At Yewstock, we believe that every interaction is an intervention.
Universal, Targeted & Specialist
At Yewstock, we provide a graduated approach to supporting our pupils. Universal strategies involve input, guidance or training from relevant professionals which empower staff to facilitate a range of support techniques within the classroom on a daily basis.
Targeted approaches are referred, time-limited interventions provided by staff specially trained in a particular area of need and are carried out 1:1 or in a small group. Learning is base lined at the start and assessed at the end of the intervention to evaluate progress.
Specialist support is for a small number of pupils whose needs cannot be met through Universal or Targeted approaches. At this level the specialist will provide direct and/or individualised sessions. This support requires a referral to the specialist, a thorough assessment of need and a bespoke programme of intervention. The ultimate aim is always for a Universal approach, even if Targeted or Specialist support was needed first.
The Lighthouse Interventions
At Yewstock, our pupils join us at many different ages. We have a number of pupils who transfer to us from mainstream education who have been unable to access the curriculum. In addition, due to the variety of learning profiles, some of our existing pupils may need a boost in a specific area of difficulty or additional challenge in an area of particular ability.
For these pupils, The Lighthouse offers a range of one-to-one and small-group targeted interventions such as:
- Maths support
- Literacy support
- Social Communication Skills
- Drawing & Talking
- Brick by Brick
- Rapid Recall
- Visual Perception Skills Builder
- TAC PAC
- Rebound Therapy
- Sensory Support
Nurture Provision & The Treehouse
Nurture provision addresses children’s SEMH needs through targeted activities including academic teaching, and targeted living skills work, designed to help children develop vital social skills, resilience, confidence and self-respect. The children work in small groups or 1:1 on focused activities relating to their social emotional needs, personal learning goals or living skills targets. The children are with their classes for tutor times and the majority of their core subjects. The number of sessions that the children attend the programme for over the course of a term is gradually phased out, but they remain supported by the nurture staff, ensuring they are transferring the skills learnt in the provision successfully into the classroom context. Nurture provision also has an associated OT who supports the group with BUSS (building underdeveloped sensorimotor systems) model programmes. The provision aims to impact in areas of need at home as well and Individual Action Plans are collaboratively planned with class teams and home.
Set up as a hybrid of home and school, the Nurture Base is called The Treehouse and it provides a relaxing and welcoming environment in which to engage the pupils in work. The building is divided into distinct sections, following NurtureUK guidance, providing a kitchen/living-skills space, play area, work zone and a dining area. Most of the formal learning takes place around the dining table and facilitates role-modelled interactions and tasks provided by the staff team. Surrounded by trees and leading to the school’s outdoor learning area, the building’s location helps achieve a sense of tranquillity, complimenting the function of the building itself in providing a safe space in which relationships are built and learning can occur.
A large number of pupils at Yewstock School have additional needs which require direct support or advice from a therapist.
SaLT: We directly employ Speech and Language Therapists, who give the staff guidance on how to maximise development in this area, following an assessment of need. They also help us to maintain our Total Communication approach to language development. This is about using a combination of communication methods which helps pupils to form connections and have successful interactions and supports conversations. Formal and informal methods are used, which reinforce each other and strengthen meaning for individuals. Language-based communication is supported through paring down language, pre-teaching vocabulary and using visual support and Signalong. We also use symbols, Assisted Language Displays, Picture Exchange Communication Systems, Talkers (communication books) and assistive technologies. We are developing a whole-school shape-coding approach which uses shapes, colours and arrows to make the grammatical rules of English explicit. Through all of these techniques, we create a language-rich environment across every aspect of a pupil’s day at school.
Physical therapies: We have good links with NHS Physiotherapy (PT) and Occupational Therapy (OT) services, and we have a Moving and Handling Lead in school who delivers physio programmes, following liaison with a Physiotherapist, and also delivers our MOVE Programme. In-house methods support with high frequency difficulties such as weak fine-motor skills. All classes integrate sensory strategies into daily practice, but a few pupils need to follow a sensory diet from an OT.
Emotional wellbeing therapies: We benefit from a school counsellor who is able to support our pupils with emotional wellbeing and offer learning strategies to cope with mental health needs. Visiting Drama, Art and Play Therapists may also be available to work with individuals or small groups to help with exploring and expressing feelings. The Lighthouse also offers ELSA and Drawing & Talking therapies to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing, delivered by trained staff.
We offer a range of activities within the curriculum to engage pupils in their learning and support them to develop their communication, physical skills, awareness of themselves and others and their independence skills. Such activities include:
- Horse Riding
- Sensory Learning
- Singing & Signing