Some of the services most used in our schools are detailed below.
The Occupational Therapy
The Occupational Therapy service supports pupils to participate as fully as possible in everyday activities where emotional, psychological or physical difficulties might hinder their ability to grow, learn, socialise and play, helping pupils to get the most from life. Occupational Therapy helps pupils with various needs to help improve their cognitive, physical, sensory and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
We also welcome support from the Learning Disability nurses team who work to provide specialist healthcare and support to pupils with a learning disability, as well as their families and staff teams, to help them live a fulfilling life.
Physiotherapy is important for many of our pupils to maintain functional ability, and the programmes designed by the therapist are then delivered in school. Where possible, exercises and programmes are integrated into the daily activities of the school, but where needed, we have allocated physiotherapy rooms which are used for the more intensive programmes
Speech and Language
Speech and Language therapists provide support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking and swallowing. The therapists create programmes of support which are then worked upon in school.
For more information about Virgin Care, and the services on offer please have a look at their website. Parents and Carers are able to refer to any of their services, and this is also something the site SENCO’s can help with.
Support from Wiltshire Council
There are a number of Teams within the Local Authority who provide excellent support and advice for pupils, their parents and carers and the school staff team.
These teams include:
We work closely with the team of Advisory Teachers from the SIPMS teams (Sensory Impairment, Physical and Medical Team (SIPMS) at Wiltshire County Council) who work with the school to ensure that we are incredibly well supported to provide the best care for our pupils. Sensory Impairment, Physical and Medical Service offer:
SIPMS encompasses three teams providing support for children with hearing impairment, visual impairment and physical or medical needs.
For Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment queries they accept referrals from health where children meet the referral criteria. These are primarily pupils with significant long term or permanent diagnosed disability. The physical and medical team provides support where there is a significant need impacting on education, and referrals are made by health or via a DART. At the current time, in almost all instances, schools will know if one of their pupils has had or is currently receiving support from our service.
Transition support is particularly important. There are transition support packages for pupils which can be a valuable link at all phase transfers.
Here are a few members of the SIPMS team
Qualified Habilitation Specialist working within Wiltshire Vision Support Team.
I support and train Children and Young People with Vision Impairment in any aspect or activity of day to day life that may be tricky due to Vision Impairment, to help them to acquire new skills to enable maximum levels of independence. This work may take the form of working on Orientation and Mobility, transport training, Long cane work, Independent living skills such as cooking, dressing and personal care and training those who work with the Child/Young person in supporting these skills.
We are advisory teachers for vision Impairment and are part of the Sensory Impairment Physical and medical service (SIPMS) within SEND.
We offer support to all Silverwood sites which includes:
Advice on visual access to all areas of learning in school for teachers and staff working with pupils.
We observe and work with pupils in class to get a better understanding of their visual needs.
We test functional vision of pupils which may be done through observation or through more formal acuity tests (if appropriate).
Provide training on vision impairment on a range of eye conditions and useful strategies for in class support.
Advise on the use of assistive technology and iPads for learners. We have provided iPad training for pupils at Rowde campus in the last year.
We write reports for EHC Plans, functional vision reports and annual review reports for pupils and help SEND workers with outcomes.
Link with a range of other professionals that will be working with your child.
Advisory Teacher of the Deaf within the Sensory Impairment, Physical and Medical Team (SIPMS) at Wiltshire County Council
I visit children and young people with a permanent or long-standing hearing loss who are likely to wear hearing aids. The purpose of these visits are to ensure that students are able to hear their teachers and peers as best they can in order to access school life and achieve their potential. Visits may include monitoring of the students’ hearing loss, assessing their language levels, promoting independence with regard the care and maintenance of the hearing technology and written advice to staff/parents/carers that will support the above.
The Wiltshire Educational Psychology Service is made up of a team of psychologists who have specialised in the application of psychology in educational settings. At Silverwood School we have two therapists who work closely with us, Jude Liberman and Natasha Krause.
All the professionals who work on this team have a qualification in educational psychology at Masters or Doctorate level. Through their training and experience in psychology and education, the educational psychologists work with school staff to improve pupil outcomes through joint problem solving, identification of suitable strategies and targeted interventions. They also help us to identify and clarify the needs and appropriate provision of pupils whose learning, behaviour, emotional well-being or welfare is of concern. The approach taken is always solution focused, and joint working with parents and carers is at the heart of their work.
We are able to alternative therapies too, and this is something we are looking at continuing to develop across Silverwood School.
Dance and Movement Therapy
As a disabled dance teacher/ performer and a registered dance therapist, I am a strong advocate of improving wellbeing and a sense of ourselves through the body. Dance is a powerful way to learn social and emotional interaction with others. I work with developmental movement patterns to encourage optimum functioning of the whole person. I am a person-centred practitioner and the work I do is play based and client led, the non-verbal nature of my work allows all children even those with very complex needs to engage and enjoy themselves during sessions. I have been told that support staff particularly enjoy the opportunity in my sessions to relax and enjoy intensive interactions with the children.
I offer 1:1 and group sessions at Silverwood School Trowbridge and Chippenham sites.
SoundEmotive Music Therapy
Arts therapies are used to facilitate individuals or groups to use the Arts, such as Music, Art, Dance and Drama to help manage their well-being.
Somethings are just too difficult to talk about or we don’t know where to start, so we can use expressive therapies to help us manage and communicate about our feelings.
Sessions take place weekly, during the session you may wish to play a variety of the wonderful instruments on offer, you may prefer to draw, write or talk about how you feel, and we can use the arts to help illustrate those feelings, or you may even wish just to relax whilst the therapist plays music to you.
I have been working on the Rowde Campus for many years, and helped pupils to grow in confidence and learn strategies to cope with difficult situations. I rely on good communication with the home and school setting, and advocate for the pupils I work with.
Music Therapy - The Rhythm Practice
I run individual and group sessions for pupils and have been based at the Trowbridge site in recent years.
As a singer-songwriter myself, I have a strong passion in the creative and therapeutic power of song-writing and often incorporate this into my work.
I also use a lot of improvisation and free-play during my sessions to help youngsters communicate, express themselves and build self-confidence.
I create bespoke therapeutic music videos for use by the school and parents and look forward to integrating my work across the various school sites as the school develops in the future.