Whilst children may be assessed initially by the Educational Psychologist working in the child’s home area, the school has an “attached” Educational Psychologist who comes to school at least three times a term. By observations made in the classroom they are able to give advice to the class teacher about the appropriate strategy or approach to employ and thus contribute to an individual pupil’s educational programme and share information with parents.
Music Therapy is a part of the multi-disciplinary team approach at Amwell View, helping and supporting the pupils to be ‘ready for learning’.
As each child is unique, each will have its own special response to music and sound. The therapist seeks to encourage this natural response by responding herself with music/sounds/words to any way the child is able to communicate.
For some it may be the sheer excitement and joy of making as much ‘sound’ as possible on the largest of the instruments or perhaps discovering that their voice can become an ‘instrument’ of expression. For others it may be a fleeting glance towards a sound source, the motivation to reach out, or the first tentative experiments to use their voices. The use of music (sound) as an expressive medium comes before the acquisition of language and can be particularly useful for encouraging early communication skills.
It is the relationship with the pupil through the shared use of sound and the intensive interaction that is an important part of this way of working. This musical relationship can be the basis for new experiences of interacting, leading to development and change.
With its contribution to the overall development of the child considering emotional, developmental and physical needs, the process is accessible for all the pupils across the age range. Any pupil may be referred by any professional involved in their care and by parents. The therapist will make an assessment and recommend either ongoing individual work or work in a small group.
Parents receive a music therapy report at annual review and have feedback on progress including video clips at parent/teacher consultations.
The school Nurse Team is employed by East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust to care for the children during the school day and to manage their health care in liaison with parents and other professionals. They deal with the arrangements for school medicals and any ailments or accidents that occur while she is on the premises. The role of the school nurse is an important aspect of your child’s time in school. Please keep the nurses informed of any changes or additions to medical information so that they may work effectively in partnership with us all. If a pupil is unwell during the school day, the School Nurse may consider it necessary for the child to go home. Collection of the child will be the responsibility of the parents and, therefore, it is essential that telephone numbers are kept up to date to ensure that you can be contacted. If a child is well enough to be in school, it is expected that he or she will follow the complete curriculum as timetabled in each class.
Physiotherapy and Occupational therapy Team
The Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy team consists of qualified Physiotherapists, qualified Occupational Therapists and Therapy Assistant Practitioners (TAP’s) who provide the equivalent of 5 days therapy time each week within the school setting. They work closely with other members of the Multidisciplinary team such as Paediatricians, School Nurses, Speech and Language Therapists and Orthodontists in the school.
The focus of physiotherapy intervention is to work with school staff in different areas of the school to enable pupils with physical difficulties to access the curriculum and reach their full functional ability. Sessions can be individual or group in various settings such as the physiotherapy room, classrooms, soft play area, trampolining, dance and PE. Physiotherapy staff work with school staff to develop programmes for the pupils plus support is given with use of equipment such as standing frames as part of the child’s 24 hour postural management. This 24 hour postural management also translates into the home setting where physiotherapists will work with their occupational therapy colleagues to ensure this is emulated at home also.
Occupational therapy input focusses on providing assessment, advice and support around developing functional skills and independence, which School staff will be supported to implement in the classroom. This includes the provision of supportive seating as part of 24 hour postural management which enables good positioning for accessing the curriculum. Occupational therapists also work with the TAPs in the pupil’s homes to ensure the carry-over of advice into the home setting and model good practice. The Occupational therapist can access and provide equipment in the home such as specialist seating, splints, sleep systems, bathing and toileting equipment and hoists. They can also advise or assess for home adaptations as appropriate to meet the family’s needs.
Parents of pupils who have physiotherapy or occupational therapy input are welcome to contact the team through the school to discuss their child’s treatment and management at school as well as any advice they would like for home.
Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Department (SaLT) continues to support pupils in their development of communication. Currently the SaLT team consists of three therapists providing the equivalent of five days therapy along with the additional support from a specialised assistant one day a week.
The school continues to provide additional support to the department on a weekly half day basis. Over the past year there has been extended collaboration between staff, parents and carers. Therapists continue to work within classroom settings, supporting lessons in some instances or running subject focused communication groups. Communication to all pupils is supported by speech, sign, symbols, objects and the use of either Toughbooks or iPads, if suitable for the pupil’s needs.The SaLT team continues to be directly involved in the use of the EyeGaze access method that is in school. We continue to assess and identify pupils who can benefit from this and are very excited at the prospect of increasing opportunities to have some control over their interaction with images on a screen.
The SaLT Department have worked alongside teachers to deliver Elklan training to the majority of staff. This is a practical training course for staff working with children in special school provision for pupils with severe and complex learning needs. It aims to equip staff with ideas and methods to develop and encourage pupil’s interaction and communication.
Amwell View School and Specialist Sports College
Mrs J. S. Liversage B. ED., Dip., B. Phil. (MSI)