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Briarwood Interventions Profile

“Enjoy, Engage, Learn”

Interventions at Briarwood share the same vision, values and aims as the Briarwood Curriculum. We believe that Briarwood is a safe, happy and stimulating school that supports pupil’s individual needs. The staff and the school community work hard to ensure that a nurturing approach supports all pupils through their education, providing a bespoke curriculum to each child depending on their current needs.

At Briarwood all aspects of school life are designed to inspire and engage pupils, through a mix of a learning curriculum, creative approaches and essential life skills. The roles of communication and engagement are key to all we do and underpin our approach to learning.

Our curriculum is designed as a cohesive approach with an individual’s EHCP at the core; therefore facilitating greater involvement of families, the pupil and other professionals in their learning and development.  The overarching curriculum vision is one that supports the idea of provision and curriculum linking together. Consequently, what a pupil needs at that point in time, becomes both a provision requirement and a learning opportunity. This means there are closer, consistent connections between the schools curriculum and the provision we offer. We provide positive challenges to foster individual achievements and promote confidence and self-expression. This allows the curriculum to show progress of pupils over time; celebrating the challenging, enriching and developmental progress of all pupils.

Sometimes as part of a unique offer to support learning, some pupils may require a specific intervention. Interventions are led by SLT and are supported by Higher Level Teaching Assistants (HLTA’s), Teachers, Therapists and Integrated Therapy Assistants (ITT’s).

Ofsted (2015) requires that “teachers are assessing pupils regularly and are using this information to identify pupils who need additional support or interventions. Where interventions are in place, the inspector may ask why that intervention was chosen, what the impact has been, and how the school is tracking that impact.” This document sets out the range and content of our interventions as well as the processes for identification, monitoring and assessment. 

The majority of pupils can succeed and make outstanding progress through high quality classroom teaching. Some pupils however may require additional support in the form of adapted teaching, targeted or bespoke approach. At Briarwood we have an interventions team who deliver specialist programs for those who need additional support.

This document sets out some of the main interventions we use at Briarwood, what may happen in these interventions and how we measure the impact. As each intervention is described, where relevant, there will be signposts to any other relevant documents or policies. 


Pupils will be identified for interventions based on a number of criteria.

Pupil Premium

The pupil premium is a Government initiative that targets extra money at pupils from deprived backgrounds, which research shows underachieve compared to their non-deprived peers. The premium is provided in order to support these pupils in reaching their potential. It is in addition to any funding the pupil may receive to support their special educational needs.

At Briarwood we will be using data to identify our target children to ‘narrow the gap’ regarding attainment. Briarwood School is highly committed to ensuring its pupils have the best possible outcomes in adult life. The school places communication, literacy and numeracy skills at the centre of the curriculum and recognises that for all pupils, regardless of ability, reaching their full potential may be dependent on these skills. It is therefore raising attainment in these areas which the pupil premium funding is prioritised. 

Mid year and End of year data for Pupil Premium students is analysed to find where their individual gaps may lie. This may include elements of English (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) and Maths (Number, Using and Applying, Shape Space and Measure). It may also look at functional skills and use of those skills in any of these areas. For some pupils we need to consider their wellbeing or behaviour before they are able to make significant progress so they may have interventions targeted in this area. Some pupils who have Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, may have support from a specialist Hearing or Vision Impairment (HI/VI) intervener. (See Pupil Premium Reports and Plans, available on the school website).

Vulnerable Plus

Vulnerable Plus has been created as an identification tool to enable the school to address the on-going challenge of providing meaningful support to the most vulnerable pupils. Ofsted have highlighted that clear differences need to be made to the learning and progress of disadvantaged pupils. Schools need to create a culture of high expectations and aspirations for those on roll as well as high expectations for social behaviour among pupils and staff.

There are government expectations that schools should support pupils to be resilient and mentally healthy. They should provide a safe environment that fosters trust and belonging and create a culture that supports mental health. Public Health England (2014) have identified that a whole school emotional wellbeing approach that moves beyond learning & teaching to cover all aspects of school life has been found to be effective in bringing about sustained health benefits.

The Vulnerable Plus identification takes a variety of factors, which could be considered barriers to learning or risks to a student and scores them. The risk factors are scored in different ways dependent on the severtity of or level of need.

