Gesher Dramatherapist, Chris Gurney, talks about the difference a bigger building has made.

The therapy provision that we offer at Gesher is integral in helping our pupils access the school setting, as well as providing them with the skills required to engage with the wider world and home environments. Since moving to our new larger premises our therapy team has talso expanded to include the following:

• Two full-time speech & language therapists; their focus is supporting the social communication needs of the pupils, and assisting with language development.

• Two full-time occupational therapists; they work on a wide range of skills, including self-care (i.e. toileting, dressing, feeding, etc.) and typing/writing, as well as specific targets related to fine and gross motor skills.

• Two full-time creative arts psychotherapists; an art therapist and a dramatherapist support the pupils with their wellbeing and mental health, as well as assisting the development of emotional understanding and social skills using creative and child-led techniques.

• One part-time educational psychologist; they work closely with both teachers and parents in helping to ensure every pupil’s needs are understood and well-known. They are familiar with each child and offer interventions where needed to assist with specific needs such as dyslexia and attachment disorder.

The therapy team is incredibly blessed to have a number of dedicated therapy spaces throughout the school that allow for them to work closely with the pupils without impacting the academic side of their education.

In fact, both therapy and academics go hand-in-hand in creating a holistic experience for the students that helps prepare them for their future.

Currently, the therapy team has begun working with both pupils and families in helping educate the young people at Gesher about their needs and those of others, with the goal being that they can ultimately become advocates for themselves and the SEN community at large. Whilst every child is viewed as an individual and will therefore have different long-term outcomes, one thing that we aim for with all our pupils is that they will be able to be happy and reach their potential. This is not something that would necessary be possible without our provision as these children would often be viewed as disruptive or unable to engage. With the skills that the therapy team support our pupils to develop alongside the rest of the school team, we are excited to see how our therapy provision continues to grow alongside the school as we move further into secondary education.