Therapeutic Support

New Rush Hall School (NRHS) provides a range of layered and graduated support and interventions across the school.  These are determined by the needs of the pupil and therefore the therapeutic offer to each pupil will be bespoke according to their social, emotional and mental health needs.

At NRHS we recognise that ‘one size’ does not fit all; there are times when a pupil may need intervention and support that is ‘additional and different’ from the universal offer.

The Universal Offer

Every pupil attending NRHS will be provided with:

  • A place of learning where everyone feels physically and emotionally safe and secure.
  • A nurturing approach and therapeutic milieu across the school.
  • Constant positive regard.
  • Small classes.
  • High adult-pupil ratio.
  • A broad, balanced, aspirational curriculum, including many enrichment opportunities.
  • Personalised learning, including 1-1 Additional Learning Support (ALS).
  • Highly trained teachers and support staff who understand the emotional aspects of learning and the difficulties our pupils face.
  • Highly trained support staff who will assist all pupils in their personal and academic development.
  • Quality careers information and guidance.
  • Equal access and opportunity for all.
  • A safe, spacious, green outdoor play area for break times and E./sporting activities.
  • Regular P.E. lessons to enable pupils to burn off nervous/pent-up energy as well as improving physical wellbeing.
  • Daily opportunities to learn and practice social and emotional (regulation) skills, both structured and unstructured.

Learning Support and Interventions

Interventions to enable a pupil to better access the curriculum could include:

  • A visual timetable.
  • Alternative teaching approaches.
  • Learning support materials.
  • Additional Learning Support (ALS).
  • 1-1 support.
  • Referrals to other agencies e.g. Speech & Language.
  • Further diagnostic assessment e.g. Dyslexia.
  • Speech & Language support.
  • Occupational Therapy.

If it is felt that the pupil’s barrier to learning is that they are ‘emotionally unavailable to learn’ then we have a range of therapeutic supports and interventions available.  In most cases, there will be a graduated approach to intervention that increases in frequency and/or intensity according to need.

Therapeutic Support – a graduated response

a) The Reset Room (KS3 & 4)

The Reset Room is a quiet, low-stimulus space where pupils who are feeling overwhelmed in the classroom can have a short time away from the classroom to reflect, regulate their emotions and ‘reset’ their brain before returning to the classroom.  It is intended to be a pre-emptive tool to provide staff with the option of giving pupils, whose behaviour has been challenging during the lesson, an opportunity to regulate and reset in a quiet place whilst reducing disruption to the learning of other pupils.  The Reset Room is supervised by Ms Mukeza who, along with support from other pastoral staff, will listen to the pupils, help them to regulate their emotions, provide them with work (if appropriate) and arrange for them to return to class when they are sufficiently ‘reset’.

Pupils’ use of the Reset room is recorded; these records are monitored and form part of our evidence when considering which pupils require ‘additional and different’ support.  Ms Ross also holds break time and after-school detentions in the Reset Room.  Again, pupils are encouraged to reflect on the choices that led to their detention and hopefully avoid a return!

b) Learning Mentors (KS1 – 4)

Learning Mentors work with pupils to help them address barriers (and potential barriers) to learning through supportive 1-1 relationships.

They help pupils develop coping strategies, enhance their motivation, raise their aspirations and encourage them to re-engage in learning. Learning Mentors have to take into account the range of complex issues that usually lay behind problems with learning and achievement (e.g. bereavement, lack of confidence/low self-esteem, low aspirations, mental health issues, relationship difficulties, bullying, peer pressure, family issues/concerns, alcohol/substance use).  They offer a sympathetic ear to young people with a range of behavioural, emotional and learning difficulties.

Learning Mentors develop plans of action with the young people they support to help them to overcome barriers to achieving their full potential.  They will liaise with Parents/Carers and work closely with other staff and professionals, like Social Workers, Youth Offending Service Workers and Education Welfare Officers, as appropriate.

Our Learning Mentors are Mr Aiwone, Mr Cameron and Ms Scarlett.

c) School Counsellor (KS1-KS4)

Our School Counsellors are Ms Grey and Ms Beacon.

Our Counsellors will not give advice or tell young people what to do – instead, they will help pupils to make their own choices to facilitate personal growth and self-awareness, they also help pupils to 
clarify their difficulties; see patterns in their thinking and/or behaviour and support them in making positive changes in their life.

Pupils are given a safe space in which they can be heard and understood. Sessions are tailored around their individual needs where they have the opportunity to set their own goals for their therapy sessions.

d) Therapeutic support for Children Looked-After (CLA) (KS1 – KS4)

Children in the care of the Local Authority, or those with recent experiences of care, typically experience specific trauma around separation, attachment, loss, bereavement and identity.  These experiences can form significant barriers to a child’s emotional availability to learn and limit their chances of future success.  Where capacity allows, all CLA and ex-CLA pupils will be provided with therapeutic support from our CLA Co-ordinators Ms Hodge and Ms Hayes.

e) Boxing 1-1 (KS3-KS4)

Pupils have the opportunity to engage in Boxing sessions with a peer led by an NRHS qualified Boxing Coach. The sessions are designed to provide pupils with an opportunity to develop their health and fitness whilst learning a range of boxing specific skills including: Boxing stance, footwork and a range of appropriate punches. Pupils are able to spar with a partner, this is closely monitored by the Coach who ensures sessions abide by a clear code of expectations ensuring they run safely and in line with NRHS Behaviour Policy. There is some contact during these sparring sessions, however, this is never above the shoulders or to the head. Through Boxing sessions pupils develop an understanding of what appropriate physical contact is and mentoring around physical violence in line with the Law is embedded through the programme and dependant on a pupil’s needs and life experiences. The discipline instilled throughout these Boxing sessions supports pupils in becoming emotionally available to access their learning and progress with their education.

f) Lego Therapy 1-1 (KS2-KS4)

Lego Therapy is a social development programme and pupils with social communication difficulties have the opportunity to engage in a Lego Therapy session facilitated by a trained NRHS Lego Therapist. The sessions take place with two or three pupils and are facilitated in a therapeutic space containing lots of Lego! Lego therapy is designed to provide pupils with the opportunity to develop skills such as; turn-taking, sharing, listening, conversation, teamwork, shared attention and problem-solving skills. The programme taps into a young person’s love of Lego play, as well as their strengths and interests to develop communication and social skills. As children play it is believed they are more likely to interact and the Therapist will than manage opportunities for collaborative play to unfold and under the Therapist’s direction for social skills to be developed.