The indicators include but not limited to:

•            English as an Additonal Lanugage (EAL)

•            Black and Minority Ethnic (BME)

•            Pupil Premium status

•            Looked After Child (LAC)

•            Single parent family

•            Looked after by family member

•            Experienced bereavement

•            Postcode deprivation

•            Medical needs

•            Eating and drinking

•            Attendance

•            Behaviour

•            Cause for concern

•            Physical disability

Using the indicators each child has a total needs score which are then placed with the RAG (Red, Amber, Green) system to indicate the most vulnerable. Interventions will then be matched to the pupils dependent on their barriers to learning. (See Vulnerable Plus Rationale for more information)

Data Analysis

At Briarwood we monitor attainment and progress in English and Maths through the use of Classroom Monitor. We formally analyse this data at a Mid-year and End of year point, however the software also gives us the ability to track fine levels of development to ensure that pupils are making continued progress. As with Pupil Premium students, this may include elements of English (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening) and Maths (Number, Using and Applying, Shape Space and Measure). It may also look at functional skills and use of those skills in any of these areas. For some pupils we need to consider any underlying causes to any slowed progress and in these cases their wellbeing or behaviour may become a focus for interventions. Some pupils who have Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties, may have support from a specialist Hearing or Vision Impairment (HI/VI) intervener.

Some pupils may be making relatively rapid progress or require additional assessment to track their skills. This would also be considered in the data analysis to determine if an intervention was appropriate.

Behaviour data

For some pupils the interventions required may need to take the form of a behaviour based intervention. Through the monitoring and tracking of frequency of behaviours, the use of reactive strategies and the number of physical interventions, we are able to monitor the impact that strategies are having on pupils behaviour. As a school we have a strong focus on pro-active rather than reactive strategies, so the data collected is analysed and used to inform the type of intervention that may be required.

Pupils may also be considered for a behaviour intervention based on the level of behaviour support they are currently receiving, or if there is a particular critical incident.

Therapy / Therapist input

At Briarwood we consider any learning or therapy which takes place in addition to or outside of the class timetable an intervention. Therefore many of our pupils are identified through our therapists or therapy referrals. This may include Occupational Therapy (OT), Speech and Language Therapy (SALT), Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy and Integrated Therapy.  (See rationale on multi-professional working)

Literacy and Numeracy Interventions

Functional Literacy

A proportion of the pupils at Briarwood are working at P5 and above (introduction of formal phonics teaching), and for many of them this route is successful. However for some pupils we have seen a reduction in expected reading progress, which we believe is due to the types of learning difficulty and potentially memory problems, which is not conducive with phonics learning. Several of these pupils are also non-verbal, making oral blending and segmenting impossible.

Our aim is to support the reading progress of all pupils through meeting their learning needs, and supporting them with the required skills for their future.

Functional literacy enables pupils to learn to read, write and communicate in ways that will support their future life skills, whilst ensuring a path that allows for progress. This may look like;

•            Recognising key written words, numbers, signs and symbols,

•            Continuing reading and writing development through sight recognition or alternative processes,

•            Knowing many written words by sight,

•            Building sentences through using known words, signs and symbols,

•            Communicating key information including likes and dislikes with others

•            Writing messages, letters and using ICT,

•            Recognising, reading and responding to key information in the local environment,

•            Enjoying and reading books, stories and texts at an appropriate level,

•            Developing their own forms of communication to enable appropriate and functional conversations.

There are specific criteria which pupils need to meet in order to use the Functional Literacy program, as well as a particular assessment tool, which allows us to track progress. (See English and functional literacy policies for more information)

Communication Through Music

Communication Through Music (CTM) is an intervention for pupils at Briarwood with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and or Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI), those working below P3(ii). It is used both as a whole class strategy and as a 1:1 intervention. The intervention has been designed to provide meaningful opportunities for students working below P3(ii) to communicate in a motivating environment.

It uses all elements of music – listening, responding, creating and performing, to help the pupils understand and communicate with others, by listening to the voices of those around them and providing the opportunities for them to respond appropriately.

Communication Through Music also offers opportunities for students to start expressing themselves through the use of motivating and engaging media and to facilitate engagement and response opportunities, especially for those in the very early P-levels. (See Communication Through Music Policy for more information).

