This academic year 2022-2023 was a new start for TWT once again. We had new staff and new students starting which meant we needed a period of adjustment.
The new cohort is composed of KS3 students who are extremely vulnerable and have special educational needs at different levels and complexity. This meant we urgently needed to change the way we delivered lessons, and managed behaviour and it highlighted the need for therapy as a major piece of our provision.
We are very happy to report that since November 2022, TWT has expanded its therapeutic offer and our pupils have access to the following therapies:
- Speech and Language Therapy: Ashna has joined us with a wealth of experience and starting in January she has been with us two days a week. This means we will have ten of our students being assessed and receiving specialist support from her. She then writes reports so we can share them with parents and EHCP Coordinators as well as with teachers and staff so the strategies and targets can be implemented in lessons and around the school to better support these students.
- Art Therapy: Makiko has been with us for a year and has really made a positive impact on the students she has been working with. She is in on Thursdays and has been consistently working with students from the nurture group since September 2022. The sessions give these students a way of voicing their emotions through creative tasks and it gives them more tools and confidence to overcome emotional barriers.
- Animal Therapy: The students in Nurture attend the Arc Centre every week. This is a chance to work with animals, complete different tasks, stretch their comfort zones and achieve AQA Unit Awards. Students really benefit from this and enjoy this experience.
Furthermore, we are working to permanently set up Occupational and Talking Therapies to ensure that all our pupils are appropriately assessed and allocated the relevant intervention. This will support their developments in relation to social, emotional, mental and physical health and ensure that they are supported to access the wider curriculum in readiness for their next steps.
In addition to the therapies, we have implemented Choice Theory and Zones of Regulation language in lessons and whenever we are interacting with students so that we can better support them with regulating their emotions as well as making the right choices.
Staff have weekly CPD sessions where we share best practices, strategies and tools to meet individual students’ needs and also expand our skills and knowledge of SEN. All staff have also completed Choice Theory and PRICE training.
Overall, TWT has really turned a corner and can proudly say we are an SEN school that offers an increasingly therapeutic approach to the most vulnerable young people in the community.