Teaching and Learning
The teaching methods used at Benton Dene School are varied and designed to meet the needs of individual pupils as well as whole groups. Pupils may be taught as individuals, as part of a small group or as part of the class.
At all times, pupils are encouraged to develop as confident, independent learners who are able to take some responsibility for their own learning. Teaching materials are modified or designed to assist our pupils in achieving this independent work. An example of this would be the use of symbols alongside words to assist pupils in independent reading and writing. For a number of our younger pupils, we have found that the use of Makaton signing alongside speech enables the learning of concepts much more quickly. The development of thinking and problem solving skills has an important place in the curriculum and special activities are used to help our pupils in this area.
We believe strongly that our pupils learn best through first hand and concrete experiences. Throughout the curriculum, practical tasks and environmental visits are used to support the learning in the classrooms and to support communication and language development. The capturing of learning through photography allows pupils to recognise and celebrate their own progress and learning.
For pupils with Autism, specific teaching methods and approaches such as TEACCH and PECS are used. Lessons may consist of The designated specialist teaching areas provide a small cloakroom and toilet area, a large and well equipped creative and play space and a ‘work’ space that provides a low arousal area where work stations and specially designated work areas support learning. There is also a withdrawal /calm room where sensory work can be carried out.
Structure and routine with higher staffing ratios achieve success for our pupils.
At Benton Dene School, we incorporate lunchtimes into the teaching day. For some children, staff provide specific programmes to encourage a wider diet or to develop appropriate independence and skills. There are two dining halls providing a range of experiences and friendship opportunities. Children are always supported at this important time of day by our skilled team of teaching assistants who design activities to extend the play opportunities for our children.
Reading and Phonics at Benton Dene School