They make amazing progress

3rd March 2006 at 00:00
Lisa Sansome is the teacher in charge of the Jarjum's room.

I arrive in the Jarjum's room at eight and put out the children's timetables, which I have prepared the night before. These let them know where they are expected to be for every half hour; it changes every day.

The children arrive in taxis at about 8.30, 20 minutes earlier than the rest of the school, to make the transition easier. They sit in their "pods"

and do a pod-based activity, such as hand-writing practice or weaving.

Then, most of them take a walkie-talkie and go to their mainstream classrooms.

In the mornings, I might team teach with a class teacher, take a numeracy session or work with a small group. I do occupational or speech and language therapy work with one Jarjum's boy, and I teach maths, one-to-one, to another.

At lunchtime, I write in the daily home-school books for parents, and, in the afternoons, we do social skills work involving the peer group, arts activities and anger management.

At any point in the day one of the Jarjum's children could have an outburst - "kicking off", as we affectionately refer to it - and I could be called on a walkie-talkie to get them back to the Jarjum's room.

Usually, I call in another member of staff, especially if a child is aggressive. We do get hurt sometimes, though not badly. We probably have one of these "blips" a week. If a child has a blip they lose some of their Jarjum's time - when they can do a favourite activity - at the end of the day.

The children's taxi escorts arrive at three, and then I debrief my staff.

Every day is different with these children. It's hard work because you have to be on the ball all day and every day. But to see their progress is amazing - and they do all make progress because they feel safe.

Even when there's been a blip, we finish the day with a high-five and say, "Start again tomorrow."

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