Therapies at Pencalenick

6th October 2015

Mrs Helen Campbell

Head of School/SENCO

The programme of therapies that we offer is complex. Some pupils arrive with physiotherapy or occupational therapy needs and they have their programmes developed through health. We have a learning mentor who will deliver exercise programmes with pupils on a weekly basis under the guidance of these therapists. We have other pupils who work with therapists under the Child Mental Health (CAMHS) team, and this may be during the school day or out of school time.

During the academic year 2015 – 2016 we are commissioning the expertise of Louise Ryves (Speech and Language Therapist), Richard Woolliams and Tim O’Brien (Occupational Therapists) and Wendy Thomas (Educational Psychologist). Whilst they may do some direct intervention work with pupils there is also a focus on working with staff to develop their expertise and pedagogy.

The curriculum that we offer at Pencalenick is rooted in Communication and Interaction. It is usual that any pupils will be discharged from speech and language therapy caseloads once they begin the secondary phase of their education. Over the last two years I have been working with Louise Ryves, a senior speech and language therapist, who comes into school to advise us on how we can improve our strategies and pedagogy to meet the needs of pupils with complex communication and interaction issues. In order to do this Louise and I meet regularly, she comes in to observe lessons and play times then makes recommendations about how we can improve the interaction within groups.  Whilst her observations may focus on speech and language she will also focus on behaviour as much of the negative behaviour that we experience has its roots in a lack of ability to communicate appropriately or effectively.

 Blue Sky Therapies will work with us to develop sensory integration programmes with some of our young people. We anticipate that by developing sensory profiles we will be able to identify both the sensory needs and sensory challenges that impact on our pupils in their daily routines. With this knowledge we will be developing activity programmes, strategies and tailored learning environments that enhance their functioning, learning and interaction with others.

Wendy Thomas has been our Educational Psychologist for a number of years.  She has screened the year 7 intake so that we have an understanding of their abilities with verbal and non verbal reasoning which will inform our initial assessments of pupils and set long term targets. Wendy will be available to work with staff to develop learning -plans for pupils. She will do time related intervention work with a small number of individual pupils according to their presenting need.

We look forward to working with other professionals to enhance our understanding of the complex needs that our pupils have.