WHAT WE DO AND HOW WE DO IT
Our leaders, therapists and educationalists work seamlessly together to teach and proactively support pupils who have endured (and endure) adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), including trauma, toxic stress and associated mental health needs.
Drawing upon innovative methodologies, our effective and consistent provision aims to break the cycle of adversity for pupils and their families.
- The safety of our pupils is our absolute priority; it always comes first
- Our multi-disciplinary team works together as one, supported and challenged by an expert governing body
- Our therapy-centred, values-driven curriculum facilitates pupils' holistic progress over time
- Our endlessly positive, 'structured but flexible' approach improves pupils' behaviour over time
- As a responsible, ethical and aware organisation and employer, we are committed, including as Stonewall Champions, to equality for all.
KEEPING OUR PUPILS SAFE
Mrs Evans leads on keeping pupils safe
Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our pupils. Our 'designated safeguarding lead' is Joanne Evans. As a child protection specialist, she is the senior point of contact across our schools and oversees our effective approach to all aspects of keeping pupils safe, including child protection.
The three key pieces of statutory guidance our keeping children safe policy is based upon are:
OUR LATEST INSPECTION
- To say that staff know the pupils well, have high aspirations for them and are highly committed, is to understate the quality of the school’s work.
- The curriculum is well-thought-through and central to the success of teaching and learning over time.
- Pupils thrive in response to what is on offer, often achieving skills and qualifications that had not been thought possible.
- A calm and purposeful environment is evident on each site.
- Pupils trust and respect staff, and talk openly about their worries and successes.
OUR THERAPEUTIC APPROACH
Our seamless approach to the provision of therapy means that therapists and teachers 'work as one' to support pupils' social, emotional, behavioural and educational development
Jack Morgan is a music therapist and head of therapy at our Kennington site. Jack joins with pupils in pursuing particular therapeutic aims through shared musical experiences. Aims of therapy might include relieving stress, processing emotions, developing self-confidence and improving relationships. Pupils are free to play instruments, make recordings and share music by their favourite artists… exploring, imagining, sampling, singing, playing along, or simply listening in caring company.
Louisa Webster is a dramatherapist and is head of therapy at our Vauxhall site. Drama therapy works with the pupils' creativity, imagination and personal expression. It aims to encourage confidence, self-exploration, social communication and to realise potential. In these sessions pupils can express themselves and explore experiences in an indirect way using sand, role-play and storytelling, using objects, art materials, poetry and creative writing.
Tim Hudson is a play therapist. Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with and support pupils in their self-expression, to explore their thoughts and feelings and make sense of life experiences. Play therapy sessions may include using sand, arts and crafts and a range of toys including animal and human figurines and sensory toys.
- Integrative Therapy
Georgia Gkertsou is head of therapy at our Walworth site and specialises in play therapy. Georgia works with an integrative approach with pupils and staff. She offers a flexible therapeutic approach based on the needs of the individual pupil, working effectively with pupils in the classroom as well as offering scheduled therapy sessions. Georgia works in a child-led way and may use different creative approaches to help pupils express themselves in the best way for them.
Anna Wood is an attachment-informed therapist and is trained in family-based assessment and interventions. Attachment-informed therapy offers a systemic approach to understanding the strategies and methods people use when forming relationships. This includes 1:1 and group work with pupils, parents and staff to support attachment, social, emotional and mental health needs
We have three therapy dogs, Paddy, Dougie and Cedric (pictured), who spend time with pupils to encourage emotional regulation, nurture, connection, empathy and social skills, and help pupils develop a sense of trust and self-worth. Cedric especially likes to listen to pupils read to him!
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY
Sian is our speech and language therapist. She conducts assessments of pupils’ communication skills and plans personalised one-to-one and classroom interventions as needed. Speech & language therapy focuses on areas including attention and listening, social communication, emotional literacy (using words to express feelings), receptive language (understanding spoken language), expressive language (using words to express ideas), speech production (pronouncing target sounds/words accurately) and speech fluency (speaking without hesitations or stuttering).
Occupational therapy can help pupils with various needs including their physical, sensory, cognitive and motor skills. This, in turn, can work to enhance their confidence and self-esteem. Occupational therapists look at the skills needed for pupils to learn and complete everyday tasks. They assess and address any issues that might be getting in the way. This includes, for example, one-to-one and whole-class interventions to support pupils’ handwriting, their processing of information or being able to stay calm and concentrate.
Becky Hills is our educational psychologist. She works with both therapists and teachers in order to assess our pupils’ needs, develop strategies to address them, and helps staff implement these strategies. Becky regularly meets with our families, providing another vital link between home and school and encouraging the consistent use of successful techniques with individual pupils.
CHILD & ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) offer assessment and treatment when pupils experience emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. We work very closely with CAMHS, including with their specialist psychiatrists and psychologists.
Our schools provide a broad, balanced, relevant and