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Fox Hollies Special School

Fox Hollies Special School

Below are some Specific Learning Activities relating to what we have been doing at school this term. Obviously all our students work at very different levels so you need to pick and choose relevantly  to your children – but there should be plenty of ideas here for the next 2 weeks- just pick a few you fancy! We have suggested things that don’t always take an IPad, apps,  computer or worksheets, although these are obviously great ways to support learning too, and instead suggested things that can work simply without much preparation. Please see our Sensory section for related sensory ideas.  

English: Our text this term has been “Spirited Away” (Studio Ghibli Japanese animation on Netflix) as a visual version of “Traditional (Japanese) Tales”. This is an amazing film with many weird and interesting characters and details, that needs to be watched several times and takes some explaining:

  • Watch Spirited Away with your kids, discuss, name characters, copy their actions and words, point to communication books or type relevant words into communication aids, describe what’s happened / what’s going to happen  / how will it end? – can they tell you!
  • How does the main character (Chihiro/Sen) feel at different points? Why?
  • Make a film review, a poster, record a spoken review / video on your phone or tablet.
  • Print off colouring, draw characters faces, paint characters, hand over hand, make a poster wall.
  • Practise writing the characters names. Choose words that describe them.
  • Watch (and compare to) other Studio Ghibli Films – my favourites are: Howls moving castle,  Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro (
  • make some of the characters from Origami and paint / draw faces “yakko san” or “samurai” -  we called them  “spirits” from the film or the character “no face”:
  • yakko san
  • samurai
  • Make some Food from the film – noodles!
  • Build a den: we often use this in class when our plans fall through – kids always respond to dens and love getting under them, listening to stories, playing with torches, lights and sound effects. You could put pictures up from spirited away and play related music!

Maths: Many of our students are at an early maths level where they need to practise very basic number skills as and whenever it comes up in real life:

  • Rote counting to 10 (learning the pattern/sequence of number names) e.g. going up stairs, waiting for something e.g. microwave to ping, stirring / pouring food / water / milk, spoons of cereal, countdown when something finishes, knockdown / skittles games, stirring a bath, putting socks in a drawer, washing / drying hair.
  • Communication / aid users benefit from being modelled the rote count sequence in their books/ aids as you go through it by pointing to the numbers as you go through the rote count.
  • Basic counting and correspondence in play - the value of numbers as an amount of things (not the same as its place in the sequence of numbers) whenever there is a natural chance to practise. Tapping (model or hand on hand) each object whenever you get chance to count a quantity, putting 1 thing into 1 container and tapping / touching it once for 1 quantity can help here, e.g. 1 spoon into an individual cup for 1, 6 spoons into 6 individual cups for 6! E.g. counting balls, lego bricks, skittles, trains, pasta, tangerines, teddies, slices of cucumber or carrots, peas, sweets etc.
  • Preparing simple snacks, foods and drink are great ways to get all of these in!


Many of our academically more able students have several things they can ideally practise at home  without too much preparation:

  • Telling the time and the Language of time – schedules, today / tomorrow, before, after, earlier, later, the past, the future, months, seasons
  • Rote counting to 100
  • Counting in their heads and on paper in 2s, 4s, 5s, 10 to 100 forwards and back wards
  • Keeping score in games
  • Making 1/2s and 1/4s from real objects, e.g. sandwiches, toast, pizzas, - and fun to make and eat!


PE: we really need to stay active more than ever whilst confined at home. Physical activity might  work best as short but regular bursts, e.g. the same time each day, every day?

  • Many of us have been doing Football this term – but really basic ball control skills rather than playing a “game of”. Try something like this (slowly): as well as passing / shooting at targets
  • Make a big lego tower to knock over with a football or Aim passes at  teddies
  • Some of us have been doing Yoga – I find Cosmic Kids the best for us to follow along but slow it down and be careful of any balances – ask students to hold a chair for anything on 1 leg – but they’re mainly pretty safe for us! Try a regular time each day?
  • I prefer “playing” with animal movement rather than “gymnastics” . Just move the TV and take it easy-it’s hard! Try moving together while a favourite song lasts?

  • If you’re stuck indoors balloons are great for adapting games and space – try hand balloon tennis, balloon volleyball, sitting volleyball or don’t let it touch the floor.


Japan has been our project this term across Lower School:

Use the link below to download the following resources.

   Japan Sensory Ideas work sheet    

 Cherry Blossom Template

 Spirited Away Chapter 1 & 2

 Spirited Away - Synopsis

Olympic Sensory Bottles



Instruction Video:

NB. Remember to seal the bottle with a glue gun to avoid contents being removed, e.g.

Japanese Smell Jars

Instruction video

Lesson plan ideas video

Can also be used as a Japanese taste/ smell themed sensory bin idea:

Rainbow Noodles

This video uses spaghetti, but should work equally well with dried egg noodles.

Instruction video :

Edible Cherry Blossom Garden

Instruction video for dirt:

Instructions to make flowers:

Edible Sand for Japanese Zen Garden

Can be combined with edible cherry blossom, as well as the rainbow theme from rainbow noodles, too.

Instruction video: