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Hi everyone,

Penny has done an amazing report in preparation for our annual LEA meeting tomorrow and I thought it would be nice to share Henry’s astounding progress with you all…

Nursery

  • Henry started at Holland House Day Nursery at the end of March 2011 and attends on a Monday and Friday morning from 9-11.20am
  • Henry has settled into nursery really well and does not have any additional support and treated the same as any of the other children  
  • Henry has made a ‘best friend’ called Jaden and although he does seek out and stay with Jaden, he does also interact with other children at the same time.  
  • He sits for up to 45 minutes in the ‘music room’ and takes part in show and tell on Monday mornings and takes something in and stands up in front of the class and speaks about his item.
  • He sits for circle time on the carpet and initially did shout out a lot but nursery say that he no longer does this and puts his hand up and listens well in the activity and answers questions.
  • He is a little reluctant to join in adult led activities, eg craft activities, however when he is sitting down they say that he works well and doesn’t rush through the task.  In fact he made 3 easter cards instead of one!
  • He has been across to the main hall to see the animal man with about 80 children and even went up to the front and stroked a meerkat, took part in a French lesson with a visitor yesterday and has been on a short walk with his class looking at numbers on doors and signs etc.
  • He plays well in the playground and listens to the teachers and responds to instructions. He has shown that he is aware of other children and checks to make sure they are okay if they are on their own or have fallen over.

It has been amazing to see Henry at nursery.  Compared to when he has started at the school nursery in September 2008 it has been a massive difference.  Henry was shy at first but absolutely loves nursery and can’t wait to go.

Flexibility

  • One of Henry’s major challenges has always been his flexibility and we have been working on this continually as part of his programme and will continue to do so
  • In the last 12 months there has been a huge shift in how he is able to deal with change and how self-directed he is.  However, in the last 2 months it has become clear that he has made another major shift in this area.  We are now able to reason with Henry and he is able to accept changes with ease.  His controlling behaviour has virtually disappeared as has his tendency to shout if things aren’t going his way.  If he does shout now he gets upset and immediately says sorry
  • He is able to try and practise now and doesn’t get cross if he doesn’t get things right first time and is so willing to keep trying.  He is much much easier around winning and losing although he does have a competitive nature, but he does come from a competitive family!
  • Henry’s flexibility has changed so much that where we used to spend many of his sessions playing the games he wanted to, now we are able to lead the sessions and in the past month myself and another volunteer have been running sessions in the style of a classroom and he absolutely loves this.  He has a real thirst to learn and is extremely motivated now by reading, writing and numbers so although he is still behind at this stage he is making great strides each week in his academic ability.

 

Communication

  • Henry’s language and communication has continued to improve week on week.  He is now able to have proper conversations and asks ‘why’ and can also tell you why he has done something or is upset.  He has a lovely sense of humour and uses language appropriately and has great intonation
  • Next to another 6 year old his language does still seem immature but we are confident that this will continue to develop.  He sometimes gets the order of his sentences mixed up and can find it difficult to make choices but is able to explain why he is struggling which is a major step forward
  • He will now speak to strangers however this is one instance when his eye contact can drop, however at nursery he looks at and speaks to his teachers and they have not had any trouble understanding him , nor do they think the children have
  • There is obviously still work to be done on his communication and we are currently working on him using longer, more formed sentences for the majority of the time as he has a tendency to clip his sentences particularly when answering questions
  • His comprehension is excellent and we have done a lot in the playroom about reading and talking about stories and he is able to answer all of our questions including ones about emotions and feelings.  He has great empathy and is very caring and this comes out in his language too.

 

Interactive Attention Span

  • Henry’s attention span has always been his strongest area and the difference at the moment is the attention he gives other people’s activities.  He can now be engaged in someone else’s game/activity for 1-5-2 hours.  This has been confirmed by his ability to focus on the circle time for up to 45 minutes at nursery without any problems
  • He has also demonstrated that he has no difficulties ending one activity and starting another even if he was really enjoyed the current task and has had no problems coping when we have run the playroom session like a mini ‘school day’
  • It will be interesting to see how he copes in the school environment with this however we are confident that he will do well with this otherwise we wouldn’t be willing to let him go back to school.  The key to all this is that Henry is successful and in the future the amount of support, if any, is significantly reduced.

