Daily Routines & Life Skills
A consistent approach is always used, to enable the children to learn and develop themselves. The children are encouraged to achieve their EHCP targets and to self- evaluate them, on a regular basis.
Each day is structured and allows the children to place themselves within the day’s natural rhythm. Mealtimes within the houses provide the children with opportunities to engage in conversation, so they can practice their interpersonal and independence skills. This helps the children develop life skills, such as social awareness, and to learn how to integrate socially.
Each child can learn at their own pace and is offered consistent support, at least on a 1:1 basis, so they can gradually take on more challenging tasks and risks. With close support from the School’s SaLT and OT therapists, communication aids are prevalent in the houses and Work Schedules can be made to support the children in completing either simple or more complex tasks.
Skills are transferred from the classroom to real life situations within the home environments. Similarly, what is learnt during home life enhances progress within the classroom.
House Meetings and Consultations with the children, are held on a regular basis, so they can ‘voice’ their ‘choice’ and have some input into how the provision can progress and improve, with their valued feedback. We also celebrate the children’s successes, with Achievement certificates, within their House Meetings.
Home life at the Sheiling School is rich and varied. Everyone is encouraged to use their free time for age-appropriate activities, after school and at weekends. We encourage group or individual activities such as:
- Water based activities
- Caring for the environment
- Fitness / Wellbeing sessions
- Trike Racing
- Community resources
- Taking part in charity fundraising events
- Arts & Crafts
- Cultural activities & festivals
- BBQ’s / Pizza Oven on site
- Forest trips / activities and much more………..
Holiday time is vitally important to our provision. We are extremely lucky to have 30- acres of landscaped grounds, where the children can roam and explore, with their peer group and carers. We have access to play equipment, which is located around the vast site, such as an indoor swimming pool, gym hall, climbing wall, adventure playground equipment, outdoor swings, walled kitchen garden with polytunnel and allotments, a nature trail, pizza oven, sensory garden and much more. We also encourage the children to use public transport and to not rely on accessing the school’s vehicles, though they are used for longer day trips and other places of interest.
Nutrition is given a high priority at Sheiling School, and each home receives a regular supply of seasonal fruit and vegetables, together will all other foods, are organic when possible. Special diets can also be catered for. The children are involved in planning menus and regular feedback is encouraged about their meals. The children are also encouraged to prepare meals in the houses, follow recipes and to buy any items locally, if needed. There is a lot of focus on life skills, for their adult transition, so the children are also encouraged and supported to part of this whole process, including the washing up!
School lunches are prepared for the whole school, by a dedicated catering team on site, again with organically sourced items as much as possible.
Art in the Houses
Here are some examples of the art in the houses and some of which were made by the children. This incorporates a homely feel and creativity is a huge part of what we encourage the children to explore.
Each house has a Festival Branch in the lounge area, which is changed every season, to reflect the seasonal rhythms of the year, alongside bigger displays for Easter and Advent.