General Literacy Interventions

Some pupils may require short term, booster session in Literacy based around their individual target. In this case, the teacher, a member of SLT and either the class based learning support assistants or Pupil Premium Champion, will design a bespoke programme of sessions to meet this need.

Extension and Functional use

Pupils who may require additional support to extend their Literacy learning or embed it in order to make it functional or generalise their skills, may take part in some of our lunchtime clubs. Currently these are The Café, or Global Dimensions. This allows the pupil’s a real life context in order to embed their learning. 

Maths Through Music

Maths Through Music is an intervention for pupils at Briarwood with Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD) and or Multi-Sensory Impairment (MSI), those working below P3(ii). It is used both as a whole class strategy and as a 1:1 intervention. Because Numeracy demands a great deal of abstract thinking, it needs to be presented through horizontal learning environments. Horizontal numeracy could be defined as ‘one million and one different ways of presenting the same concept to the same learner’.  This does not mean we don’t expect progress from these students, rather that we are presenting the same or similar concepts in a new way to aid understanding. For Briarwood learners, maths through music provides the ‘horizontal’ opportunity to learn, practice and secure the learning that has taken place in their other maths lessons. It aims;

•            To provide meaningful opportunities for students working below P3(ii) to develop early mathematical skills in a motivating environment.

•            To help the students develop a sensory perception of early mathematical skills.

•            For students to responding to and initiating interaction with mathematical resources. 

(See Maths through Music Policy for more information)


Numicon is a multi-sensory approach to Maths that raises achievement across all ability levels.

With problem-solving, reasoning and conversation at its heart, Numicon perfectly embodies the aims of the National Curriculum for Maths:

•            Develops fluency by using a visual, practical base to develop conceptual understanding and fluent recall.

•            Helps children to reason mathematically through the use of concrete objects

and spoken language to explain and justify.

•            Develops children into confident problem-solvers

 Singapore Maths

For pupils working at higher P-levels or at the start of the national curriculum, Singapore maths acts as a supportive teaching strategy. Problem solving is at the heart of mathematics. The focus is not on rote procedures, rote memorisation or tedious calculation but on relational understanding. Pupils are encouraged to solve problems working with their core competencies, in particular;

Visualisation (concrete)

Generalisation (pictorial)

Make decisions (abstract)

At Briarwood we use the ‘Maths No Problem’ scheme which is further adapted by teachers and support staff to provide a meaningful Maths session. This may be used whole class, small group or one to one.

General Numeracy Interventions

Some pupils may require short term, booster session in Numeracy based around their individual target. In this case, the teacher, a member of SLT and either the class based learning support assistants or Pupil Premium Champion, will design a bespoke programme of sessions to meet this need.

Extension and Functional use

Pupils who may require additional support to extend their Numeracy learning or embed it in order to make it functional or generalise their skills, may take part in some of our lunchtime clubs. Currently these are The Café, or Global Dimensions. This allows the pupil’s a real life context in order to embed their learning.

Behaviour Interventions


In Reach is an early Intervention provided for pupils on Primary and Secondary, the main aim of the approach will be to support the consistent delivery of behaviour strategies, help to develop resources and will train class workers to deliver strategies within the class environment. Pupils have a bespoke programme which supports pupils to regulate behaviours in order to access learning. (See In-Reach rationale and behaviour policy for more information).

Primary Nexus

Primary Nexus provides bespoke programmes and timetables developed for pupils that are identified as Amber on the RAG system. These strategies are to be delivered in Primary Nexus and will be developed to meet emotional literacy and self-regulation targets. Pupils who require Primary Nexus support may be displaying behaviour which is adversely affecting the learning of individual pupils and/or class group. There may have been a breakdown of relationships with adults/ peers or a significant risk to the safety of those around them. Pupils often display a high frequency of challenging behaviours

The provision is always detailed in the Positive Behaviour Plan and as well as the behaviour data, referrals can be made by teachers.

A Primary Nexus intervention aims to Increase engagement and provide a more positive attitude to learning. Also support pupils to meet their targets with a successful reintegration of strategies into class routine. The pupils are based in their class group for whole day with 1:1 support to access self-regulation and emotional literacy targets, both in class and in the Primary Nexus room. These activities will be timetabled in line with the class timetable and occur on a daily basis. Strategies to support the regulation of behaviours and engagement in learning will be developed by Assistant Head and Behaviour Co-ordinator and delivered by a Nexus HLTA.

