Therapies

Therapy informs everything we do at The Chelsea Group of Children. 

All students have both group and individual assessment and treatment from speech and language therapists and occupational therapists working full time in the school. Therapists also work in the classroom to assess the children during work and play to provide valuable input to all staff working with the children.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy is provided in several formats at the Chelsea Group of Children. Students are continually assessed and intervention programs are designed to meet their individual needs.

Assessment

The initial assessment occurs over a period of several weeks to develop an accurate profile of the child; tested under non-stressful conditions to determine the student’s highest levels of ability. Therapy profiles guide all practice at Chelsea Group, therefore it is essential that equal importance is given to recognising and utilising the child’s strengths, as to identifying their challenges and unique needs.

On enrolling at CGC, each pupil receives a block of initial assessments in order to establish a baseline of their occupational therapy strengths and needs. Accurate assessment consists of a combination of formal and informal approaches, including formal standardised tests, informal assessment activities and observations of a pupil’s functioning in different environments throughout the school day. The information from the assessments is used to develop an individual OT provision map for each pupil. Therapy provision maps are used by all staff within the school to ensure a consistent approach is used so that a pupil’s strengths are utilised to help them access the curriculum, and effective strategies are used to develop their needs.

Individualised Therapeutic input throughout the school day

Occupational therapists develop an individualised therapy provision map for each pupil which outlines the therapy input the pupil requires throughout the school day. Pupils receive individual therapy sessions as specified in a pupil’s statement/EHCP, to introduce new skills, and to reassess a pupil’s strengths and needs. The importance of meeting a pupil’s therapeutic needs is reflected in the school timetable, where therapy groups are a central part of the school day. For pupils who require sensory input in order to engage in lessons, the school day commences with a ‘Therapy Start’ assembly session led by a therapist and teaching assistants to provide either alerting or calming strategies to prepare the pupil for the lessons ahead. All pupils participate in regular OT groups as part of the school timetable including movement, cooking, life skills, handwriting, and community outings. Pupils are grouped with peers of a similar developmental level and activities are designed for each group’s unique needs. OT’s work alongside teaching staff at park time to support the development of sensory regulation and gross and fine motor skills during play and during Therapeutic Lunch Groups, which are designed to promote independent feeding skills.

Blended working with classroom staff

The Occupational Therapists work closely with teachers and teaching assistants in the classroom and in curriculum development. The therapists provide input and advice on handwriting development, and collaborate with the movement team to provide input and advice on developing gross motor skills. In the classroom, therapists provide advice on sensory strategies to support children’s access to the curriculum as well as input on the needs for adaptive equipment, including seating. Therapists  work 1 to 1 with pupil’s in class to help them generalise skills and to model activities and strategies to be used by staff. Joint work with classroom staff is essential to ensure a consistent approach is used throughout the school day.

Group Occupational Therapy Sessions 

All children receive group Occupational Therapy sessions conducted by the OT.  Children are grouped with peers of similar developmental levels, and activities are designed for each group’s unique needs. Group sessions include activities of daily living, cookery, community outings, handwriting, yoga, gross motor movement skills.

Social Development

The Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Therapists work collaboratively to develop and implement social development lessons. This program targets a range of social skills, interaction and communication as well as developing play skills and life skills.

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language Therapy is provided in several formats at the Chelsea Group of Children. Students are continually assessed and intervention programs are designed to meet their individual needs.

Assessment

The initial assessment occurs over a period of several weeks to develop an accurate profile of the child; tested under non-stressful conditions to determine the student’s highest levels of ability.  Therapy profiles guide all practice at Chelsea Group, therefore it is essential that equal importance is given to recognising and utilising the child’s strengths, as to identifying their challenges and unique needs.

On enrolling at CGC, each pupil receives a block of initial assessments in order to establish a baseline of their communication strengths and needs. Accurate assessment consists of a combination of formal and informal approaches, including formal standardised tests, informal assessment activities and observations of a pupil’s functioning in different environments throughout the school day. The information from the assessments is used to develop an individual Speech and Language Therapy provision map for each pupil. Therapy provision maps are used by all staff within the school to ensure a consistent approach is used so that a pupil’s strengths are utilised to help them access the curriculum, and effective strategies are used to develop their needs.

Individualised Therapeutic input throughout the school day

The Speech and Language Therapists develop an individualised Speech and Language Therapy provision map for each pupil which outlines the therapy input the pupil requires throughout the school day. Pupils receive individual therapy sessions as specified in a pupil’s statement/EHCP, to introduce new skills, and to reassess a pupil’s strengths and needs. The importance of meeting a pupil’s therapeutic needs is reflected in the school timetable, where therapy groups are a central part of the school day. For pupils who require support with social communication and emotional regulation in order to engage in lessons, the school day commences with a ‘Therapy Start’ assembly session led by therapists alongside teaching assistants to provide social communication and emotional regulation input to prepare the pupil for the lessons ahead. All pupils participate in regular SaLT groups as part of the school timetable including social communication/PSHE and language enrichment. Pupils are grouped with peers of a similar developmental level and activities are designed for each group’s unique needs. Therapists work alongside teaching staff at park time to support pupils’ use of language and/or AAC to request activities and snack, and during therapeutic mealtimes, which are designed to promote independent feeding skills.

Blended working with classroom staff

The Speech and Language Therapists work closely with teachers in the classroom and in curriculum development. The therapists provide input and advice on developing speaking and listening skills, and lead teaching in PSHE to develop awareness of self and others. In the classroom, therapists provide advice on communication strategies to support access to sessions, including the use of visuals and signing to support spoken and written information as well as providing any adaptive equipment.  The therapists work one to one with children within the classroom helping them to generalise their skills.  The collaboration of teacher and therapist provides a model for teachers  and support staff on how to implement the SaLT goals within the classroom, ensuring there is a consistent approach to meeting all targets.

Group Speech and Language Therapy Sessions 

All children receive group SaLT sessions.  These group sessions are conducted by the Speech and Language Therapist.  Children are grouped with peers of similar developmental levels, and activities are designed for each group’s unique needs. Group sessions may include social communication, Makaton, phonological awareness, PECs, PHSE, and vocabulary enrichment.