Hillcrest Centre Blog

January 2019

Annmarie’s Class

This term our topic is “Popular Culture” and we have been exploring a sensory story for The Gruffalo. Students have been watching and listening to the story on Youtube whilst exploring different sensory items that represent different parts of the story. The photograph shows Matthew exploring some sequin material for the Gruffalo’s scales! The session aims to improve engagement, turn taking, shared exploration and interaction. Everyone has a favourite sensory item  – Matthew’s is the chattering teeth!

Peter’s Class  

Peters class are investigating electricity this term. We are carrying out experiments which involve measuring, sorting and cutting different materials and observing if these materials can be moved using static electricity.

We are practicing making predictions and commenting on our findings using speech, VOCA, sign and symbols to identify and record our findings.


Ashleigh’s Class

Over the last year Michael has been progressing in his employability skills. He has completed an internal interview for ‘Karima’s Kaf’ and has completed a weekly work experience placement at Jesmond Community Allotment. This week Michael had an interview with Cherie from Hextol for a new work experience placement as a gardener. Michael was required to fill in an application before his interview with Hextol, and he prepared questions that he would like to ask about the placement. In the interview Michael was able to answer all questions confidently and even thought of another question he would like to ask while he was there. Cherie was really impressed with Michael during the interview and has arranged an upcoming trial.

Michelle’s Class 

Last week our class visited the Science Maze at the Discovery museum in Newcastle. Following on from making our own shadow puppets we went to explore the shadow wall. We all enjoyed making different shapes with our shadows and exploring how they move.

Our topic for this term is electricity and there were lots of interesting activities to try. Over the next few weeks we are looking forward to conducting our own electrical experiments and focusing on observing and recording what happens.

Jess’s Class

In Jess’ class we have been learning about teamwork.The children have ventured to The Tim Lamb centre on a weekly basis to concentrate on building friendships and communicating with each other.

All children’s targets have been set around relationship building and communication skills.The children have had an amazing time at The Tim Lamb centre and have engaged really well with all the activities set.


Jen’s Class

Once a week our class visit the local Starbucks. We practice our road safety skills on the way to the café; walking calmly along the pavement, stopping at the kerb and identifying when it is safe to cross using visual and verbal support.

In the café we use our preferred communication method (PECS, VOCA, communication board, sign and / or vocalisations) to choose a snack, and are developing our money skills to pay for our chosen items, working towards identifying different denominations of coins.


Carol’s Class

As part of our topic work this term we have been familiarising ourselves with the story of ‘Charlie and the chocolate factory’. The pupils have been enjoying a variety of tasks involving making chocolate gloop, melted crayon canvas pictures and photo booth TV’s as well as developing their individual literacy skills in describing characters and commenting on pictures.

Rebecca and Ruth’s Class

During the autumn term, Ruth and Rebecca’s class learnt about special places for our topic in RE.

As part of our community visits, this learning was enhanced through the children having the opportunity to visit a range of different places. Throughout the first half term, we visited places which may be considered as special within Newcastle and its wider areas. Some examples of the places we visited are the Angel of the North, Segedunum and Jesmond Dene.

Within the next half term, we visited specific special places linked to various cultures and faiths, for example a local mosque, Sikh temple and St. Nicholas’ Cathedral.