Gem Herriot – Specialist Occupational Therapist (Full-time)
Laura Watling – Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Full-time)
Zoe Ryan – Assistant Psychology (Full-time)
Kerri Webster – Senior Mental Health Practitioner (3 days per week)
Dr James Winkworth – Clinical Psychologist (2 days per week)
Dr Haido Vlachos – Visiting Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
To help each pupil make the most out of their education whilst they are at Potterspury Lodge School.
How we do this
Every pupil has an EHCP which tells us what they might need help with so that they can enjoy and make the most out of their education. We will make sure any needs which require the help of the Clinical team are met. We can do this several ways such as working 1:1 with a pupil; offering them a therapy group on a specific topic (e.g. anxiety); or working with their teachers and learning support staff to make their lessons and their classrooms more suited to the pupil’s needs.
We can also take referrals if a pupil needs additional help from the Clinical team which is not in their EHCP. We can take referrals from parents, teachers and LSAs, and if they want to pupils can refer themselves directly. We meet every Wednesday to discuss referrals and we will let the person who made the referral know what we are going to offer once we have talked about it. We try and do this within two weeks of getting a referral.
How we work
When we want to help a pupil the first step is finding out as much as we can about them and what they might need help with. This is called an assessment. We might ask a pupil or their parents to fill in some questionnaires and we might observe the pupil in some of their lessons. Once completed we use the assessment to understand the pupil and what they need and come up with a plan of how we can help. As we want to make sure we get this right and find out everything we need to know about a pupil in order to help them, assessments can take time to complete.
At this stage we can then use our plan to help the pupil. We might offer them some 1:1 work with us, offer them a therapy group, or work with their teachers and learning support staff to make their lessons and their classrooms easier for them to access. Sometimes we may not be able to offer help and might advise that the pupil is referred to other sources of help, such as CAMHS. Once we have done this we may ask the pupil or parents to complete some more questionnaires to see if what we have done has worked and if there is anything else we can do to help.
Things we can help pupils with
• Reducing anxiety
• Understanding friendships and relationships
• Understanding and regulating difficult emotions
• Accepting and embracing their diagnosis
• Understanding the impact of their behaviour and learning new ways to get what they need
• Understanding new ways to live with sensory needs
• Practice handwriting and fine motor skills needed to undertake classroom work
• Practice new skills needed for independent living
• Practice and develop language, communication and social interaction skills
• Assessment and Diagnostics where required