 

Numbers

  • In addition to this I do have some information on number targets from when my daughter was at Holland House – according to these targets he has met the number targets for nursery and is half way through the targets for reception
  • The next set of number targets that we are currently working towards are:
    • Adding numbers to a total of 10, then 20
    • Subtract from a  number less than 10
    • Count in tens and twos
    • Know pairs of numbers which make up numbers up to 5
    • Recognise 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p
    • Use coins to make amounts up to 10p
    • Henry has achieved the following goals in number:
    • Being interested in number/finger rhymes and joining in
    • Say and order numbers up to 20
    • Write and read numbers up to 20 and starting to go higher now
    • Reliably count objects up to 30 at the moment
    • Share out equal sets
    • Follow and create patterns
    • Knows his 2d shapes & recognise them in other places and started to look at 3d shapes
    • Simple addition sums up to 10 using his fingers and number bond eggs (can do +1 sums without any counting and starting to be able to do this with +2)
    • Knowing one more and one less up to 20
    • Understands more than and less than although this needs more consolidation
    • Count on from numbers other than 1

 

Letters & Sounds

  • We have recently introduced jolly phonics for the single sounds which Henry has really enjoyed
  • He currently can identify about 20 letters and sounds of the alphabet without help and can form about two thirds of them without help
  • As a team we have been taking a letter in each and planning a session around it so that we consolidate his understanding in lots of area and the letter becomes real for him rather than just working on the formation of the letter
  • We have been working on recognising objects and names with the start of this letter/sound.

 

Reading

  • We have started introducing the smaller high frequency words to Henry and he reads them when we read a book.  He is really starting to pick this up but it is in the early stages
  • The major movement in reading is that he is so aware of what reading is now and wants to read with you, following your finger and repeating the words after you
  • He is motivated and really excited by reading. He is also able to identify his name and mommy and daddy etc.

 

Writing

  • Henry’s pen control and grip has really advanced in the last few months and is now much more controlled
  • His writing is getting smaller and with his new found flexibility we have been able to show him how to form his letters and numbers correctly.  They are not all perfect but he has is doing really well with this
  • Again he is highly motivated by writing and wants to do it himself
  • He does start at the left hand side of the page but it does get a bit confused at times but I am sure that these are things that will naturally improve the more we work on these academic areas.

 

Science

  • Within the playroom we have been able to do little experiments with Henry, eg floating/sinking, magnetic/non-magnetic and he really enjoys these
  • We have done projects around growth and grown our own plants and done a lot around the human body which he really loved!  He loves finding out about how things work and why things happen
  • We have also done a lot about sorting and he is really good at this and understands the concept really well.  He is now ready for more advanced sorting activities eg venn diagrams.

 

Arts & Craft

  • Historically this has not been Henry’s favourite activity however within the playroom, like everything else, he has been really enjoying this lately
  • His drawing and painting is becoming more intricate and he will now have a go at drawing and painting different things
  • He has made puppets and collages and enjoys sticking, making a lovely crown for the royal wedding spending 45 minutes on it!
  • His cutting skills are greatly improved.  He still has a tendency to try and use 2 hands but for the last couple of weeks he really seems to have got the hang of using the scissors with one hand.

 

Gross Motor

  • Henry has really come on in this area
  • About 4 months ago he suddenly was able to ride his bike (with stabilisers).  He has definitely had difficulty co-ordinating both sides of his body at the same time but he is really doing well this at the moment.  I observed him at Nursery riding a scooter, again something else he has always found hard.  He wasn’t the fastest but he did really well
  • He is getting better at clapping/hand rhymes although I would say this is probably his weakest area
  • In terms of ball skills he has fantastic co-ordination though.  Many people comment on his volleying technique in football!
  • He also started trampolining lessons at Wyndley about 4 months ago and is doing really well.  He is working towards a routine and currently does about three or four moves together.  He listens really well to the coaches and does what they say and they are really pleased with him.

 

The Son-Rise Programme

As I hope you can see Henry has made really fantastic progress.  He is a really happy, kind, caring, clever little boy and has a genuine excitement about everything he does.  We are now able to include him in all parts of our family life, the only thing we didn’t take him to this year was the London Marathon because we felt it wasn’t really the right place for any 6 year old, its just so busy!  But other than that we can go everywhere as a family unit – we have just started going to restaurants again and he sits at the table and is so well behaved, again a million miles away from the little boy who wouldn’t get in the pushchair or car let alone anything else!

This progress is a direct result of the one-on-one therapy that we have worked so hard to provide and the fantastic team that we have built around Henry.

Conclusion

There is so much that I would like to tell you about Henry’s progress that I am sure I will not have covered everything, however I hope this gives you a sense of the scale of the change of our little boy and how grateful we are to the LEA’s support. I also hope that it comes across, not only how well he is coming on academically, but how socially well adjusted he is and happy and how ready he for the next, exciting stage of his life.


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