Each class in school has designated therapists as part of the staff team. Therapists’ caseloads are small to allow for intensive input and high levels of in-class working as well as liaison with families and workforce development. The type of input provided is dependent upon clinical need and the delivery of strategies can take place in group or individual sessions. Whilst many of the therapeutic aims for each pupil can be met through class based work there are some pupils who also need to be supported individually. These sessions are agreed with the class team when developing the timetables to allow the pupil maximum access to a broad and balanced curriculum while still ensuring that therapy needs are met. Therapy programmes are highly personalised to take into account the best form of input for each student.
The therapy team work alongside a multi-disciplinary team to gain a holistic view of the student, to gain mutual support from the team around our students and the expertise of a range of professionals. There is a strong ethos of joint planning with teaching staff to implement high quality programmes and strategies to encourage our students to develop functional skills and encourage participation in a range of life skill activities.
Northern Counties School adopts an experiential, real life approach to learning and therapists frequently accompany classes on community visits. The inclusion of therapy staff on lunchtime rotas ensures that they work with pupils in every situation so enabling them to evaluate and facilitate a pupil’s ability to generalise skills beyond the classroom.
The therapy team have a range of highly specialist qualifications and experience and undertake continued professional development to ensure that strategies used in school are evidence based.