The intervention will be deemed successful if there is a reduction in the frequency of challenging behaviours. If behaviours continue to increase in frequency, force and duration, there will be a managed transition to Secondary Nexus

Programmes will be developed with the input from key professionals and with involvement of parents/carers. Pupils will also be referred to the Multi-Agency Consultation Group (MAC) as part of the early intervention support. (See Primary Nexus rationale and Behaviour policy for more information).

Wellbeing Interventions

Briarwood School aim to support and teach skills to pupils and staff to increase their awareness of emotional health and wellbeing.

Public Health England in March 2015 comment on the influence that a child’s emotional health & wellbeing has on their cognitive development & learning, as well as their physical and social health and their mental wellbeing in adulthood. A whole school emotional wellbeing approach that moves beyond learning & teaching to cover all aspects of school life has been found to be effective in bringing about sustained health benefits.

Two key elements to support good mental health are:

•            Feeling Good – experiencing positive emotions like happiness, contentment and enjoyment. It also includes feelings like curiosity, engagement & safely.

•            Functioning Well – how a person is able to function in the world. This includes positive relationships and social connections, as well as feeling in control of your life and having a sense of purpose.

School policy and curriculum delivery will be tailored to promote the key aspects of improving wellbeing. It will focus on creating a physically, emotionally and socially rich environment where key relationships can thrive and pupils can feel secure in their learning.

School based programmes which are linked to the curriculum will promote pupil voice through developing independence and choice making.

Targeted wellbeing interventions will be delivered to identified pupils and include bespoke packages which will be delivered by a trained Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA).

The development of resilience through providing a secure basis, enhancing self-esteem and self-efficiency will underpin all interventions.

Individual targets will aim to address these gaps and will focus on developing a skill set to support three key areas; growing and developing; future planning plus strategies to meet pupil needs.

Each set of interventions will be bespoke and provide a meaningful approach for each individual. The interventions will be based on yoga, meditation, mindfulness principles; sensory processing activities; positive thinking techniques and physical exercise.


At Briarwood School we recognise the clear link between consistent attendance and academic achievement. The whole school community has a responsibility for promoting excellent attendance; parents, pupils, governors and all school staff. Regular attendance at school is a legal requirement. As a school we expect the highest level of attendance from all students.

We also recognise the importance of close home-school partnerships in supporting our pupils’ optimum attendance.

Please see Attendance Policy for more information regarding procedures and protocols.

Regular contact is made with families where attendance is a concern and the Family Link workers will provide additional support to families each term. Please see Family Link Profile for more information on guidelines and pathways of support.

Family Link

Parents and carers are considered to be a key stakeholders in the education of their children. Establishing and maintaining these partnerships are a fundamental part of our provision at Briarwood School. Our Family Link approach helps to support and signpost parents and cares to relevant agencies who provide support to meet children’s needs.

Four dedicated Family Link workers, based on our four main departments, support the delivery of attendance interventions, help families to access medical appointments, check any appointment times that they have at the school, share information and signpost families to specialist agencies. Each Family Link Worker has an identified lead area as well as having expertise in general family support. We also have an identified Interpretation Team that will be available to support communication with families. Please see Family Link Profile for more information.

Emotional Literacy

Emotional literacy is included within the ‘Myself’ area of the Briarwood curriculum. Emotional literacy skills can have a substantial impact on behaviour and subsequently learning. Skills include: Understanding, expressing and communicating about one’s own feelings; Self-awareness and learning how to manage our emotions; and the ability to recognise and adapt to the feelings of other people.

Pupils across the school are taught emotional literacy skills and they are regularly incorporated into the pupil’s day, for example circle time activities often include identifying how pupils are feeling and communicating about their emotions using their personalised communication methods.

Within the Nexus and Primary Nexus an additional emphasis is placed on emotional literacy to support pupils to understand how to self-regulate and express when they need help. Strategies such as ‘Feelings charts’, ‘5 point traffic-light scale’, tasks to identify emotions and creating opportunities to develop positive social interactions are used regularly.

