The Ark is a new provision at Grafton Primary School that opened in September 2017 for our SEND children. It is a warm and welcoming provision which was opened to ensure we are meeting the needs of children in our school with complex needs who find it difficult within their mainstream classrooms. As a Rights Respecting school, we believe that every child has the right to an education which develops each child’s personality and talents to the full. Our staff are highly motivated and there is a strong focus on the well-being of each and every child that enters the room.
Our priorities in the Ark are
- To provide a calm, safe and nurturing learning environment for each and every child.
- To ensure that our children are equipped with independent self-care skills.
- To meet children’s individual speech, language and communication needs.
- To meet the sensory needs of the children.
- To develop our children into independent learners.
- To develop social skills and encourage children to regulate their social and emotional needs.
A morning in the life of The Ark…
When the children enter the Ark they are greeted with friendly members of staff who welcome them in. Once all of the children are settled, we like to start the morning with a "good morning" greeting song, which involves the children self-registering. This is to encourage and promote, not only their independence, but their turn-taking and communication skills. After this there is a short group lesson led by the teacher, in which the children are highly engaged and motivated.
Once the group lesson is finished, the children sit and enjoy breakfast time together. The children are encouraged to ask the adults for what they would like to eat/drink by using signs and visual symbols. This is a lovely, sociable time where the children all sit around the table together with the adults.
The rest of the morning follows a structured routine, whereby each children receives 1:1 learning time, planned for and individualised by the class teacher and work-station time where they work independently. All children in the Ark have access to the garden and the sensory room. The morning ends with a sensory session known as "Tac Pac" before lunch time, where the calming music helps the children to explore, relax and regulate their emotions.