Please contact Mr Madhaw (Deputy Headteacher/SENDCo) if you would like further information about the DSP or if you would like a tour of the Rocket class.
Designated Specialist Provision (DSP) - The Rocket ClasS
Miss J Clough - DSP Teacher
Mrs A Pahal - Teaching Assistant
Ms M Duncan - Teaching Assistant
The DSP staff are highly qualified and experienced in working with children with autism and communication/interaction difficulties. They work together to create a nurturing and calm learning environment, suited to the individual children’s needs.
Aims of the Rocket Room
- To give the children a safe, supportive environment where the children can feel happy and make progress.
- Provide children with the opportunity and encouragement to develop their communication and interaction skills.
- Provide children the opportunity to integrate with their peers and the wider school community by accessing the learning and facilities in the mainstream school.
Designation & Admissions
Catherine Infant school has no control over who is admitted to the DSP, this is decided by the Special Education Service (SES). Children who attend Catherine Infant School do not have priority access to a space in the DSP.
Our DSP can take up to 10 children, from Reception to Year 2, who already have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP), which details the need for communication and interaction/autism. Children likely to be offered a place, but not exclusively, are children with:
- Communication difficulties.
- Interaction difficulties.
- Children with an autism diagnosis or on the ASD pathway.
The DSP is unable to cater for children with complex sensory, physical and medical needs.
In our DSP we provide children with specialist teaching targeted at those with communication and interaction difficulties. We ensure a structured and supported environment where the children feel secure, develop confidence and reach their full potential. We also aim to provide as many inclusion opportunities as possible alongside their mainstream peers.
The curriculum in the Rocket room is based around individual children’s needs and targets identified in their EHCP and the Autism Education Trust (AET) Progression Framework. The teaching is delivered through small group, 1 to 1 sessions and whole group activities.
The classroom is set up to be a calm and ordered environment, helping to reduce anxiety for the children who are in our class. It needs to be recognised that the Rocket room is within a busy mainstream school, which the children access at various times during the day, meaning we do not think that children with significant sensory needs would find our DSP suitable.
We follow a structured timetable which follows the same pattern every day. Some of the lessons/whole group activities we have are:
- Sensology: We start with Sensology at the beginning of every day to wake up the children’s senses and help them get ready for learning.
- Rhyme time: Where the children learn to engage in a group activity.
- Kimbles: This is a dancing lesson where the children aim to join in with a whole group activity and follow along with the instructions in the songs.
- Play Interaction: These are 1 to 1 sessions where a child engages with an adult, playing something that they like, in a structured way. Through these interactions staff can encourage and build children’s language, or ways of communicating, and it is a good way of helping the children with their interaction skills.
Links with Mainstream
The DSP is a highly valued and integrated part of the Catherine Infant School community. Children will have specific lessons in the DSP, but will also aim to access the mainstream school. Children will receive support to access the mainstream environment, ensuring the needs of the children are met.
If you require additional transport information, this will be provided in accordance with the Local Authority SEND transport service.
In the Rocket class we use visual aids (signs & symbols) on a daily basis to support communication, understanding and learning.
Each child has a visual timetable and we work with the children to help them transition from one activity to the next, which supports their understanding of the school day.
We use Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) cards in our class. Each child has a PECS folder full of pictures of things they like and dislike, which they use to communicate with staff.
We use ‘Now and Next’ boards to help children who need the day breaking up into smaller segments, and we use choosing boards for many of the activities in the classroom.
Parents/carers are encouraged to be involved with all aspects of their child’s education. Parent-teacher meetings are held throughout the year, and EHCP review meetings are held once a year. All children are set an activity weekly through Class Dojo, which is appropriately differentiated for them. Parents/carers are also able to communicate with staff through this platform.