Social Stories

Social stories are predominantly used within our ASD cohort. These are often created to support all areas of the Briarwood curriculum. Social stories model appropriate social interaction through the use of written or visual guides to describe various situations, behaviours, skills or concepts. ‘The goal of a Social Story is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience’ (Gray, 2010) Pupils at Briarwood may use social stories to support the learning of anything from how to follow a toilet schedule to what to expect when going on a trip to the zoo. 

Sensory Processing


Children with sensory processing issues may be hypersensitive (over responsive) or hyposensitive (under responsive) to sights, sounds, touch, tastes, smells, movement and balance, body position and muscle control. Difficulty taking in or interpreting this sensory input can impact:

•            interactions with others

•            daily functioning

•            social and family relationships

•            behavioural challenges

•            regulating emotions

•            self-esteem

•            learning

Our brains receive a stream of sensory information—from the smell of perfume to the feeling of someone next to them. Most children can “filter” this information as needed and as such they can deal with unexpected sensations, such as another child laughing.

Children with sensory processing issues however may be hypersensitive or hyposensitive to the world around them. Keeping all that information that the brain receives organised and responding appropriately is challenging for them. As a result doing simple daily tasks can be a constant challenge. Certain fabrics or tags in clothing might irritate them. On the other end of the spectrum, they might have a high tolerance to pain and not realise when they’re in a dangerous situation.

A high proportion of our pupils experience difficulties with sensory processing and as a result we have created a number of approaches within the school that can support the pupils to self-regulate. We work closely with the OT’s to develop the approaches and any individualised plans for the pupils. 

Each pupil at Briarwood has an Engagement Profile which sets out individualised strategies, these strategies include sensory activities that promote self-regulation. Class teams observe pupils tolerance of these activities and their arousal levels both during and after each activity and this feeds into the monitoring and assessment process.

The Engagement Profile strategies are in addition to sensory PE, shake breaks and any existing sensory diets advised by the OT. They are to be used to provide pupils with the opportunity to self-regulate and be ready to learn before/ after and during lessons where appropriate.

Our intention is that with the support of appropriate Sensory Processing Strategies the pupils with sensory difficulties feel less overwhelmed and learn to cope with challenging situations.

Specialist Interventions

Hearing and Visual Impairment

At Briarwood we have a hearing and visual impairment intervener. This HLTA has been trained by Sense as a deaf/blind intervener, has had training from the sensory support service, and is trained in Audiology and Makaton.

Interventions for pupils with Hearing and Visual Impairments are bespoke to each pupil. Working closely with the sensory support service, the HI/VI intervener will work on a program of targets and activities individually with each pupil. This may range from early sight tracking and object recognition, through to a pupil using their own hearing aid and learning to move safely around their environment. Attention Autism

The Attention Autism approach was developed by Gina Davies, a specialist Speech and Language Therapist. It aims to help build communication, interaction, attention and learning skills in children on the Autism Spectrum. This intervention includes 4 stages to be worked through in order to practice different, higher order and shared attention skills. These are:

◦            Stage 1: The Bucket to Focus Attention (Focus Attention)

In Stage one a bucket is filled with visually engaging objects and toys, aimed to gain the shared attention of the group. The adult leader shows each item to the group and uses simple repetitive vocabulary to comment on the various objects.

◦            Stage 2: The Attention Builder (Sustain Attention)

The second stage is a longer activity that stretches their attention span for up to 10 minutes. It has a clear beginning, middle and end and is aimed to be fascinating to watch from start to finish.

◦            Stage 3: Turn taking & Re-engaging Attention (Interactive game – Shift Attention)

In stage tree, children learn to shift their attention, participate in interactive activities and take turns.

◦            Stage 4: Shifting & Re-engaging Attention (Transitions)

In the final stage, children take one step further by learning how to focus on you as lead adult, and then shift their attention to an individual activity before refocusing it again to include the whole group.

Three classes are currently piloting the Attention Autism approach in Briarwood and we are hoping that in the next academic year more ASD classes will also implement it as part of the offer at Briarwood to increase joint attention. As research has historically indicated strong correlations between student engagement (typically defined as attention to the area of focus, active participation in learning, and time on task) and student achievement, we are hoping that increased joint attention will enhance engagement as well as student attainment. But most importantly we wish to “offer an irresistible invitation to learn”.

