Therapy at Shapwick

Shapwick is one of only a handful of schools with an on-site Therapy Team which consists of both Speech & Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists. This enables therapists at Shapwick to work closely with staff, students and parents.

Speech and Language Therapists at Shapwick work with students on all aspects of both spoken and non-verbal communication, the development of social communication skills, and auditory processing. Their areas of work may include any of the following:

  • Receptive language
  • Central language processing
  • Expressive language
  • Phonological processing
  • Listening skills
  • Thinking skills
  • Memory difficulties
  • Auditory Processing

Occupational Therapists work with students in the following areas:

  • Gross Motor skills
  • Fine Motor Skills
  • Motor Planning
  • Visual Perceptual skills
  • Sensory Processing and modulation
  • Functional performance

All new pupils are offered assessment in both therapies which is subject to parental/guardian consent. Therapists endeavour to complete assessments during a student’s first term at Shapwick in order to identify any area that may impact upon their learning across the curriculum and in their daily and social lives. The outcome of the assessment is shared with parents and staff. If either therapy is recommended on the outcome of the assessments, this will be discussed with parents/guardians, and consent to treatment sought, before therapy commences. This helps  to determine the best way forward and to enable the therapists to learn from parents about the developmental history of the child and any previous therapeutic input / provision previously offered.

Some pupils join Shapwick with the provision of one or both therapies identified in a Educational and Health Care Plan (EHCP) previously known as a Statement of Special Educational Need. If this is the case, students will begin therapy as soon as the required consent forms from parent/guardian and Local Authority, have been signed. Once therapy is agreed, it is provided on a weekly timetabled basis, which therapists discuss with both students and staff. Therapists will then ensure that any sessions are marked on the student’s timetable. Each child is allocated a named therapist and every effort is made to maintain the same therapist throughout their time at Shapwick. All therapy incurs an additional termly cost, as outlined in the fees section of the website. Many students visit the Therapy Team weekly and this is part of Shapwick life.

Termly targets are set jointly by each therapist and the pupil to ensure a good focus to the work which will be done. These are added to the pupil’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) and are reviewed each term.

The therapy sessions are undertaken in designated therapy rooms.

As spoken communication will often be pupils preferred means of communicating, the therapists focus on educating pupils to ensure that their ability to speak and engage in social interchange is as well developed as possible. The department provides a Social Communications Group for Years 4-9, in which the many and varied ways we take in, process, and express ideas are discussed and time is spent looking at useful strategies for negotiation, reasoning, building and maintaining relationships and developing self-awareness together with a range of both verbal and non-verbal skills.

Cross curricular support is provided in any area, but particularly in English and Science in which the Speech and Language Therapists run support programmes for those most in need. Therapists maintain contact with parents by telephone, email, letter and meetings, both formal and informal. Therapists also attend annual reviews for pupils who have an EHCP.

All therapists provide exam support at GCSE level,  by assisting with preparation for exams / study skills / revision techniques. The Therapy Team at Shapwick also works with therapy training establishments and offers clinical placements to student therapists from a number of UK universities. All therapists are qualified professionals who are required by law to maintain membership of their relevant professional body, together with professional registration through the Health and Care Professions Council.



Shapwick School Therapy - OT SaLT