JSA have had great success in working with schools and education providers to devise bespoke programmes that offer therapeutic intervention and strategies for the most challenging children and young people in the mainstream education system.
Typically, we offer a six-week programme, whereby we work with groups of students together, thus making the programmes in question an economically viable choice for our schools to invest their funds.
When we describe children and young people has having or facing certain ‘challenges’, we can be referring to those who struggle with either specific or moderate learning difficulties (SLD/MLD), emotional, social or behavioural difficulties (ESBD), or any kind of barriers to learning that lead to frustration and cause issues for both themselves as well as their peers and teachers. We are not present to judge, diagnose or individually ‘treat’ any of these children, but what can do is to work through a bespoke programme of therapy that is suited to the group dynamic based on the information we are given by our schools. For this reason, it is essential that schools are honest and open about the children they are signing up to the programme.
Our work in both primary and secondary schools and establishments is centred on therapy that can allow the children and young people to function more effectively and form a healthier and more positive relationship with their peers and teachers whilst in the school environment.
Whilst in an ideal world it would be most beneficial to group the students by age or by the particular challenges they face or present, we realise that schools are limited on time and funds, and so therefore we are happy to work with a range within a group. In working with primary schools, a lot of our work centres on play therapy, but in secondary schools, we can often incorporate more ‘adolescent’ therapies if appropriate.
We encourage teaching assistants and support staff to be in attendance at the training sessions, especially if they would usually spend a particular amount of time with one or more of the children selected to participate. The aim of our programmes is not just to provide therapeutic intervention for the duration of the course we are working within, but to provide a more sustainable model and opportunity for the schools to adopt the tools and techniques that we offer at JSA in order to apply them to their children in the longer term.
Covering the North West