Red Gates Primary

Nursing Team

The Special School Nursing Team are employed by Croydon Health Services and are part of the Children's Hospital at Home team. They are based at St Giles School and are operational during term time, within school hours. The aim of the team is to meet the nursing needs of the children while they are at school. This might include administering medications, enteral feeds or providing training for education staff that will need to provide, or be aware of, your child's care needs.

Music Therapy

What is music therapy?

Everyone has the ability to respond to music on some level, and music therapy aims to use this connection to facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement in live musical interaction between the therapist and client.

A wide range of musical styles and instruments can be used and the music is often improvised.

Using music in this way enables clients to create their own unique musical language in which to explore and connect with the world and express themselves. Engaging in a therapeutic relationship through shared music making helps to support positive changes and helps clients to reach their full potential. Aims for the sessions are tailored to an individual’s needs. It can help develop and facilitate social interaction and communication skills, improve self-confidence and independence, enhance self-awareness and awareness of others, improve concentration and attention skills, develop motor and coordination skills, develop language and listening skills and strengthen family and peer relationships.

Music therapy at Red Gates

Our music therapist is employed by the Richmond Music Trust to provide a comprehensive music therapy service to all the children at Red Gates School. The focus is on providing a service which provides access for each and every child at Red Gates, supporting them in their efforts to reach their full potential and providing support for them, their families and the staff that support them here at Red Gates. The caseload includes individual sessions/small group sessions/family sessions and whole class sessions.

Classroom music therapy sessions:

Each class receives a term of weekly sessions, allowing every pupil access to music therapy annually. The sessions are a chance for the whole class to engage in shared music making, so that the children and staff can experience being together and playing together. As well as whole group play, the sessions provide opportunities to play to one another, promoting confidence and self-esteem, whilst encouraging the development of turn-taking and listening skills. The sessions also promote cross-pupil communication and interaction, and give the pupils an outlet to explore their creativity and self-expression. Whole class sessions also act as a vital bridge between the 1:1 and small group work in the music room, allowing the children a platform to transfer the skills they have developed in the music room into the wider classroom setting.

Family music therapy sessions:

Taking place in the music room, family music therapy sessions aim to provide a strong link between the children’s school and home lives. By engaging in shared musical activities with the children, the aim is for the parents and pupils to have a positive experience being together in school and to develop social interaction skills via modelling live musical interaction techniques. A regular theme of the groups is encouraging the parents to wait and see what the children have to offer musically and then joining them in their play. It is hoped that the groups help to develop a healthy child and parent bond as well as a healthy bond between parent and school. Spoken discussion after the sessions allows a time for parents to share their experiences with each other and to forge further support links amongst each other.

1:1 sessions

On a referral basis, 1:1 sessions have particular benefit for those children who find it difficult to access whole class sessions, or for those children that have the greatest need. 1:1 sessions allow the children a safe space to explore and express themselves. The children enter into a therapeutic relationship with the therapist which is then used as a vehicle to facilitate positive changes, in accordance with the therapeutic goals identified on referral.

Small group sessions

Similar goals to classroom sessions, but in a more intimate group and taking place in the music room. Small group sessions are useful for those children who find attending whole class sessions a challenge, but for whom the reasons for referral would be better suited to group work. Small group sessions can also be a useful bridge for a child who has finished attending a block of individual music therapy, allowing them to transfer the skills they have developed in 1:1 therapy to a small group setting.

Choir/ Band/ Assembly

The role at the school also includes activities outside of music therapy. Choir, rock band and assembly singing all provide children with opportunities to increase their confidence and self-esteem through developing their performance skills. Choir and rock band also provide a sense of belonging and identity to those children involved, whilst public performances such as the choir’s Whitgift Centre performance provide valuable integration into the wider community.

Speech and Language Therapy

The team

At Red Gates we have three Speech and Language Therapists and one Speech and Language Therapy assistant.

The service

A Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT) may be involved in supporting children with difficulties communicating and/or eating and drinking.  They work in a variety of ways, including supporting the parents and staff who work with your child on a daily basis.

Universal support.  They work closely with staff in schools and nurseries to make their environment as communication-friendly as possible, to give every child the best chance possible of developing good communication skills.

Targeted support. They work in partnership with schools and nurseries so that staff can give the best support to children who need more help with their speech, language, communication or feeding development.  As part of this, Advice Clinics are run in school/clinic, where parents and staff can book appointments to see a therapist and gain further ideas to support their child.

Assessment. If universal and targeted support is not meeting a child’s needs, they may offer parents/carers an individual assessment, which may take longer than one session.  They will assess a child’s needs and discuss what support will best help a child at this time.

Additional support. If a child requires support over and above that provided at a targeted level, the therapist and/or a trained Speech & Language Therapy Assistants (SaLTAs), who work under the close supervision of the SaLTs, will see that child. This will be in addition to the universal and targeted support they should be receiving.   Additional support is provided in the following ways:

  1. Supported programme

A child may benefit most from activities being incorporated into their daily routine.  They may suggest ideas for activities for setting staff or parents to do and will check at regular intervals to see how these are helping that child.

  1. Group therapy

Talking and playing with other children is crucial for development of communication: they may see your child with other children.  Parents and carers may be involved in these sessions.  They will probably ask that these activities are carried out at home between sessions.  Parents and carers may also be invited to take part in groups run for them, alongside the group for their child.

  1. Individual therapy

Sometimes a child is offered a number of sessions on their own.  Parents/carers may be involved during the session and follow-up activities may be set for between sessions.  After an agreed number of sessions, children normally have a break.  This is for them and their parents/carers to practise the new skills they have learned.

Areas We Cover

  • Attention and Listening
  • Social Communication & Play
  • Understanding of Language
  • Expressive Language
  • Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC)
  • Speech Sounds
  • Eating, Drinking & Swallowing difficulties

What We Do

  • Provide assessment of the student’s needs
  • Design individualised or class-based programmes
  • Support staff to implement student programmes
  • Joint target setting with Class Teachers for IEP’s, EHCP’s etc.
  • Carry out training with staff members and parents
  • Deliver therapy interventions to individuals or groups of students
  • Review the environment and offer suggestions on how to support and include the children within class
  • Provide support and advice to parents about how to support the students at home
  • Develop communication aids for students
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