Therapies & Well-Being
Speech and Language Therapy (SALT)
Our school aims to provide full speech and language assessment, diagnosis (where appropriate) and intervention strategies for children with communication difficulties as an integral part of their educational life. We currently partly fund our therapy provision with Pupil Premium funding. Our aim is that all Annual Reviews will be attended by our therapists.
Assessment aims to identify the child’s speech and language strengths and difficulties. This enables us to build a language profile to inform our therapy programme. Typically, the therapist will look at your child's play, social communication skills (e.g. turn taking & eye contact), attention, understanding, sequencing skills, talking/expressive language, phonological awareness, speech sounds, fluency and intonation. Children are assessed formally (using standardised assessments like the Preschool Language Scale, Preschool CELF or CELF 4) and informally (through play, observation and discussion with teachers/parents or carers). After your child has been assessed, our therapist will invite you in to share their findings and the implications for intervention. Long and short term speech and language therapy goals will be set for each child in conjunction with pupil’s [if appropriate], parents/carers and class teams.
This facilitates an holistic approach to delivering learning through the curriculum. Therapy may include: individual work in a separate room; individual work in the classroom; group work in a separate room; group work in the classroom; and indirect work (e.g. home/school programmes).
Our school aims to provide support and strategies for all pupils’ staff and families which are integrated across the curriculum. Occupational therapy at Phoenix Arch provides support across a number of areas including:
- Advise on appropriate environment adjustments to enhance the learning, including specialist seating and adaptations where necessary, sensory spaces and calm environments
- Handwriting evaluations and strategies to support the development of these skills
- Support with daily skills such as eating and dressing
- Programs for development of both fine motor (dressing, writing) and gross motor skills (co-ordination).
- Understanding the sensory needs of the child and providing tailored strategies
This is provided through a variety of formats to suit the needs of the child. This includes individual therapy sessions with the occupational therapist, or individualised programs carried out by school staff daily and overseen by the therapist. Small group programs provide support to children with similar abilities and whole class approaches where all students in the class have access to tailored programs to meet their learning and developmental needs.
Assessment of students is carried out through both informal assessment including classroom observations as well as standardised assessments relevant to the school setting. The assessment process aims to identify children’s strengths and weaknesses and develop individualised goals to support their continuing growth utilising their strengths as well as to monitor progress.
Occupational therapy provides strategies and guidance to all staff at the school and works closely with families to ensure that children are being supported both at home and school in meeting their goals. The therapy teams (occupational therapy and speech and language therapy) work closely together at Phoenix Arch School to ensure that children are being provided with the best possible holistic support, to access their learning and ensure continuing development.
Rebound Therapy has had a positive effect on the pupils. Children access the therapy on a daily basis to help facilitate movement, promote balance, increase in muscle tone, promote relaxation, sensory integration, improve fitness and exercise tolerance. Sessions are also been used in conjunction with our other therapy teams such as speech and language and occupational therapy team to deliver correlative objectives. Pupils can also choose to have sessions as part of their Merit time linked to our behaviour support system.
All children’s progress is monitored using The Winstrada development programme throughout the year.
Here are some benefits to rebound therapy:
- Stamina and independence
- Core strength control coordination
- Gross motor and coordination
- Bilateral integration
- Body in space awareness
- Motor planning
- Fine motor
Our school is working with The Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) to deliver contemporary dance sessions throughout this academic year. This is in addition to pupil’s physical education sessions. Our aim is for pupil’s to develop a greater range of movement, co-ordination whilst developing the ability to work within different spaces by developing body awareness. This has also supported some pupil’s to overcome barriers to hypersensitive sounds.
Children learn to dance and move to enhance communication of emotions and behaviour and also improve and refine their gross motor skills. Pupils have demonstrated creative ways to communicate to an audience through their actions and become more confident in expressing their ideas. The sessions have had the added bonus of supporting pupils emotional well - being.
We offer a series of Social Skills programmes; Zippy Friends (5-7yrs) Apples Friends (7-9yrs) to help pupils communicate effectively, cope with their anxieties and difficulties, and to develop skills for life.
Sessions are built around stories. The stories involve issues children might encounter, such as: friendship, conflict, change, and difficult feelings. The children discuss the issues raised, and play games and do role-play activities about emotions and coping.
Evaluation with parents/carers and teachers have found Zippy’s Friends and Apple’s Friends improve children’s coping skills, social skills, emotional literacy, improves class behaviour and reduces bullying.
We also run a specific programme for all girls in KS2. A main focus for working specifically with girls is that they are a minority within our school population.
We offer Multi Family Groups in response to the need to provide accessible help for children and young people who are presenting with behavioural and/or emotional wellbeing difficulties at home or at school.
The approach is one that brings parents/carers, children, teachers, psychologists, social workers or mental health professionals together to find new solutions so that the children can be helped to behave better, be happier or more settled and engage with teaching and learning opportunities in school. The groups usually run once weekly for up to two hours with six to eight children and their parents or adult family member attending with them. The main focus of attendance is on how changes arising in the Family Group will be transferred into the classroom and home.
Cygnet is a parenting support programme for parents and carers, including grandparents, uncles, aunts, shared carers of children and young people with an autistic spectrum condition. The programme is delivered over 7 x 3 hour sessions.
The programme is designed to:
- Increase the understanding of autistic spectrum conditions
- Help parents develop their knowledge on how a child on the autistic spectrum experiences the world and what drives their behaviour
- Guide parents through practical strategies they can use with children
- Direct parents to relevant (local and national) ASC resources
- Give parents the opportunity to meet with other parents who have had similar experiences and to gain support and learn from each other.
The programme has ran for the second time this year and has been well attended. If you are interested in being part of the next programme please contact Marion our Deputy Headteacher.