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Within school, Occupational therapists work to promote, maintain, and develop skills needed by students to be functional in a school, home or wider environment depending on identified needs. School and daily life is made up of many activities (or occupations). Occupations for children or young people may include, for example:
Self-care (getting dressed, using cutlery, managing toileting needs and managing personal hygiene routines, preparing a healthy snack, cleaning own trainers)
Productivity (going to school, volunteering, posture, sleep routine, handwriting, using a switch to access technology and activities linked to organisational skills, problem solving, gaining a sense of purpose,)
Leisure (play, socialising with friends, belonging to a club, participating in hobbies, Physical education, achieving awards)
The speech and language therapy department consists of 14 therapists and an assistant. The team are led by the lead therapist who is part of the school senior leadership team. All therapists are registered with the HCPC.
Therapists is school have small caseloads and work within a key stage; this allows them to work very closely with the pupils and the staff team meaning a high level of integrated working and consistency of approach. Pupils receive therapy through a combination of individual therapy sessions where they are withdrawn from the class, and transdisciplinary intervention (see below).
All therapists are skilled in the assessment, diagnosis and management of complex communication disorders. They undertake regular supervision and CPD to ensure their practice standards are maintained. The department has a number of highly specialist therapists who take a clinical lead in ensuring standards of practise are evidence based. They offer clinical support through regular supervision and provide training to the wider staff to ensure consistently high standards of teaching and support for the pupils. Specialists in AAC, speech and language, autism and dysphagia are part of both local and national clinical interest networks that share and develop best practice.
During the school term, physiotherapists provide therapy intervention to students with neurological conditions such as cerebral palsy, as well as those with speech, language and communication difficulties such as autism. Although therapeutic interventions can vary significantly between students and are bespoke to their individual needs; the main aim of the physiotherapist is to maximise students’ physical and functional independence within school, the community and at home.
Percy Hedley School provides an integrated approach where physiotherapy is embedded across the school day to ensure physical, postural, respiratory, and sensory needs are met. Onsite physiotherapy maximises learning opportunities and supports opportunities to generalise motor skill development throughout the whole school day. Physiotherapists work with students through individual, small group and whole class sessions, all of which are integrated into the school timetable minimising educational disturbance. Therapy objectives and goals are set collaboratively with students, families and the transdisciplinary school team to ensure appropriate & meaningful outcomes are achieved.
Physiotherapists work collaboratively with other therapy disciplines within the school to form part of the multi-disciplinary team in school. Transdisciplinary working is supported alongside nurses, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, teachers and the wellbeing team. Communication is also encouraged and supported with outside agents including the NHS in order to approach therapy and treatment in an effective and holistic manner.
The role of the school Wellbeing Team is to promote and support the emotional health and wellbeing of all pupils. The team consists of an educational psychologist, specialist speech and language therapist and a counsellor, as well as key support staff who are ‘Mental Health Champions’.
As a key driver, wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do, and it is our mission to support all pupils to achieve and maintain a happy healthy mind.
Percy Hedley School have access to our own school nursing service. Our school nurses deliver both universal and targeted services and work across education and health, providing a link between school, home, and the community.
Our qualified and registered school nurses have extensive experience in working with children who have complex needs. They are responsible for delivering programmes to improve health outcomes for school aged children and young people (5-19 years). The school nurse team includes a range of staff, including other registered nurses and health care support workers.