The Garden Room
Some of our children with additional needs may access intervention groups within our Garden Room where they have access to specialist provision suited to their needs and targets. These groups support with a range of skills including fine and gross motor skills, social skills, resilience, emotional and sensory regulation and speech, language and communication. Groups are run by members of our Inclusion team but children are encouraged to be as independent as possible and explore tasks in their own way. This provision is closely monitored by the SENDCos and progress is evaluated half termly. To find out what groups we are currently offering, take a look at our 'Garden Room Spring 22-23 Offer'.
Speech and Language
At Montem, our primary need for our pupils, in terms of SEND, is speech, language and communication needs. We employ 3 trained speech and language support assistants and as a result are able to offer targeted support to children with a speech and language programme in the form of practical, exciting and engaging sessions.
The main focus for speech and language and social skills is attention and listening. Our speech and language support assistant delivers ‘Attention Autism: Bucket Time’ sessions to children in Nursery and Reception who have been identified as needing attention and listening support. Furthermore, we also offer small group phonics, SALT and social skills interventions delivered by our trained support assistants.
Staff focus on supporting children with vocabulary development as well as beginning to focus more heavily on social skills. Our child and family support workers, nurture assistants and speech and language assistants offer a range of practical interventions which allow children to begin to develop and crucially practise key social skills in a safe environment. The children are then supported to begin to use these newly acquired skills within the classroom and during social situations such as on the playground. Vocabulary development is designed to complement the language that is being introduced in the classroom. Interventions are designed to help pre-teach and support the over-learning of key vocabulary as well as introducing new words and phrases.
In Key Stage 2, we aim to embed the skills that the child has learnt throughout their years at Montem Academy. We are responsive to the pupils' needs and alongside our Speech and Language Therapist, we assess any key gaps and begin to tailor social skills sessions towards developing independence and key social skills that are needed at Secondary school. It is our belief that all children must leave Montem able to be independent learners with the confidence and skills to carry out key life skills. Where possible, we move towards larger group sessions to help children to begin to develop skills such as empathy, reason and emotional understanding. These sessions are delivered by our child support worker, speech and language assistant and learning mentor and focus on being practical, relevant and ultimately, fun!
British Sign Language (BSL) and Makaton
We have many staff members with Makaton qualifications which means we are more equipped to support our children with more complex needs who may not yet be able to communicate verbally. We also run a BSL club at lunchtime in KS2 which children love to attend to expand their communication skills.
SEND Sports Competitions and Trips
We regularly take part in SEND specific sports competitions against other mainstream Slough schools. Our most recent events have been Boccia and Curling. These events are a great opportunity to use our social skills in context and to work together as a team. We also offer extra-curricular trips to some of our pupils to develop confidence, life skills and independence.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
At Montem, some of our children may struggle with their mental health and wellbeing and require support beyond what can be provided in class. For these children, we offer a range of provision that aims to improve their resilience, wellbeing and ability to recognise and manage their emotions.
Emotional Literacy Support (ELSA)
Our ELSA sessions are run by Mrs Aldridge, Mrs Tiwana and Mr Turab who all hold the ELSA qualification. The sessions are 1:1 and cover areas such as social skills, emotions, bereavement, social stories and therapeutic stories, anger management, self-esteem, counselling skills such as solution focus and friendship at an age appropriate level. Sessions allow pupils to talk about their situation without feeling judged or criticised, and help pupils develop new skills and coping strategies that enable them to experience greater success.
Yoga and Relaxation
Yoga and Relaxation sessions run for children across KS1 and KS2 who may need additional support with their wellbeing or may be experiencing anxiety or trauma. Pupils will be invited to participate in songs, games, yoga and listen to music with their peers. They will practise relaxation and self-soothing techniques like meditation and breathing patterns. Pupils will explore how we can express ourselves through music and movement and learn how some sounds are associated with emotions.
Child and Family Support Work
Our Child and Family Support Workers, Mrs Aldridge and Mrs Bishop, provide crucial support for children’s wellbeing. They work with children 1:1 or in groups such as sibling groups or friendship groups and can work on confidence, social skills, self-esteem, relationships and more. They build strong relationships with the children and their families in order to provide a safe space for children to explore their feelings. Coffee mornings and drop-ins run weekly to provide more support to parents and carers.
Sometimes, families may benefit from support beyond what we can offer within the classroom. Our Child and Family Support Workers can signpost to external agencies such as:
LEGO® Therapy is an intervention that helps children to develop their social communication skills. This intervention employs the use of three key roles ‘Engineer’ ‘Builder’ and ‘Supplier’ to build a model together using LEGO® bricks. This is facilitated by a trained adult, although child led, to allow the children a means of developing their social communication skills.
Lego Talk Sessions
Pupils will participate in group sessions during which they will have a role: builder, supplier or engineer. These roles require the children to listen carefully to others and follow or give instructions with multiple information carrying words. Pupils will work together in their team to achieve a shared goal - building a model out of Lego bricks - whilst developing their attention and listening skills. Pupils will develop their knowledge of prepositions.
The Communication Cafe was set up as an additional breakfast club which children are invited to in order to develop their social, communication and language skills. The café is run by trained SEND LPPs and delivers a total communication approach.
Communication Cafe for KS1 and KS2
The Communication Café runs Monday-Thursday from 8:00-8:40am. On arrival, the children sit down, wait for their order to be taken (by other children) and then choose their food. They must use their own communication method to order and must help to prepare their breakfast. Children then sit with their peers and eat their meal whilst conversing. After eating the children take part in a range of practical activities each week to improve their communication skills and set them up for a great day at school.