Racoon class children have been very sporty since we’ve been back at school in January.  First, we’ve had 6 weeks of climbing at Peter Ashley Activity Centre at Fort Widley. Each week the children have climbed for motivating items such as squishy toys, numbers and rings to play a giant Connect 4 game with.  A special mention must be given to Ollie, Oliver and Joel who climbed quicker, higher and could cling on much better than we could ever have imagined.  Definitely future Special Olympic climbers – watch this space…!

A highlight for all the children each week was the chance to run both ways up and down the dark tunnel at full speed, shouting each other’s names as they ran.  This gave Steve, our Outdoor Activities leader the thought that the children in Racoon class would relish the opportunity to try the assault course.

Bravely, the children negotiated dark tunnels, large rope spider webs, boulders and huge tyres.  It was a brilliant morning, and all the children would like to try it again!

Racoon’s autumn term has flown by! This was the term when the children (and staff!) all learned to kayak like professionals!   Sharing a kayak between two adults and four children, we braved sunny, rainy and VERY windy weather conditions to practise paddling up the down the lake.  Once we’d got the hang of it, Josef would charge across the field from the bus every week to get onto the boat as quickly as possible… but not before he’d remembered to put his helmet and lifejacket on!  Brandon was also very excited and could be heard yelling, “Go, go, go,” to make us all paddle faster!   It’s fair to say that Racoon class would love another half-term of kayaking….we’ll have to see what Ashley says!!

Back in the dry and warm at school, Racoon class have worked incredibly hard all term, and have made some brilliant progress. This is a class with a great sense of humour, and not a day goes by when we don’t all have a laugh together!  The whole class has worked hard on their communication skills, and we have put many exciting stumbling blocks in the way to encourage and increase communication.  A favourite of everyone’s is a weekly cookery communication lesson. With symbol support, the children all verbally request the food and equipment needed to make sandwiches, jam tarts, cakes and biscuits, by asking for big/small, red/blue, plates/bowls which have the ingredients on. We quite often get children coming back for a second try, or a quick taste of ingredients!

This links well to our Food Time lessons that encourage the children to touch, lick, bite and taste new and varied textured foods. They’ve often experienced crunchy, chewy, runny and soft foods at their own pace, and have given us some great surprises! For example, Ollie really enjoyed tasting peppers recently.

In other news, the children enjoyed our topic of `Head, shoulders, knees and toes’, and could be found using body parts to learn and act out verbs, making art using body parts and even one day, enjoyed a sensory spa experience with a foot spa!

We must give a quick mention to a fabulous performance by all the children in the Christmas show as well… we were so proud!  Thank you so much for coming to watch.