Therapy and Nursing
Our Oakleigh School staff team are supported by staff from other areas such as the Health Authority.
Whilst our working relationships are excellent and entirely mutually supportive, we would like to stress that these personnel are not employed by Oakleigh or by Barnet’s Childrens Service, and so are not under our direct management.
Oakleigh has a physiotherapist, who currently works for eight sessions a week. She is an employee of NHS Barnet, we also have a Band 5 physio who is here for one day a week, on a rotational basis.
Advising staff on integrated programmes within PE sessions.
The physiotherapist works in several ways:
- seeing children for individual treatment and group sessions
- responsible for MOVE and conductive education sessions
- advising class staff and parents on throughout-the-day management
- advising parents/carers and staff on appropriate seating and specialised equipment eg walkers, standing frames etc.
- contributing to the formulation of the Individual Education Plan
- individual hydrotherapy sessions
- organising orthotic and wheelchair clinics held at school
The physiotherapist runs an Oakleigh weekly Conductive Education-based group for parents/carers with their children and jointly leads the Early Years Centre’s 'School for Parents' group.
The physiotherapist can be contacted at school, and will get back to you if she is not available.
We have one OT providing 4 sessions a week of occupational therapy. Occupational Therapists liaise with class teachers to formulate programmes. The OT’s also advise on management skills, including hand function, self care and sensory processing disorders, assessing for hand splint provision as required, recommending equipment to promote increased independence, and liaising with staff and recommending seating solutions.
The OTs work here Wednesdays and Thursdays but can be contacted at any time via email.
Speech and Language Therapy and Communication
Oakleigh and Acorn (part of the Early Years Centre) get ten sessions of Speech Therapy per week, given by two Therapists. They are employees of Barnet Primary Care Trust. Therapists liasee have 2 -3 sessions a week of occupational therapy. Occupational Therapists liaise with class teachers to formulate programmes. Class staff and parents/carers.
Speech, language and communication learning take place across the whole curriculum, and it is therefore integral part of all classroom activities, as it is part of life at home. The Therapists therefore spend some of their time advising class staff, as well as working directly with children.
A 'total communication' approach is used at Oakleigh, augmentative systems to spoken language are used wherever necessary. These are NEVER a substitute for spoken language, but support its development, and give children a chance of communicating when they might otherwise not be able to. Alternatives might include Makaton signing, symbols, electronic communication aids, photographs and objects of reference. PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) is used widely throughout the school where appropriate.
The Therapists also:
- assess children, directly and by observation
- plan and develop programmes in conjunction with parents / carers and school staff
- see children in small groups within class
- see children individually, when appropriate
- assess, monitor and provide advice for eating, drinking, swallowing and other difficulties such as dribbling
Music and Drama/Movement Therapy
We have two days a week of Music Therapy and two days a week of Drama/Movement Therapy at Oakleigh School. The therapists provide individual, group and family therapy sessions. We also have four places at Nordoff Robbins music therapy centre. If parents/carers wish to take their children privately, we can incorporate this into their individual timetable.