It is important that skills are generalised to other settings, people and objects as well as being maintained after an intervention. For that reason, the attention autism assessment checklist will be used during the interventions to track progress.  The majority of the checklist focuses on skills that will be evident during shared attention sessions, but each section also contains a “real life” application of the skill. 

Intensive interaction

Intensive Interaction is an approach to interacting with and teaching early communication and interaction skills to those who do not find it easy communicating or being social. Intensive Interaction aims to teach the basic Fundamentals of Communication as well as helping develop sociability, cognitive abilities and emotional well-being. Intensive Interaction supports the person with learning disabilities to develop competence and confidence as a communicator. We can use Intensive Interaction at any time and in any place, taking opportunities as they arise.

Intensive Interaction has been developed for those whose communication and learning disabilities are more severe or complex. It is particularly useful when communicating and relating is made more difficult by additional physical or sensory impairments and/or autism.  Intensive Interaction is also useful to those with some speech and language ability, who would still benefit from further learning and development in the area of the Fundamentals of Communication. The approach is used by a wide range of professionals as well as families and friends.


 For any additional information on the following therapies, please refer to our working with other professional’s document.


Hydrotherapy is exercise and stimulation in a specialised facility where the water is significantly warmer than in a swimming pool and, most importantly, the surrounding air temperature is also very warm. The temperature in the pool is kept above 32C. These temperatures mean the pool is not appropriate for intense physical activity for endurance or aerobic conditioning. The size allows up to two users to float horizontally at the same time with carers standing. Hydrotherapy IS NOT swimming nor is this a swimming pool. The warm water, high air temperature and relief of bodyweight combine to deliver pain relief. For many disabled people, who frequently live with pain all the time, their first session in a hydrotherapy pool can be their first time without pain. Users manage to move in ways that they cannot on land. Their exercises become more intensive and new movements are learned. These can be transferred to their everyday lives.

For those with learning or profound and multiple difficulties, this physical environment satisfies and calms their sensory needs. This allows them to use the more complex thinking and communication parts of the brain, helped by the multi-sensory equipment in the pool area.

The difficulties the users suffer from mean they are unable to take part in sport and many social and physical activities. This can lead to social isolation. Our aim is to open up the world of water to these people and use it to help them achieve their true potential.

From a psychological standpoint there is much to recommend hydro. Hydrotherapy in practice involves an ever present element of recreation – it’s fun! This is one of its key advantages over land based treatments. To get out of the wheelchair and find freedom of movement and independence brings about physical and psychological well -being which cannot be achieved elsewhere or in any other treatment.

Programmes that combine both therapeutic and recreational aspects are especially effective. Water is a medium in which many disabled people achieve total independence and can compete with their able-bodied counterparts on equal terms. The social and psychological impact can be considerable. The ability to be independent in water, to achieve skills that may be difficult or impossible on land, can only have favourable and lasting psychological effects which boost confidence and morale, and these can be carried over into life on land. The therapeutic effects of exercise in water relate to:

•            the relief of pain and muscle spasm

•            the maintenance or increase in range of motion of joints

•            the strengthening of weak muscles and an increase in their tolerance to exercise

•            the re-education of paralysed muscles

•            the improvement of circulation

•            the encouragement of functional activities

•            the maintenance and improvement of balance, co-ordination and posture

•            development of the swallow reflex

•            independent standing in water to walking in water

Also, water provides the potential for exercise in three dimensions which cannot be achieved on land. There is the possibility of considerable perceptual stimulation:

•            visually

•            aurally

•            via the skin

•            by heat

Speech and Language Therapy

‘Speech and Language Therapy’ is commonly used to help people with language or communication difficulties, although it can also be used to help individuals with difficulty swallowing, eating or drinking.

The Speech and Language Therapist is trained to assess and treat speech, language and communication problems in people of all ages to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. They may also work with people who have eating and swallowing problems and work directly with the child and provide support to them and their carer’s.

In a case where communication is the problem the aim of the therapist is to aid the child to communicate as best as they can. In order to do this the therapist first assesses the extent of their problem by considering factors such as how they produce sounds and whether they are able to comprehend spoken language. Once the therapist has made a diagnosis a programme of care is developed for the child in conjunction with their family, and other individuals such as teachers and social workers and other healthcare professionals. At Briarwood, this is then delivered by the highly trained class teams and monitored at intervals by the Speech and Language Therapist.

