Occupational Therapy at SMBS is provided at a universal, targeted and specialist level within the school.
The school works in collaboration with Westminster Training & Outreach Service Occupational Therapy Team to provide Occupational Therapy (OT) at a targeted and specialist level within the school and we have an Occupational Therapist in school 2 days a week to support and develop our whole school offer.
Many of the OT strategies which address attention and concentration and social interaction cross over with the SALT strategies and interventions embedded within the school’s universal approach and/or interventions and approaches that our school-based team SALT team is trained in and best placed to deliver.
Where a student has OT provision specified in their EHCP, the designated Westminster SEN Occupational Therapist from the Training & Outreach Service delivers the provision specified in the Plan. This varies according to the individual Plan; it may necessitate termly, half termly, fortnightly or more frequent visits from the Occupational Therapist in order to deliver direct input or it may be that the OT input can be provided indirectly through consultation with school staff and support, training and review. OT provision specified in students’ EHCPs will vary from one individual to another. Nonetheless, the school’s universal approach and collaboration with the Training & Outreach Occupational Therapy Team allows us to provide a comprehensive level of support and expertise to meet students’ OT needs and goals.
The focus of OT input within the school is to support and enhance students’ performance and independence both within the school environment and beyond. OT interventions and strategies implemented within the school address some or all of the following areas:
- Fine and gross motor skills
- Self-care tasks
- Sensory processing
- Attention and concentration
- Social interaction
The table below provides details of how the school makes provision to support these areas through a graduated approach:
- Provision of advice and training to school staff in order to be able them to implement and embed OT programmes and strategies.
- Life skills development through OCN qualification in Independent Living lessons
- Zones of Regulation - A programme that supports students to develop understanding of their feelings. This enables them to optimise learning by staying in the calm alert state that is needed for effective learning.
- Functional problem solving intervention - This intervention supports students to understand problems in life, and follow the stages required to successfully solve simple-complex problems.
- Learning breaks are incorporated into all lessons to optimise students’ attention and concentration.
- Development of gross motor skills through weekly PE lessons and varied enrichment activities, such as rowing, dance, yoga and cycling.
- Development of fine motor skills and functional life skills through weekly Food Tech lessons for students in all year groups from Year 7 through to 11.
- Development of fine motor skills through weekly Art & Design lessons for students in all year groups from Year 7 through to 11.
- Provision of weekly Communication lessons delivered by a Speech and Language Therapist to support and develop all areas of students’ communication skills including social skills and focus and concentration.
- Provision of Lunchtime Clubs each day delivered by Speech and Language Therapists and Teachers trained to support pupils’ social interaction skills through these activities.
- Provision of fine motor skills intervention to targeted groups of students through half termly blocks.
- Provision of touch typing programmes to targeted individuals.
- Grocery shopping visits to support students’ use functional communication and independence skills in context.
- Year 9 Residential Trip provides opportunities to practise social, self-care and independence skills in context.
- Assessment, prescription and maintenance of specialist equipment, seating and mobility aids.
- Provision of specialist programmes to support the development of independent daily living skills, such as dressing and toileting.
- The Annual Review of Education Health & Care Plans in conjunction with the school’s review process for EHCPs.
- Therapeutic tools (headphones, putty, pen/pencil grips) provided where increased benefit identified.