I identified 4 children in school who struggled to feel settled at 9am upon coming into school. I decided to set up a club they could attend, run by one of our TAs, where they would have half an hour in the Learning Lounge with games, activities and comforts to enable them to feel happier coming into school and therefore more settled at 9am and ready to learn.
“It makes me want to come to school because it’s exciting, I look forward to it.”
A child in year 1.
Summary of impact
Feedback from both the children and the TA who works with them is great. When I asked the member of staff to complete a feedback form she was happy to share outcomes. I asked if they thought the group had had a positive impact on the start of the school day the response was “Yes! They’re totally changed, they no longer cling to a parent or come in sad missing their parent. It gives us time to talk about our lives, show we care.” When asked if there had been an impact on anything else they said “They skip to class when we go to drop off, they’re more independent around school and confident with each other and other adults”
I identified the children by observation and talking to class teachers, TAs and our Thrive Practitioner. I then decided on a number of activities such as yoga, games, building, sensory play that would give them an opportunity to try lots of different things so they could be flexible with what they wanted to do each day depending on how they feel as each day is different for each child. I purchased the items, agreed to pay for the staff member to work an extra 2.5hrs per week and to meet the children together in the same place each day. The staff member we recruited to do this is one of our most consistent faces in school and I knew that she would be a fantastic person to lead this group. The children get snacks and drinks during the group if they want them too. We decided to stick to a small group with the view that one day they may graduate from the group and open up opportunities for other children who may later be identified in a similar way. A small group means they won’t be overwhelmed and can build new friendships easily with each other too.
What would we do differently
It sounds too good to be true but honestly we wouldn’t change anything at the moment. This group is working so well and it’s manageable all round.
I spent money on resources which are now available long term. They’re stored specifically for the use of this group. I spent time helping to sort out a garden area for their use on nice days which includes a water fountain, speaker and music player for sensory input and pond dipping equipment. We have bought bird baths and feeders so they can enjoy nature in what is otherwise a built up estate. We also pay the TA for her time involved with the project.
See how others have implemented this Big Idea
Sensory Circuits - St Marys Catholic Primary Ipswich
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