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As well as delivering the best possible education, we also have a clinical team who provide care and therapy to benefit the children and young people in our school.


Our Therapy Team

At Oaklands School, the education and therapy staff work together as part of a multi-disciplinary team, which is designed to meet the wide-ranging needs of our pupils. We are an autism friendly school. Our teachers and support staff work closely with our psychologist to assess and design programmes to enable our pupils to achieve and develop to their best ability. We keep up to date with current thinking and developments in education for children with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC).

We tailor our approach to each child, as no two children with ASC think and learn in the same way. We have dedicated staff members who specialise in therapies to meet the wide-ranging needs of our pupils, including speech and language therapy, play therapy and occupational therapy. The therapy provision at Oaklands School follows a tiered approach reflecting the whole school ethos, support for the class teacher and individual support:


Universal Provision

  • Trauma informed whole school approach

  • Enabling and inclusive environments

  • Building sensory ladders for all pupils

  • Zones of regulation


Targeted Therapy

  • Therapeutic screening and intervention

  • Small group and class approach

  • Therapy team support for the class teacher

  • Ongoing assessment and evaluation


Specialist Provision

  • EHPC informed individual support

  • Occupational therapy assessments

  • Engagement with parents in multi-disciplinary sessions

  • EHCP reviews and evaluation

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and language therapy provides treatment, support and care for pupils who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing. Our speech and language therapists work as part of a team with our other therapists and work with teachers, parents, carers and other professionals to provide support tailored to the individual pupils needs, as outlined in their Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

Play Therapy

Learning through play supports pupils who need support to express emotions. They will work with toys, equipment and materials to recreate issues that represent emotional conflicts that are important to the child. Through the play therapy process, children create play that resembles the emotional experiences they are struggling with internally. These experiences often cannot be expressed verbally. Children will select specific toys (e.g. small world play, role play, sand, instruments art and craft) to include in their play and use those toys to recreate issues that represent emotional conflicts important to the child. The child’s play evolves to enable the child to gain a sense of understanding and comfort over the situation resulting in gains in confidence, empowerment, empathy, and self-esteem. When facilitated by a play therapist, the play becomes focused on the emotional component of play. This leads to understanding, resolution, and re-establishment of balance in the child’s sense of well-being.

Occupational Therapist

Our occupational therapists will support all pupils when participating in meaningful activities to aid them in improving their quality of life and wellbeing. These types of activities can include self-care, productivity, and leisure activities. Occupational Therapy (OT) enables people of all ages to participate in meaningful activities (occupations) that they want, need or are expected to take part in, looking to improve their quality of life and wellbeing. Occupations for children and young people may include self-care (getting ready to go out, eating a meal, using the toilet), being productive (learning in school, volunteering, caring for a pet) and play and leisure activities (playing independently or with friends, taking part in hobbies and socialising).

The school occupational therapist will become involved when the child or young person is experiencing challenges in meaningful activities within their school life. For example, in their school work (handwriting, following instructions, staying on task), in their life skills (organising belongings, eating in the school canteen, changing for P.E.), in break times (joining group games, making friends) and with transitions (moving from one place to another within the school, in between tasks).

Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA)

Trained teaching assistants who support our pupils, in learning to understand their own emotions, while becoming aware of and respecting the emotions of the pupils around them. ELSAs are teaching assistants who have had special training from educational psychologists to support the emotional development of children and young people in school. ELSAs have regular professional supervision from educational psychologists to help them in their work. ELSAs help children and young people learn to understand their emotions and respect the feelings of those around them. They provide the time and space for pupils to think about their personal circumstances and how they manage them.

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