Some of our students have struggled with concentrating and maintaining attention in classroom based activities. Tutors have therefore been coming up with new ways to engage our students whilst achieving targets around turn taking, improving social skills, listening and their attention in class.
We also wanted to promote the importance of movement and its’ role in helping many students to be at the right level of attentiveness to focus, thus improving engagement. Movement also has a positive impact on mental and physical health.
With all of this in mind we have introduced a new therapy group called Active 8. This was developed jointly between our Occupational Therapy and our Senior Leadership Team.
The learning objectives of the group are:
• To help students be at the right level of ‘concentration’ to engage
• To develop active listening skills
• To learn target vocabulary and categorisation skills
• Develop turn taking skills and social interaction
• Support use of augmentative systems e.g. Makaton or sign as required
• Work on specific communication targets
• Focus on understanding of language at a 1-3 key word level to meet our students needs
• To encourage and increase the range of movement
• To boost concentration levels by using movement and multi- sensory stimuli
We continue to work our way round different student groups and work alongside various tutors to ensure that students have the opportunity to take part in Active 8 where appropriate. By working alongside tutors we can also provide them with the required tools to carry on utilising this group format or parts of it in the future.