Many of the students who experience learning difficulties also have other diagnoses such as Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Attachment Disorder, together with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. Some students will have missed a great deal of schooling and may have a poor image of themselves as learners. This means programmes need to be highly individualised and take account of the insights of parents, carers and other members of staff as well as data from more formal assessments.
The school holds fortnightly therapy meetings where all the therapy providers (or where all those who work with healing) meet. It forms a gathering of the therapeutic focus, where children's needs can be given a different kind of attention.
Policy No. 48 - Therapeutic Techniques
Learning Support sessions are always one-to one and last for forty minutes. Children are timetabled for individual lessons following referral by class teachers. They are then given a diagnostic assessment designed to pin-point the exact nature of the student's learning difficulties. These difficulties will usually involve delayed reading and spelling attainment but may also involve maths problems. The assessment focuses on areas such phonological awareness, working memory, processing speed, comprehension, laterality and reading and spelling levels. This information is then used to form the basis for an Individual Learning Programme designed to enable the student to make progress and more fully benefit from their class work. This assessment will also be used as evidence for securing access arrangements for external examinations.
Some students will go on to Higher Education, including university, and for these study skills sessions are available, focusing on Memory, Time Management and Academic Reading and Writing techniques.
Children at Philpots are supported to access counselling where the emphasis is upon offering them a respectful and accepting therapeutic relationship. Once trust is established, the students can explore some of their issues, through a variety of creative approaches, for example, person-centred art therapy, therapeutic play and drama and movement. These ways of working mean that those who are unable to process their feelings verbally can find an outlet for them.
Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT)
Philpots Manor School has an in-house SaLT department with a qualified Speech Therapist and a Speech Therapy Assistant providing a continuous input during the whole of the school year. They work with all aspects of communication. This can include: language impairments, speech sound difficulties and social communication difficulties. Referrals, assessments, once or twice weekly therapy sessions, liaising with teaching and house staff, and monitoring are all part of the SaLT input at Philpots.
Eurythmy - harmonious movement- is a part of the anthroposophical medical approach, developed by Dr.R.Steiner, which takes into account both the natural scientific phenomena and the soul spiritual aspect of the human being. Its applications have been used in a wide range of somatic and mental health conditions.
Eurythmy movement therapy aims to support change to restore the organism towards balance. The exercises improve posture, mobility, spatial orientation, breathing and circulation. It supports well -being and a sense of self esteem. At Philpots Manor School we use eurythmy movement therapy when advised by our fully qualified school doctor who specializes in an anthroposophical medical approach.
In weekly sessions, the aim is to support and strengthen each student's healthy core self. This is done by exploring tasks, using a range of creative media, designed specifically for each individual supporting them to gain confidence, new faculties and social skills. By engaging their enthusiasm and healthy imagination, the intention is to help them address their problems and become more able to face them.