Learning Strategies

As well has a highly differentiated curriculum, at Oak View School we also use some specific strategies to support our pupils with their learning. These include:

Attention Autism

Oak View are using The Attention Autism Programme for pupils throughout the school.

Attention Autism has been designed to help parents and professionals give their child with autism and social communication difficulties an irresistible invitation to learn using fantastic activities and having a really good time whilst doing so.

Attention Autism originates from the idea that successful communication is dynamic, engaging and joyful. We learn best when we work with enthusiasm, motivation and creativity. We remember good times and shared experiences.

The Attention Autism approach provides the child with an experience worth communicating about. We need to make our interactions irresistible!

At Oak View, Claire Moore is a licensed Advanced Practitioner who trains and guides staff in delivering the programme, ensuring that we have a high quality session.

Essex Steps

At the core of Essex steps is the concept that challenging behaviour is related to individual pupils circumstances and needs.

Staff understand the background and theory to challenging behaviour, the need to prepare environments for pupils and how to deescalate situations calmly. Staff work with different pupils to understand how each pupil has ‘triggers’ and understand their environment needs.

Zones of Regulation

Our behaviour strategies are underpinned by the Zones of Regulation and our understanding of emotional and sensory regulation.

This framework has been used successfully at Oak View for several years. It teaches pupils to recognise their own emotions, and learn how to develop their emotional control, sensory regulation and self-awareness.

Our pupils are taught to recognise their emotions, and we respect that identification. This enables to support pupils in an appropriate way throughout the school day.

The Zones uses four colours to help students identify how they are feeling and level of alertness as well as guiding them to strategies to support regulation.


Play is fundamental to all children’s development. It develops social and interactive skills, critical thinking and cognitive skills, confidence, creativity and fine and gross motor skills. Play allows pupils to learn real life skills by acting them out.

This includes: structured or unstructured play with adults or peers. Messy, sensory, exploratory play. Make believe, imaginative, expressive and constructive play


Sensory communication using touch and music to align the senses and develop communication skills and body awareness.


Using a soundboard in class is a great way to make, experience, feel, and hear sounds and music. Pupils experience rhythm, repetition, vibration and interactive sounds.

Social Stories

Muddy Woods

5P Plans

Our 5P Approach is based on the ideas developed by educational psychologist, Linda Miller.

The approach is clear and structured. It is tailored to each pupil and helps them understand their behaviours.

This works on recognising pupils behaviours before they reach a crisis so they can learn to recognise and prevent incidents.

These strategies have been successful with all our pupils.

Sensory Integration Strategies

Sensory integration is a set of physical activities that help a child with sensory processing difficulties. These are tailored to each pupil and take place in class, in the S.I. rooms or around the school. These activities help a child become settled and ready to learn.

Modified TEACCH approach

Colourful Semantics

Developing children’s understanding of words and structure through social communication using colour-coded sentences.

AAC (augmentative and alternative communication)

A wide range of tools that support and develop communication. Including: communication books, photos and symbols, PECS, objects of reference, communication boards and books, talking switches, talking books, iPads, gestures, signing, symbols, body language, eye-pointing, facial expressions, vocalisations. These can be used in all activities

Sensory Stories

Allows pupils to access stories and become part of the story in a way they can understand. Aids sensory processing, supports turn taking and encourages communication.

Functional use of language

Using and developing language in every-day, practical situations and in context. Using language in the community, shops. Extending language during activities that pupils enjoy and during life skills, where the language is in full context.

Intensive Interaction

Intensive Interaction develops early interaction skills and enjoyment of interaction

Other communication strategies


Matching activities

Sequencing activities

Word maps

Phonics sessions

Book about self

Bag books

Answering questions about books

Sharing a book

Using the library


Personal storytelling

Choosing activities

Function use of language (Recipes hopping lists, cafes menus)


Music related

Listening to song

Singing, playing instruments

Experiencing rhyme and rhythm

Music games

Musical stories

Awareness and interaction with people

Responding to others

Lego Therapy

Switch toys

Social Stories


Mark making (art, fingers brushes)

Fine motor skills