Welcome to Occupational Therapy (OT)
West Kirby School and College has an on-site Occupational Therapy Team. Mrs. Irvin and Mrs. Taplin aim to support our pupils' sensory needs, emotional regulation and improve functioning to help enable our young people access effective learning.
They provide individual assessments and develop personalised support plans for sensory motor skills, with the aim of developing the pupils skills and working towards a collaboratively set goal; this is delivered school wide and through direct 1:1 sessions in our OT Suite.
Occupational Therapy work with staff across the school and also residential provision to provide an integrated service, supporting pupil's changing needs or challenges.
Our Occupational Therapy Suite, opened in 2018, allows our young people to address sensory, motor and proprioceptive skills on-site as a foundation to their learning.
Meet the team
Assessment and interventions
Occupational Therapists assess our pupils' functional and sensory needs in school in order to identify areas of need which may be a barrier to them accessing the curriculum. The Occupational Therapy Team use a pupil centred approach to help identify areas of need through screenings, assessments and collaborative goal setting. These needs can include difficulties in sensory processing, fine and gross motor skills, activities of daily living and emotional regulation.
Occupational Therapy can provide a number of interventions to meet these needs including structured 1:1 sessions in our Occupational Therapy Suite, whole school approaches integrated into lessons and bespoke advice for each pupil as required.
This holistic approach allows pupils to develop their fine and gross motor skills, self regulation strategies, improve sensory integration therefore enabling pupils to access the curriculum and promoting independence.
Occupational Therapy at West Kirby School and College delivers 1:1 interventions, based on pupil's individual plans or on a more responsive level through our in-school referral system. These are mainly focused on sensory integration, self regulation and functional skills. We work with pupils on building relationships, developing important fine motor skills to improve function, enabling our pupils to use cutlery effectively, improve handwriting and access the school curriculum effectively; gross motor skills including core strength, fitness and improving mobility as well as self care, all with a view to promoting and increasing independence.
Whole school and class based support
Occupational Therapy is also delivered on a whole school level, this ranges from looking at adapting the school environment to meet our pupils' needs; through class based sessions - Sensory Circuits and Zones of Regulation; regular OT led slots for all classes to access the OT room for self regulation purposes and informal assessment by our Occupational Therapist, relationship building, as well as ad hoc drop ins when pupils are seeking a movement break.
Sensory circuits is a whole school approach which is incorporated into the PE curriculum. It is delivered to each class on a rolling half term rota and aims to provide a 6 week block of sensory
integration informed activities for the pupils. Our staff are encouraged to play an active part in the sessions.
Each sensory circuit is designed by an Occupational Therapist to incorporate a number of sensory activities to aid self regulation, improve body awareness and improve their motor skills. This also allows our Occupational Therapy staff to informally assess our pupils motor skills.
The aim of sensory circuits is to provide a structure within the PE curriculum to offer the pupils a
chance to try different exercises that will fulfil the following -
- Self regulation
- Improve fine and gross motor skills
- Improve co-ordination
- Improve core muscles
- Increase strength and fitness
- Improve body awareness
Zones of Regulation programme at West Kirby School and College
Zones of Regulation is a self regulation programme we have adapted for use at West Kirby School and College to help students understand their different internal emotions, sensory needs, thinking patterns and independently manage their own emotional regulation.
This programme has been adapted and implemented at West Kirby School and College by our Occupational Therapy and Speech and Language Therapy departments.
Read more here