To ensure all staff training is carried out in a COVID secure way we have added an INSET day during Spring Term. School will now close to students on Monday 8th February. There will be 4 days of INSET training 9th to 12th February. All students return on Monday 22nd February 2021.
To accommodate this we will not be having an INSET day on Friday 30th July. So the school term now ends on Friday 30th July, not Thursday 29th.
This week at Bladon House School we celebrated the Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) awareness day. SMS is a genetic disability due to a microdeletion or abnormality of chromosome 17. Common features include: characteristic, yet subtle, facial appearance, infant feeding problems, low muscle tone, developmental delay, sleep disturbance, self-injurious behaviours, prolonged tantrums, explosive outbursts, speech/language delay, ear infections, arm hugging/hand squeezing and decreased sensitivity to pain.
Individuals with SMS are often known for their big, bright, loving, happy personalities and a smile that is simply infectious! At Bladon we have 2 students with an SMS diagnosis, but everyone was keen in showing us their smiles.
We have spread the smiles around site to raise the spirits of everyone during this challenging time. At same time our students have reflected about what makes them unique during activities in the Student Voice.
Helping young people to find appropriate ways to communicate their needs, express their feelings and manage their anxieties is key to the work at Bladon House School.
This month a student has been awarded a certificate for being able to manage his behaviour and sensory difficulties for a whole year… an amazing achievement, and one that has taken lots of expertise, hard work and determination. The quote below from his mum sums up best about how significant this is for this young man and his family.
“It’s a great achievement not only for my son but for all the staff who have worked with him and have persevered with his behaviours and not given up on him. As his mum I have always believed he’s not an aggressive child but just couldn’t vocalise how he felt, so used his hands instead.
It’s a credit to you and all your staff’s patience and hard work that he has learnt to overcome his behaviour difficulties and self-manage his sensory difficulties and I hope this will make it easier for him when he moves into supported living. “
To celebrate this wonderful achievement all the young people in the house had their favourite tea, Fish and Chips from the chippy!
Adapting to life during the pandemic continues to be particularly hard for people with autism and those who struggle with their mental health. Our community support team, based in Coventry, have done a fantastic job in supporting a young man over the past year. Despite having significant challenges, the support team have uncovered lots of fantastic untapped skills, as well as a fabulous personality and love of life. During the pandemic R has developed a love of gardening , been encouraged to enjoy dancing and increased the amount of time spent out in the local community, Thank you to R and his team, led by Temmy.
Supporting young people to continue enjoying their individual hobbies and interests when they join Bladon House School as a residential student is really important for their wellbeing, as is encouraging them to try new things and develop new hobbies and leisure activities that make them feel good and have fun. In just one of the houses at the school there are such a variety of activities and hobbies that the young people have; arts and crafts, cycling, playing board games, walking and looking after their pet fish and guinea pigs.
The event was run the school Physiotherapist & Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner, Michal Cwiekala. In the morning the EQUALS and AIM award classes watched a virtual assembly by which explored different sensory activities. These included exploring slap bracelets, exploring the sense of smell with essential oil on paper, listening to sounds from nature/daily life, exploring glow bracelets and the dark, which young people found exciting and finally completing exercises.
EQUALS classes then took part in a variety of sensory activities, including trying a variety of foods to explore taste (some of which were preferred to others, see photos!), finding objects hidden in pasta, cut and stick activities, finger painting on fun foam, printing with apples and a follow the rainbow activity. Some young people enjoyed chilling listening to music in the semi-dark in the Orion class therapy room.
The AIMS award classes also took part in a pumpkin hunt. They enjoyed hunting for their pumpkins up on the allotment then returned to class where they carved the pumpkins and played with the insides. The students had lots of fun using the insides for sensory play as well as getting into the holiday spirit listening to Halloween music.
All in all a fun day was had by both students and staff. Well done to everyone!
Our Teaching Assistants do a fabulous job of supporting young people and helping them to enjoy learning and promoting their self esteem. Working together with Teachers and Therapists they come up with brilliant new ideas, activities and bring their enthusiasm into the classroom. Here are the photos of our class TA’s at Bladon House School. Their contribution to the achievement and development of young people is invaluable. Thank you!
Thirsty residents at Orchard End were able to enjoy their favourite tipple without flouting coronavirus restrictions, by holding an in-house “Lockdown Lock-in” pub theme at home during September.
For one night only,residents and staff converted the conservatory area into “The Orchard Inn”. There was an authentic bar, dining area and lounge bar. Music was played through speakers to recreate the atmosphere of a traditional “local”.
Residents were able to choose from a choice of non-alcoholic wine, beers and cider. There were savoury bar snacks and classic pub style basket meals. The menu included chicken nuggets, scampi, sausage and chips.
With plenty to eat and drink and a relaxed, convivial atmosphere, the event was a huge success and there were no sore heads In the morning.
Today we joined in with Saturday’s international Talk Like a Pirate Day!!
Whilst we had lots of fun dressing up, making treasure maps, going on treasure hunts, playing games, and finding REAL pirate ships, we also learnt to accept changes to our regular routines, and learnt a few new MAKATON signs along the way!
It is through creating predicable rountines and structure to our days that we are able to help our students feel safe and secure. We then are able to build up to tea…ching them how to cope when things change.