Welcome to The Leappad!
In September 2020, Murrayfield Primary Academy was proud to include a new Specialist Education Unit to the school’s provision. The Leappad is a KS2 Communication and Interaction Unit that is based within the grounds of the mainstream school. The Leappad can support up to 18 pupils and the space comprises of two classrooms and an outdoor space. Leappad pupils access music, swimming and PE lessons in the main school and benefit from the expertise of our specialist teaching staff in these areas.
Individualised curriculums are designed to meet the specific needs of each pupil that attends our provision. We aim to integrate teaching communication and interaction skills throughout the day such as turn taking, sharing, requesting, developing social skills, emotional literacy and regulation. We like to make our learning as ‘hands-on’ as possible, as we find this creates lots of communication opportunities. Examples of this are going on regular Autumn learning walks, making healthy fruit monsters in PSHE, creating 3D penguins in art and working together to produce a monster song in music.
To support the pupils with their learning and to help cope with transitions we use visuals, Makaton signs, visual timers and ‘Now and next’ boards to help the pupils to understand what is happening across the day. Communication is tailored to each individual and their needs. We make use of technology within our teaching, for example, through group activities on our interactive smartboards and the use of programs such as Clicker to support writing.
The Leappad is led by Sarah Wright, who previously worked as a teacher in our mainstream school. Prior to joining Murrayfield, Sarah was a behaviour consultant for an organisation who specialised in designing and implementing skills based programs for children with a wide range of special needs, including ASD.
We have a hard working and enthusiastic team of teaching assistants to support the pupils with 1:1 interventions and their class based learning. Jess, Austin and Zoe work non-stop to support the pupils to thrive and learn within the Leappad. Our teaching staff have attended a range of training courses including Autism training, Level 1 and 2 Makaton training, Positive handling and de escalation training and developing fine motor skills. We are passionate about continuing our professional development in order to best support our pupils.