The Mighty Oak – the Acorn that stood its ground

Middlesex Masons supporting the Community at the Acorn Centre, Ashford Park Primary School.

Using the analogy that from acorns tall oaks will grow, so might support given for children with Communication and Interaction needs enable them to understand their environment and as they develop as people to see the importance of this.

The Middlesex Masonic Charity has awarded a Grant of £1,348 to help supply a summer house at the Acorn Centre, Ashford Park Primary School, allowing the staff to take small groups of children so that they may learn about their outside space in all weathers.

John Briggs, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward and David Chambers from the Middlesex Masonic Charity presented a cheque and a plaque to two of the Teachers.

Over the Summer the staff at the centre turned an unusable garden space into a sensory garden, which they funded themselves.

They did all of the ground work and purchased the equipment from their own pockets.

About the Acorn Centre –

The Acorn Centre is for children with COIN – Communication and Interaction Needs (EYFS & KS1) and LAN – Learning and Additional Needs.

They currently have 25 primary aged children on the roll receiving specific learning support in the Acorn Centre and fully inclusive provision within the mainstream setting of Ashford Park Primary School.

At Ashford Park, good quality whole classroom teaching is the cornerstone of their practice and learning opportunities which are matched to a child’s ability and interests are a key part of this.

They have monitoring systems in place which regularly track the progress their learners make.

They are able to quickly identify pupils who have not made enough progress through whole class teaching and require additional support for their learning. All their staff are vigilant at supporting and raising any concerns about pupils who may require additional support.

In the first instance parents/carers are encouraged to speak to the class teacher about any concerns they have.

Further support can also be given by the school Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo)

They have in-house specialist expertise in supporting pupils with moderate learning difficulties.

The Headteacher, Senior Leadership Team, SENCo and Governors regularly monitor the quality and impact of special educational needs provision.

The extra support children receive, which is additional to and different from their usual classroom experience is planned by the SENCo and class teacher.

This additional support may be provided by a teacher, higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) or learning support assistant (LSA).

All additional support is overseen by the SENCo.

They monitor and measure the progress of all children receiving additional support to ensure the support is having the necessary impact.

All interventions which are put in place to provide additional support for children are carefully chosen based upon research and clear evidence that the interventions are successful.

Surely such an initiative will benefit these youngsters in the longer term and into their adult life, as they learn to understand the connection between themselves and the outdoor environment.

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