Hello from the Sycamore class team!

In sycamore we will continue to have our weekly themes as the children really engage in these. This means that the classroom has objects of reference, images and toys to help the students develop their language and interest in the subject. The tuff trays and messy play will also reflect these topics and engage the children’s attention and encourage them to participate. The daily routine is repeated so that the children can begin to predict what is now and next and they can predict what is coming up and they can navigate the classroom, because resources are constant and there is continuity.


The use of a variety of communication devices has proved to be very successful in sycamore class. The children have their own pointing boards and this aiding them to become more independent. The add on to this is that the students are becoming more verbal and using single words and short phrases- we will continue to offer the children a range of communication devices so that they can request what they want or need.

Please continue to encourage your child to use core Makaton signs at home, if you would like any pointing boards making for home let us know.  

Friends, relationships and community

Sycamore students have become more tolerant of peers in their space. For some we will be modelling and encouraging the ability to play alongside a peer. For others will be modelling and encouraging turn taking and sharing of resources. We are also working on transitioning around school in order to access different resources and areas and allowing the students to encounter children from other classes. This is also achieved through enrichment club on Friday where the students are encouraged to choose their own activity or club where they will meet children other than those in their class.


To continue this interest at home talk to your child about their family and share photos from their adventures. You could also share photos from your child’s school day from BOOP and talk about their day. 

Independent living

We continue to encourage and in some cases, expect the students to undertake some activities independently. This might be hanging their own coat up upon arrival, accessing their own resources and belongings or selecting their food choices and helping to make snacks. We are supporting students to help in their own intimate care – either by accessing the toilet independently or by helping to change their own nappy with support.

We will continue to encourage pupils to spread their own bread, toast, bagel and crackers giving them a choice of butter or cheese spread promoting communication opportunities, why not try this at home. 

Good health

We encourage our students to try new foods through activities such a sensory cooking or sensology. They might physically taste something new or simply touch it and become aware of a new food. We also expect the students to participate in physical activity such as climbing large equipment outside or accessing equipment in the sensory circuit or through yoga session and squiggle sessions in class. These opportunities allow the students to develop fine and gross motor skills.


Why not give your child a choice of a sun hat or a coat and see if they can identify which item they need to wear according to the weather. 


We have looked at people who help us and refer to members of staff around school, so that the students become aware that people undertake different jobs around school. We will continue to develop this understanding and encourage children to recognise what the individuals do.

Encourage your child to try something new! For example, visiting a new park or going to the shop. 

If you have any good news stories please email them to parents@brackenfield.derbyshire.sch.uk and we will be in touch to include you in our weekly community news bulletin.