As a school and College dedicated to ensuring the best possible provision for our young people we are constantly re-evaluating our provision map. In order to meet the diverse needs of our population we seek advice and support from other agencies and professionals.
Special Needs School Nurse – Deborah McKenna
The special needs school nursing service exists to provide advice, guidance and consultancy and appropriate clinical decisions and interventions to enable children with additional and complex health needs to receive care and support from those who know them best in a competent and timely way i.e. right person, right place, right time. Objectives:
- To provide specialist health advice support and coordination and, where indicated health care delivery, to ensure the health needs are met for children, young people and families with complex and additional health needs registered at a school within the borough or who live within the borough. This includes children and young people who are placed out of borough during term time. The service will also provide advice, consultancy and support to those children and families outside term time
- To carry out sound clinical decision making and clinical interventions when indicated and appropriate in line with the service requirements and the health care professionals scope of professional practice and competence
- To work seamlessly with other health providers to ensure that the health needs of these children and young people are met by delivering ‘the right care by the right person, at the right time, in the right place’.
- To complement the work of universal provision in their delivery of the Universal Partnership Plus as outlined within the Healthy Child Programme.
Speech and Language Therapist – Emily Shepherd
Within school the role of the Speech and Language therapist is wide ranging but is fundamentally collaborative. All staff within school need to understand each pupils communication difficulties and the strategies that need to be put in place to ensure the development of communication skills. The Speech and Language Therapists role will be to:
- Assess functioning and advise staff on the strengths and weaknesses of individual pupils
- Diagnose language difficulties and advise staff of strategies and approaches
- Work with staff on developing jointly agreed targets that will work both at home and school
- Actively support the school in developing its whole school Total Communication Policy and provide on-going training in aspects of language acquisition.
- Work alongside staff in further developing the work of the KS3 Language Groups ensuring staff have the knowledge and expertise to deliver high quality language intervention programmes.
- Liaise and collaborate with the Communication Co-ordinator to ensure work is prioritised with the needs of the school and individual pupils.
- Support school staff in the delivery of feeding programmes and developing the correct Feeding Guidelines for specified pupils.
The purpose of occupational therapy is to help our pupils to achieve or maintain their maximum level of independence and to develop practical life skills so that they can participate to their full potential in the home and classroom environment. This occurs in partnership with the therapist, school and home.
The Occupational therapist provides assessments in the following areas:
- Developmental skills including cognitive, motor & play development.
- Self-care and functional skills such as feeding, dressing or toileting
- Fine motor skills particularly in relation to functional tasks such as handwriting, using a knife or fork, use of scissors.
- Gross motor and co-ordination skills where there are concerns about general co-ordination in relation to general function such as learning to ride a bike, performance in P.E, sitting posture in the classroom.
- Visual perception skills in relation to handwriting & other functional tasks
- Splinting- monitoring use of upper limbs and provision of support if necessary.
Where appropriate therapy is provided to improve specific problems or difficulties using play and other therapeutic activities.
To access the Occupational Therapist a referral should be made either by school or GP however for on-going access to postural equipment no referral needs to be made.
Voice Specialist and Qualified Music Therapist – Beth Allen
I work as a creative practitioner using music intuitively and instinctively to access voice, and speech, and self-expression. I use the voice and music to find ways into improving communication. The pleasure of singing, the pleasure in songs, and of just making sounds with or without rhythm is at the centre of my work and it is used as the incentive to share, express, and communicate.
I am particularly interested in how important it is to be seen and heard so performance is often part of how I would work. Using a microphone or learning instruments are also extensions to self-expression so if their voice is difficult for some people, instruments and microphones might be a way in….ie ukulele or guitar or piano, solo or in small groups.
The Physiotherapy service at PCHS& C is provided at the discretion of local PCT .The service aims to help pupils achieve maximum mobility, function and independence within the limits of their disability and general health.
Pupils who will require physiotherapy are assessed for mobility and function on arrival at school. Advice on suitable activities and equipment is given to the pupil, staff at school and of course, to the carers at home. A mobility management programme will be developed and administered in different ways but usually incorporated into the school day as an integrated programme. They can be given by Teachers and Support Assistants under the guidance of the Physiotherapist and with the on-going support of the PD team.
Physiotherapy programmes are bespoke to the child as each pupil has specific needs.
Physiotherapy interventions may include any of the following:
Instruction in appropriate positioning, exercise or physical activity to be integrated into the school day or for use at home.
Mobility advice and supply of appropriate equipment
Continuing advice and training for staff
Liaison with parents / carers
Referral to other professionals or multidisciplinary working with the other Health professionals on site.
Reporting at reviews, as appropriate
Specialist teacher of pupils with Multi-Sensory Impairments – Wendy Pallant (independent)
Wendy has supported school, on an independent basis for 2 years. Wendy works with the SENCO and staff on developing bespoke provision for pupils who have both a Visual and Hearing impairment which affects access to the visual and auditory curriculum. Wendy provides training for staff and advice on suitable schemes of work and differentiation. Wendy works closely with both the Teacher of pupils with Visual Impairment and the teacher of pupils with Hearing Impairment.
Specialist teacher of pupils with Visual Impairments – Kath Rowland (IDSS)
Kath is a regular visitor to school and works with many of our pupils in both 1:1 settings and on an advisory basis. Kath supports school in ensuring we have the correct equipment for pupils with visual impairments and that our environment is regularly audited to ensure best practice. Kath supports pupils in maximising literacy skills in both braille and Moon and developing white cane skills. Staff are also provided with training in these skills to ensure consistency of practice.
Specialist teacher of pupils with Hearing Impairments – Toni Davies (IDSS)
Toni is a regular visitor to school and has a wide remit. Toni works closely with out HI specialist TA who supports pupils across the timetable in resource management such as hearing aid management, loop system management, radio aid checks but also in the development of MAKATON, BSL and Ears2Hear Lunchtime Club for pupils with hearing impairments and their advocates.
In addition Toni works to develop staff skills in understanding the impact of hearing impairments on self-esteem, literacy development and expressive language. Toni supports school in liaising with parents and offers a regular ‘drop-in’ session advising parents on support in the local community.
Toni works closely with Hearing Technicians to ensure the radio system within school functions appropriately and all students aids are set at the correct frequency.