LITTLE SCHOOL: A PRE-PREP PROGRAM
FOR CHILDREN WITH ASD
INTERVIEW WITH ANNIE, LITTLE SCHOOL TEACHER (watch the video)
ABOUT LITTLE SCHOOL
Little School is a pre-prep program tailored specifically to the needs of children on the autism spectrum. Little School bridges the gap between early childhood services and formal primary schooling, providing a transition year of highly focused learning to prepare your child for all of the experiences of primary school. It is uniquely tailored to suit children who “just need an extra year” before heading off to primary school.
IS LITTLE SCHOOL RIGHT FOR YOUR CHILD?
Even if your child communicates well and you feel they're ready for school, there are still things to learn that might not be so obvious. Watch a short video to see what your child can learn at Little School.
Here are some questions to consider as a start.
Does your child:
* Follow teacher directions?
* Participate in mat time activities?
* Have good fine motor skills, such as writing, colouring, cutting?
* Sustain attention in group settings?
* Work independently?
If your answer is 'no' or 'not sure' then Little School would be a great option to ensure your child is well prepared for starting school in 2018.
PROGRAM STRUCTURE & LOCATION
Little School runs across three full days (9am-3.30pm) during school terms.
Our Little School classroom is at Autism Partnership, in North Melbourne, Victoria.
Little School has specific entry criteria, designed to allow Little School sessions to focus on school readiness skills for children with an existing base level of language.
Little School is designed to replicate the activities of primary school. We follow a weekly school schedule, which includes classroom and play time, library, art, and P.E. We work on lots of things at Little School, here are just a few:
- Learning daily school routines
- Following teacher directions
- Participating in mat time activities
- Fine motor skills, such as writing, colouring, cutting
- Pre-academic skills, such as shapes, colours, letters and numbers
- How to learn in group settings
- Transitions between classes and learning environments
- Working independently
- Social communication and play skills
- Classroom behaviours
- Attending specialist classes, such as Art, Music and Physical Education
EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY & OUR TEAM
Little School involves professional staff with expertise in education, psychology and applied behaviour analysis (ABA). A qualified Teacher runs the daily school program, assisted by the support of Behaviour Therapists, with a ratio of 1 staff: 2 students throughout the day. A Behaviour Consultant provides weekly consultation for your child and support is also provided by a Psychologist across the year. You have opportunity to meet with your Behaviour Consultant once a month to discuss the program and your child's goals.
All staff involved work from the educational framework of “Applied Behaviour Analysis” (ABA), which is an evidence-based approach that is used to teach children with ASD in schools around the world.
Little School follows the Victorian curriculum which is the standard for Victorian schools. We break this curriculum down into component parts, to help our students learn the foundational skills they need for school. The broad scope of the curriculum allows our students to learn across multiple developmental domains, including academic, social skills, communication and behaviour. While the Victorian curriculum is broad in nature, we are able to tailor this curriculum framework to our students with ASD. Each child has an individualised learning plan, with clearly documented goals that target the specific areas he or she needs to learn to get ready for school.
One of the benefits of Little School is the chance for your child’s future school staff to come and observe your child in a group learning environment. Towards the end of each year, we invite school staff to attend Little School, observe your child and talk to the Little School teacher about the goals and strategies that may assist your child to learn in the school setting.