Therapists and Other Support
Therapists and Other Support
At QEII School we have a team of people who support our pupils to ensure that there is a hollistic approach to their education and that all their needs are met in order for them to lead fulfilled lives.
We focus on removing barriers to learning, seen or unseen. Our aim is to give our young people the best possible chance to enjoy themselves, have fun, become more confident and independent, as well as learning new skills.
Physiotherapy is offered by physiotherapists based onsite here at QEII for all children for whom physiotherapy is included as part of their EHCP.
This may take the form of assessment and implementation of postural management equipment such as standing frames and walkers, contribution to seating and orthotics clinics and devising and delivery of therapy programmes.
A key part of the physiotherapist’s role in schools is to educate and empower school staff to implement physiotherapy practices into a child’s daily life. We work closely with education staff to support daily delivery of therapy plans.
Your physiotherapist will work closely with members of the wider multi-disciplinary team such as Occupational therapy, Speech and Language therapy and nursing to work together to maximise your child’s potential.
In addition to this, The Therapies In Schools (TIS service) has now joined QEII.
The TIS service consists of additional physiotherapy and occupational therapy and has been funded by West Sussex County Council and delivered by Sussex Community NHS Trust. The TIS service works collaboratively with the existing therapy provision in the school to provide a ‘one team therapy approach’. TIS offers additional input through delivering whole school training via it’s accredited modular training programme, and additional support to teaching and support staff. TIS may also provide short term intensive therapeutic input often where home visits and community outreach work is needed, and in class support as appropriate. By TIS therapists working intensively to achieve set goals with a few students at a time and building on the existing knowledge of the dedicated school staff through the TIS accredited training, TIS aims to enable the therapy team as a whole to provide more therapy input across the school.
Speech and Language Therapy
We are a team employed by Sussex NHS Foundation Trust and working on site at QEII School.
Our team is comprised of:
Part time Speech and Language Therapists
Part time Speech and Language Therapy Assistant
In addition to this, QEII School employ 2 part time Higher Level Teaching Assistants (Communication) who work a full time week between them as part of our team.
There is a preschool Speech and Language Therapy Service which works with Nursery aged students.
Most students are known to us, but if not on our current caseload, it is possible to make a referral to our service. Parents are able to make a referral in conjunction with the class teacher. We can only see students where there is parental consent to do so.
We work with students who have difficulties with either / both:
- Attention and Listening
- Speech sounds
- Interaction and Social Skills
- Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) including low and high tech.
Most of our students have Education Health Care Plans and these are used to help determine what a student needs. We assess each child who has been referred to us and generally offer an intervention plan with targets to work on. They can be carried out by class staff, families, and where required, by members of the SLT Team too. SLT sessions may be 1:1 or in a small group setting.
The Intervention plans are reviewed and where appropriate students may either be discharged from our service if no further input is indicated from the SLT team or another plan is devised.
We use a variety of AAC strategies, such as Makaton as our signing system; symbols; Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
We also offer a whole school approach assisting with making our classrooms ‘communication friendly’ and enabling staff to carry out programmes and use appropriate strategies to help develop communication skills. We offer training packages to school staff and to families. We oversee a team of ‘Communication Champions’ which includes one staff member from each class. We meet regularly to help develop their skills and facilitate the use of the most appropriate communication strategies in class.
We work closely alongside Class Teachers, Families, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, School Nursing and other Health and Education professionals.
How to contact us:
Kate Lunson is QE2 school’s Occupational Therapist. She is a member of the Child Development Team employed by Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and is based at our school one day per week.
What is Occupational Therapy?
Occupational Therapists (OTs) focus on developing, maximising and maintaining functional skills and independence of people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities.
Occupational Therapists promote skill development and independence in daily ‘occupations’. For an adult, this may mean doing the housework, getting dressed, going to the shops and/or going to work. For a child, this may include playing, accessing learning and being able to eat their meals.
Paediatric Occupational Therapists aim to help children develop skills and promote independence through the use of meaningful activities. We aim to work towards the child practising skills as part of their daily routine in relevant settings and environments, which is usually home and school.
Occupational Therapists are able to analyse the skills necessary for individuals to perform activities. We do this by breaking the task down and identifying the areas of difficulty. For example, a child learning to write must have:
- Good sitting posture and balance
- Adequate joint stability and muscle strength
- Good body awareness and motor planning
- Good hand skills
- The ability to process and interpret visual information
- Good attention and concentration skills/ability to process sensory information
- Cognitive ability to learn this skill
- Adequate literacy skills
This is why it is so valuable for us to be able to observe children completing their everyday tasks, for example, in the classroom.
Occupational Therapy in Special Schools
In a special school, we know that children may have varying degrees of difficulty due to a number of factors. We can support children to maximise their daily living skills, for example, dressing,
washing, eating, drinking, preparing snacks, personal hygiene, accessing the curriculum including recording work, accessing school outings, participation in and access to play and leisure activities.
Some children will have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP) with Occupational Therapy provision documented in it.
There are a range of specialist teachers in special schools who are skilled in developing children’s abilities and independence via a broad and practical curriculum. The Occupational Therapist supports and supplements these skills, with the aim of providing an Occupational Therapy Service that enables collaborative working, joint goal setting and action planning for identified children.
How Occupational Therapy Works at QEII School
There are various ways the Occupational Therapist will provide a service to the school, including:
- Assessment: Observation of a child in class or engaging in an activity, functional assessment (e.g. feeding, sitting ability, pencil skills), discussion with parents and teaching staff (and any other relevant person involved in the child’s care) and questionnaires to gather further information.
- Providing advice to school and parents: Activity or strategy-based advice to
- aid participation, independence and developmental skills.
- Advice on equipment use: Seating, toileting and feeding etc.
- Upper limb management: Including splinting and movement/stretching advice.
- Supporting Clinics: Including the Wheelchair Clinic.
- Collaborative working: With parents and teaching staff to assess the needs, set goals and implement advice.
- Attendance at meetings or other appointments: Where Occupational Therapy is a key service in child’s care.
- Completion of paperwork: Where essential e.g. when goals are set, for annual reviews, or when onward referrals are required (in addition to required documentation of interventions on NHS electronic records - SystmOne).
- Liaison and regular joint working: With the multi-disciplinary team (involving mainly Physiotherapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Nursing, Doctors and Social Care Occupational Therapists) to link together any areas of needs to achieve the best outcome for the child and family.
- Liaison and coordination with Therapy In Schools (TIS): TIS (Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy) is a service that provides training and targeted intervention where identified. Please refer to the TIS page on the school website for more info about this service.
A Health, Education or Social Care professional must complete a written referral to Occupational Therapy for a ‘new’ referral and consent must be obtained from the parent(s)/carer(s). Any child in the school may be referred, providing they meet the criteria of having ‘at least two functional difficulties, not in line with their developmental stage’ or ‘a complex postural need’. A parent may make a ‘re-referral’ directly to the Occupational Therapist if their child has been seen by the service within the last 2 years.
Occupational Therapist Availability: Thursdays 9.15am to 3.15pm and can be contacted via the school office on Tel no: 01403 266215 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Multi-agency SupportFor those students who need additional support ‘Team around the Child’ meetings are held, bringing together all professionals to ensure the young person and their family receive all the necessary support.
Clinical PsychologistElizabeth Scott-Gliba, our clinical psychologist supports pupils, staff and parents as required. If parents would like to speak to her, please make an appointment through the school office.
Students can be supported by professionals such as the incontinence nurse and by advisory teachers for the visual and hearing impaired. Referrals can be made through the class teacher or the school nurse.