WHAT WE DO And HOW WE DO IT
In 2022, we celebrated our tenth year as 'outstanding' specialists in education and therapy for pupils who have suffered adverse childhood experiences. These are known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on physical and emotional health and well-being.ACEs, and include trauma and Children experience toxic stress as a result of strong, frequent, and/or repeated suffering without adequate support from an adult.toxic stress. Our all-qualified team of teachers and therapists 'work as one' with pupils aged 5 to 16 who benefit from a therapeutic curriculum focused on meeting their social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) needs.
- Pupils' safety always comes first. Our systems go 'above and beyond' the requirements for schools. Teaching pupils about safety and healthy relationships is at the core of our curriculum.
- Our unique, all-qualified professional workforce 'work as one' to provide an innovative therapeutic curriculum.
- Our 'always positive' and 'structured but flexible' approaches improve pupils' behaviour and attitudes over time.
- We are committed to equality for all.
- Our exceptional leaders are held to account by our expert independent governors.
OUR PUPILS' SAFETY COMES FIRST
Pupils' safety always comes first, and is everybody's responsibility. Jo Evans leads on keeping everybody safe. She is responsible for all aspects of child protection, safeguarding and health & safety.
We pay regard to statutory guidance, including the latest version of 'Keeping Children Safe in Education'.
Our key safeguarding documents are available here:
OUR MOST RECENT INSPECTIONS
- OHS does everything well. The schools are highly effective. (London, 2022)
- Pupils get a fresh start and thrive. They love coming to school. (Essex, 2023)
- Staff go beyond the ordinary to help pupils reach their full potential. (London, '22)
- Staff ensure they show pupils that they truly care for them. (Essex, 2023)
- The therapeutic and academic curriculums are woven together seamlessly. (London, '22)
OUR THERAPEUTIC APPROACH
Our seamless approach to therapy means that therapists and teachers 'work as one' to support pupils' social, emotional, behavioural and educational development.
We hold therapy and a therapeutic approach at the heart of everything we do, understanding that if pupils feel emotionally and mentally well, they are able to play and learn with interest and enthusiasm.
Art therapy is used to improve self awareness, self esteem, promote insights and develop emotional regulation. April is our art therapist at OHS, London. She facilitates child-centred, creative therapy using art as a tool for connecting and understanding the pupils' inner world, feelings and experiences.
We provide canine therapy across all of our schools. Some of our dogs are volunteers and some belong to staff members. The dogs help to support pupils' emotional regulation and well-being.
Please see our families page for a short video exploring the therapeutic benefits of having dogs at school.
Dramatherapy uses creativity and the imagination to support feelings. It can help pupils to understand different emotions and to build confidence. Louisa is a drama therapist at OHS, London, whilst Oliver is based at OHS, Essex. In their dramatherapy sessions, pupils can share their thoughts and experiences in a safe way using role-play, storytelling, sand-play, lots of different objects, art materials, poetry and creative writing.
- EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
Educational psychology is the study of how we learn. Aysun is our educational psychologist. Her assessments of pupils help them to better access the learning environment. She works alongside therapists and teachers in order to assess our pupils' needs and to develop strategies to help. She also meets with families to discuss what they see at home and to offer additional support.
- Family Support
At every Octavia House School, lead therapists provide therapeutic support to families, tailored to meet the needs of the individual family - whether flexible and ad-hoc or weekly, online or face-to-face, individually or with their child. We work in an integrated way, using a variety of therapeutic tools that support families for meaningful and transformative change.
Integrative therapy is flexible, child-led and adapted to meet pupils' complex needs. Pupils can choose different ways to share their thoughts and feelings. These may include play, drama, music or art. All our psychotherapists (art, drama, music, and play) work with pupils and staff in the classroom as well as offering flexible, child-led therapy sessions in their therapy rooms.
Music therapy uses music and song writing to help pupils share their feelings and experiences. Aims of therapy include relieving stress, problem-solving, understanding emotions, increasing levels of self-confidence and improving relationships. Ben is our music therapist at OHS, London. In his therapy sessions, pupils can play a range of instruments, make recordings and share music by their favourite artists.
Occupational therapy (known as 'OT') helps pupils with various needs, including with pupils' movement and attention. OT can can help to build pupils' confidence, self-esteem and therefore improve their access to learning. Our occupational therapists (Lenez and Alicia at OHS, London, and Nicola at OHS, Essex) create plans to support the development of key skills needed for pupils to learn and complete everyday tasks. They work with pupils both in the classroom and in specialist therapy spaces.
Play therapy uses different ways of playing to help pupils develop confidence in talking to others, and communicating their thoughts and feelings. Jack is our play therapist at OHS, London. His therapy sessions may include using sand, arts and crafts, and a range of toys. Play therapy is a place where pupils can think about how they are feeling and share different experiences in a safe way.
- SPEECH AND LANGUAGE
SPEECH & LANGUAGE THERAPY
Speech and language therapy (known as 'SaLT') helps pupils improve their communication and language skills. Our speech and language therapists (Terisha at OHS, London, and Corinne at OHS, Essex) assess pupils to understand whether there are additional needs that can be better supported in school. If additional needs are identified, a pupil may then be offered one-to-one and/or group therapy and/or indirect support in the classroom.
OUR SPECIALIST CURRICULUM
Our curriculum is ambitious and effective. It focuses sharply on developing pupils socially, emotionally and academically. As well as getting the therapy they need, our all-qualified team of experts teach pupils a broad range of subjects. The curriculum is complemented by an enriching extra-curricular programme, including daily after-school clubs.
Our Schools, TEAM & CONTACTS
To refer a pupil with an EHC plan for their SEMH needs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our schools do not cater for pupils with a primary need of autism.
We do not facilitate visits to our schools without a formal consultation from a prospective pupil's local authority.
For any other help, please email email@example.com
We do not accommodate student/trainee placements, or make use of volunteers.
Octavia House School Vauxhall, London
Octavia House School Walworth, London
Octavia House School Kennington, London
OCTAVIA HOUSE SCHOOLGreat Baddow, Essex
The senior vice principal for safety, safeguarding and compliance is Joanne Evans.
The senior vice principal for quality and standards is Rhys Pritchard.
The principal for all schools, and Octavia House Schools' CEO, is James Waite.
The proprietor body for both Octavia House Schools, London and Octavia House Schools, Essex is Octavia House Schools Limited (08047473), registered at 37 Warren Street, London W1T 6AD. Richard Leonard chairs the proprietor and governing bodies of both schools. He is contactable in writing at the Kennington address above or by telephone via the main switchboard.
The governing body for both schools comprises an expert group of highly-experienced inspectors, leaders and therapists. Our external governors are: Emily Barlow, Lesley Cox, Barney Payne and John Seal.