Thanks to funding being in place, three small pilot projects were initiated in 2017. Springboard aims to explore meaningful ways for children to communicate with and understand better those who have difficulties in communicating.
These small pilots have not taken place in all the Lizard primaries, but if LOT receives grants in 2018, the charity will develop the Springboard pilots into a more substantial project.
A sensory garden was planned with children from Coverack Primary School, who then helped it become a reality in a field opposite their school. During the winter the children took part in short workshops, creating and choosing input for the garden, which would be helpful to those with impaired eyesight, hearing, sensitivity, mobility; but also, be pleasing for anybody and everybody visiting the garden.
Our co-ordinator, Vicky, was supported and helped by the school staff and the village gardening club, while the Young Farmers did a lot of the heavy work in one day! The disastrous flooding in Coverack during June brought the project to a temporary standstill. Nonetheless, bulbs and grasses are planted, ready for work in the spring.
Makaton sessions took place in two primaries, with a third primary starting in January 2018. The enthusiasm of the children and their progress in learning and using Makaton has been exciting for everyone; in fact, the teachers decided to join in the sessions and they plan to use this skill themselves. The children themselves will all be able to communicate with those who are non-verbal or non-hearing.
The method employed for introducing Makaton was through singing, mostly songs they would know i.e. Old Macdonald had a farm was perfect for Harvest Festival and Silent Night for the Christmas play. Vicky is enrolled on a Foundation level Makaton course in Truro, starting in January 2018; this training is funded through the grant LOT received. Vicky is keen to develop her skills and later to attempt a Signing course.
The Magazine (Itscovered) is in response to a small group of children who wanted to write about things of interest to themselves and their peers; they wanted to do this themselves as they told us that usually adults take on the responsibility for written news amongst primary pupils and parents. They were really interested in journalism and wanted to interview people in a professional way; they had clear ideas and wanted to learn how to communicate by writing and illustrations.
The steering group are pupils in year 7 at Mullion Comprehensive School; their readers primary pupils. The magazine is sent to the schools, who then forward it to parents and pupils through their computer system. The first two editions have been sent out. Click here to read the magazines: Nov 2017 or Christmas Special
Read More on 2017 Reflections Update