Some of the communication systems used by pupils at Briarwood and supported by the Speech and Language Therapists include;

•            Objects of Reference (OOR)

•            Photographs for recognition and choice making

•            Symbol exchange systems, including PECs

•            High tech communication systems including electronic devices and iPads with specific software

•            Makaton signing

•            Verbal communication


Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy (OT) treatment focuses on helping people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. OT can help children/ young people with various needs improve their cognitive, physical, sensory, and motor skills and enhance their self-esteem and sense of accomplishment. In addition to dealing with someone’s physical well-being, OT practitioners address psychological, social, and environmental factors that can affect functioning in different ways. This approach makes OT a vital part of health care for some students.

Occupational therapists might:

•            Help children/ young people work on fine motor skills so they can grasp and release toys and develop good handwriting skills

•            Address hand-eye coordination to improve children/ young peoples’ play and school skills (hitting a target, batting a ball, copying from a blackboard, etc.)

•            Help children/ young people with severe developmental delays learn basic tasks (such as bathing, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and feeding themselves)

•            Help children/ young people with behavioural disorders maintain positive behaviours in all environments (e.g., instead of hitting others or acting out, using positive ways to deal with anger, such as talking or writing about feelings or participating in a physical activity)

•            Teach children/ young people with physical disabilities the coordination skills needed to feed themselves, use a computer, or increase the speed and legibility of their handwriting

•            Evaluate a child’s need for specialised equipment, such as wheelchairs, splints, bathing equipment, dressing devices, or communication aids

•            Work with children/ young people who have sensory and attentional issues to improve focus and social skills

At Briarwood, Occupational Therapists assess pupils who are referred to them and then work with the teaching team or the integrated therapists (ITTs), to implement a plan to support a pupil around whichever need is currently important.


Physiotherapy helps restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. Physiotherapists help people affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education and advice.

They maintain health for people of all ages, helping patients to manage pain and prevent disease.

The profession helps to encourage development and facilitate recovery, enabling people to stay in work while helping them to remain independent for as long as possible.

The children’s physiotherapy team is primarily involved with children who have physical difficulties.

The physiotherapist can become involved in the care of the child at any stage during the child’s development depending on when problems are identified and when the appropriate referral to physiotherapy is made.

At Briarwood, the physiotherapists assess the pupils needing their advice. They support these pupils, order specialised equipment and write programs and reports which support the pupils. The Physiotherapists also train the teaching team to carry out daily or regular Physiotherapy and Hydrotherapy programmes.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a psychological therapy that aims to help to make positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement in live musical interaction between pupils and the therapist. Everyone has the ability to respond to music and sound so a variety of approaches are used. Fundamental to all is the development of a therapeutic relationship between the pupil and the therapist. Each usually plays an active role in each session with pupils being encouraged to use a range of instruments including their own voice. This allows them to explore the world of sound and to create a musical language of their own.

The therapist also aims to enhance the pupil’s quality of life by developing an increase sense of self awareness. Music can also be a great motivator. At Briarwood we employ a Music Therapist who works with specific pupils who we believe require the therapy or if it is recommended by another professional.



Interventions work in a cyclical manner. Currently this follows the following cycle;

What By who Documentation Reporting to
Pupil identification (through data) Deputy/Assistant head Pupil interventions spreadsheet.

Vulnerable plus

Data analysis – gap determination Deputy head Data

Classroom monitor

Intervention outlines & time scales Deputy/Assistant head, class teacher, HLTA Data

Intervention outline sheet

Timetable decided Deputy head / HLTA Timetable SLT
Planning & sharing HLTA – supported by class teacher and deputy/assistant head Planning sheets Class teacher
Sharing & disseminating HLTA – working with class team to share strategies & impact Planning and strategy sheet Class teacher & class team
Final assessment HLTA Assessment sheet

Classroom monitor and BAT as appropriate

Class teacher, SLT
Next steps / Review SLT Data analysis, discussion SLT

Time scales per pupil may vary depending on the intervention required. The intervener will then follow the Intervention outlines, session plans and assessments in order to measure the impact (see following pages).

The data used in the original identification process will then be re-analysed to show progress that has been made. SLT will use this to decide on next steps for each pupil.

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