On 6th June, the LVI (Year 12) Psychology students visited The Springfields Academy, a local school which aims to build successful and independent lives for young people with Special Educational needs. Springfields Academy specialises in helping children with social and emotional difficulties and high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, giving them access to a primary or secondary curriculum.
The Psychology class split into four pairs, so we were able to shadow two Classes in Year 8 and two classes in
Year 9. During the first periods before break, we observed and participated in lessons. The Year 9 students focused on vocational work, Amy and Flora worked in the Catering Department and helped to prepare lunch; Grace and Ash worked in the school's mechanics garage, replacing wheels on cars.
Year 7 had more classroom-orientated lessons. Mimi and Bella took part in a Maths lesson about decimals, while Amelia and Lauren took part in an ICT lesson, where the pupils had created their school campus on Minecraft.
At break time, we were in the playground helping the teachers supervise children and talking to some of the pupils, who were very keen to learn how life at St Mary's was different.
In the period before lunch, all pairs gave a workshop on Psychology to the class they had been shadowing for the day, about the topics we thought they would find most interesting, such as the Multi-Store Model of Memory and case studies, such as Patient HM. The children seemed to really enjoy the workshops and many were engaged by what we were teaching.
At lunch time, we had lunch with some of the students and set up activities in the playground. ‘Pop Lacrosse’ was an extremely popular sport with lots of the pupils catching on fast and aiming to throw the ball as far as they could, rather than to each other. Overall, the day was a huge success and we found it extremely rewarding and fun.
Grace & Lauren (LVI)