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 – no more than 8 pupils.
  • 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 (daily in Primary) 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.

Further Interventions

Should it become evident that a pupil has needs that cannot be met by the universal offer alone then an Individual Intervention Plan (IIP) is created in conjunction with Parents/Carers, senior teachers and any other relevant people/agencies.  All IIPs are evaluated at regular intervals and will be looked at during Annual Reviews. Each IIP will be the responsibility of a lead professional who will ensure that the interventions planned are implemented.  A review date is set at the time the plan is created and success criteria is agreed, against which the effectiveness of the interventions can be measured.  Parents/Carers are involved throughout this process.

This document sets out the wide range of support and interventions available at ‘in-house’ NRHS and a summary of each.

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 Adeyefa and Mr Ayiwone.

c) School Counsellor (KS1-KS4)

Our School Counsellor is Ms Grey.  She has a Level 4 Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and is a member of The British Association for Counselling & Psychotherapy (BACP) & adheres to their ethical framework. As a School Counsellor Ms Grey is trained to listen to and understand children and young people; to see things from their perspective. As well as listening, our counsellor also helps pupils to
clarify their difficulties; see patterns in their relating, thinking and/or behaviour and supports them in making positive changes if they so wish.  The School Counsellor will not give advice or tell young people what to do – instead, she will help them to make their own choices to facilitate personal growth and self-awareness.

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) Girl Time (KS3 & 4)

Girl Time is a weekly ‘opt-in’ group for Secondary girls to bond in a safe, therapeutic, single-sex space.  Girl Time was introduced in acknowledgement of the additional challenges faced by teenage girls being a small minority (in number) in a very male-dominated environment.  Activities are planned per session to reflect the interests of the girls in attendance.  The School Counsellor ensures that the time and space allocated is therapeutic in nature.  Female pastoral staff support Ms Grey during this session.

This suite of supports and interventions is under constant review by the Senior Leadership Team to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the school community over time, and is fit for purpose in terms of being effective in terms of impact.