Every pupil who has the good fortune to secure a place at St Edward’s school has a unique set of strengths and challenges. No two pupils are the same which means no two programmes can be the same.
Each pupils needs are carefully assessed and supported in a non-judgmental, empathic and flexible way with support to develop their educational and personal potential.
The focus is on preventative work to ensure all needs are identified as quickly as possible and that early action is taken to meet those needs.
We plan to create low arousal environments to enhance and support the work around communicating, regulating and healing offered by therapists and staff alike.
Pupils will not miss out on any classroom activity.
Pupils will have increased practice opportunities.
Teachers and therapists focus on skills that are immediately useful.
Therapists can work with teachers to address problems as they arise.
Assessment can be done across a variety of settings.
Therapists can see whether the strategies they are developing are feasible.
Pupils can then generalise the skills they have worked on during therapy time.
Therapists can find out what a pupil needs to learn to be successful in their daily routines and make those skills the targets.
By integrating therapies into the classroom, therapists will have opportunities to discuss specific needs, develop a perspective of a pupil and work with the teachers in the context of the classroom; teachers will have opportunities to learn how to better meet the needs of pupils who have special needs.
Targets will be written after priority skills are determined for each pupil based on functional independence needs within the pupil’s total school programme. Teachers will gain an understanding of therapy techniques and strategies to follow through the entire school day. Integrated therapies will work to incorporate co-teaching and collaborative styles.
The Occupational Therapist (OT) will assist in a general PE class to work with accessibility ideas for games. In Maths or English, they may work to design and try a menu of accommodations needed for handwriting difficulties. They may work in the dining hall to observe and assist with cutlery skills.
SPEECH & LANGUAGE
The Speech and Language therapist (SALT) may work with the English teacher in classes to support vocabulary skills or oral language work. They may co-teach a Communications Studies class or observe a pupil in class to assess frequency and effectiveness of a pupil’s social skills with initiating conversations with peers and requesting assistance or more information.
The Social Thinking Methodology is a developmental, language-based and thinking-based (metacognitive) methodology that uses visual frameworks, unique vocabulary, strategies and activities to foster social competencies.
The methodology has assessment and treatment components for both interventionists and social learners.
The programme is a whole curriculum that will be used as the basis for a social skills intervention across the school renamed as Communication Studies.
The SALT will create a scheme of work for Social Thinking/Zones of Regulation and Talkabout in a blended way to meet the needs of the different ways pupils learn.
The programme will then be delivered by the SALT in small groups and also in the tutor time after lunch daily by teachers and TAs.
Pupils often find the period immediately after their arrival at school particularly difficult. Long journeys in traffic can be a source of sensory dysregulation. Circuits are short, snappy sensory motor skills sessions that help to set pupils up for the school day.
They are designed to facilitate sensory processing and are split into three main areas that help to alert, organise and then relax.
Sessions will be planned with the OT and delivered by the teachers in their tutor rooms. The plan is that the pupils will be ready to take part in the reading session and Thought for The Day.
Supervision is carried out by consultant Clinical Psychologist – Dr Mark Wylie who is in school one day a week. His sessions will be split into three parts – one for supervision, one for emergency consultative behaviour work and one on a deeper dive into a pupil’s needs and difficulties. He will work with staff to plan and develop strategies for support that can be used in real time across the school day.