to use manipulatives such as cubes and a number line to help them count and recognise numbers. They begin to look at money and budgeting skills to develop practical application in everyday scenarios.
Older children who are able to, have a focus on getting back on track with maths. We identified any gaps in their knowledge through regular assessments and then target these areas. One particular area we start with is place value and number as this underpins much of the other learning that takes place. We work on accuracy and efficiency with regards to mental and written methods of calculations for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division broken down into many steps, including a mix of number and word problems.
Children in the DSP focus on using their oracy skills to develop their ability to write short and simple sentences, which build to longer pieces of writing when they are ready. They learn how to use punctuation correctly, beginning with full stops and capital letters. Children use their language skills to improve their communication and interactions. This enables them to articulate their ideas and thoughts which in turn helps them to become descriptive writers. There is a particular focus on spellings and how to use their knowledge of phonics to spell words.
The learning in the DSP acts as a vehicle to teach the skills that are related to the pupils’ specific needs as part of the National Curriculum expectations. However, in the DSP we also focus on:
KEY FUNCTIONAL SKILLS- including communication, application of mathematical and number skills and using information and communication technology.
SKILLS FOR LEARNING- including working with others in a team, reflecting on learning and problem solving and independent inquiry.
THINKING SKILLS- sensory awareness and perception and philosophy
PERSONAL SKILLS AND OTHER PRIORITIES - physical, orientation and mobility skills, organisation and study skills, personal and social skills, daily living skills and leisure and recreational skills.
Finally, as a school, we recognise that in order for pupils to fully engage in learning experiences they need to use their ‘thinking’ and ‘feeling’ brain together but strong feelings such as confusion, anxiety or anger can overwhelm some pupils and make it difficult for them to make effective use of their whole brain. Through developing emotionally literate environments and providing learning opportunities through activities such as Drama and sessions such as Speech and Language, Lego Therapy and Social Skills, our key aims are to enable pupils to:
- recognise their emotions in order to label and find them
- understand their emotions in order to become reflective and effective learners
- handle and manage their emotions in order to develop and sustain positive relationships
- appropriately express emotions in order to develop as ‘rounded people’ who are able to help themselves and, in turn, those around them.