A Typical Day at Steps
One of the main features of Conductive Education is the Daily Routine. The Daily Routine is a timetable of activities which reflect the integrated system of learning in Conductive Education. Our Daily Routine at Steps includes all elements in a child's typical day, with an abundance of fun, songs and games, embedded in a structured programme for small groups of children and their families.
The families are warmly welcomed on arrival. Toys encouraging exploration, independent movement and problem solving are set out in our playroom for the children to share; this promotes social skills, imagination, inventiveness, and self-confidence. This part of the Daily Routine also offers opportunities for parents and carers to chat with each other and staff.
Sitting down in a circle, each child in the group is greeted. Everyone has a chance to communicate 'Hello' to each other. We talk about the weather, the day of the week and count how many children are there that day. We introduce our topic for the day which can include anything from learning about farm animals to baking gingerbread, decorating an under-the-sea picture or preparing porridge for Goldilocks! Aims for the group and for individual children are discussed. The children are encouraged to participate in self-help skills, such as removing their shoes and socks. Some children might benefit from a brief 'warm-up' programme including a range of motion exercises.
The day consists of multiple programmes – the 'Task-Series' – which are a series of functional movements and activities, divided into small, achievable steps, carried out in a variety of positions. The Tasks Series' are tailored to the needs of each group and the tasks further differentiated to meet the needs of everyone in the group. Within the Task Series' we also follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, promoting active learning, creativity, critical thinking, playing and exploring. The Task Series' involves our families in a learning process that promotes a strong, positive relationship between child and parent/carer.
The task series include the Lying Task Series, and depending on the needs of the children, may also include a Sitting, Sit to Stand, Standing and Hand (fine motor skills) Task Series. Skills already practised are repeated later in the day, but in different and more difficult circumstances, encouraging the children to adapt to different environments and situations.
Self Help Skills
We create opportunities for children to develop a whole host of skills and values including health, mobility, communication, literacy and confidence. This is achieved through structured support, following an age-appropriate curriculum. This includes using the bathroom, getting dressed and learning to wash their hands.
Communication Programme and Snack
During our Communication Programme we use mirrors to help the children identify their facial features and to encourage vocalising. As well as encouraging eating and drinking skills, we explore our senses, body parts and their function, promote hand-eye coordination, sitting balance, head movements, facial expressions and mouth and tongue movements. Sharing our news during snack time is one of our favourite parts of the day and is another lovely social time for everyone.
Transfer and Individual Mobility
This is a highly individualized part of the Daily Routine. Depending on the needs of each child, it includes a wide range of tasks to practice changing places and positions. These could include rolling, crawling, standing, taking steps, or completing a mobility circuit.
We use our outdoor play area as often as possible during transfers.
At the end of the session, we say goodbye and discuss how the skills learnt at Steps can be applied to the families' everyday home life.