Sensory & physical

Personal Care at Blackfriars Academy

All the staff take responsibility over making sure pupils are feeling comfortable, happy, safe, secure, with all their needs met. In addition to this we have a Personal Care team who support the pupils who need assistance in the bathroom to meet their toileting needs. The team work with discretion, sensitivity and great respect for the dignity of this group of pupils.

Our staff develop very close relationships with the pupils who trust and have a great friendship with the team in this very intimate situation. The Personal Care team, as do all Teaching Assistants, have manual handling and safeguarding training in order to keep everyone safe. Having a Personal Care Team means that the Teaching Assistants can stay in the classroom and help support the learning.

Physiotherapy at Blackfriars Academy

The physiotherapy team work alongside school staff to meet each child’s individual physical needs. This can include working on balance and strength, using a standing-frame or managing a child’s posture as they grow. The physiotherapy team work closely with each child’s family and liaise with other professionals involved to ensure each child’s needs are being met.

Children with a physiotherapy requirement have a physical management plan in place which enables their individual needs to be met in school and at home. The team are able to respond to the changing needs of the children and can provide blocks of treatment when increased input is required.

Rebound therapy at Blackfriars Academy

In the PMLD department for pupils for whom is it medically safe, Rebound Therapy takes place on a physical management rota. Rebound Therapy is the therapeutic use of a Trampoline to promote and develop motor skills, body awareness, balance, co-ordination and communication. Rebound Therapy should be seen as an integrated part of your child’s movement programme. Rebound Therapy has a unique effect on the body organs, systems and muscles.

The sessions will involve your child being on the trampoline and a qualified member of staff applying a gentle rocking or bouncing of the trampoline. This movement will improve health and fitness and greater independence, whilst fun enjoyment and the opportunity to succeed are of paramount importance.

During Rebound Therapy the cardio-respiratory system works harder so heart rate and respiratory rate increase. Muscle tone can be increased and decreased by activating the muscle spindles and stimulating the sensory system.

MOVE programme at Blackfriars Academy

MOVE is an activity based programme which uses the combined knowledge of education, therapy and family to teach people with motor disabilities the functional skills of sitting, standing or walking to the best of their ability. It uses the functional activities of everyday life as a means of acquiring motor skills which are goal orientated and personal to the individual.

MOVE involves the use of key pieces of equipment such as the Pacer to teach standing and walking skills and Rifton chair to teach sitting skills. Progress is made by removing prompts / supports offered this specialised equipment. The ultimate aim is physical independence and a reduction in the need for manual handling and supportive equipment.

Software and Resources for Motor Skills:

  • Not Just Dots (TTS Publishing)
  • Start Write, Stay Right. Handwriting worksheet programme ((Alison Harris and Janet Taylor. Special Direct)
  • Handwriting Problems in the Secondary School (Rosemary Sassoon)
  • Left Hand Writing Skills. Fabulous fine motor practice. (Mark and Heather Stuart. Robinswood Press)
  • Write Dance Uses music and movement to introduce handwriting (Ragnhild A. Oussoren. Sage Publisher)
  • Handwriting Slopes
  • Ergonomic pens, pencils and grips.
  • Write From the Start. The Teodorescu Perceptuo-motor programme. (Ion Teodorescu and Lois M. Addy. LDA)
  • Handwriting papers by Taskmaster
  • MSL Handwriting Rescue Scheme. Structured exercises for cursive handwriting (Pippa Chudley)
  • Inclusive Vinyl keyboard Stickers. Inclusive technology
  • Speed Up! A Kinaesthetic Programme to Develop Fluent Handwriting.
  • Take Ten Advice games and activities to develop fine motor skills. (Sharon Drew. LDA)
  • Fine Motor Skills (Mark and Katy Hill. LDA)
  • Multi-sensory activities for improving fine motor skills.
  • High Five Jive (Susan O’Connor. Hobbs Printer Ltd)
  • Motor Skills United An Occupational Therapy Programme, colour coded and fun filled to integrate and develop Motor Perceptual Skills which impacts on Learning and Handwriting (Sally Holmes. Special Direct)
  • Feed the Dog: Fine Motor Game
  • Posture cushions
  • Foot plinths
  • Tripp Trapp chair or Teezie Breezie chair
  • Developing Scissor Skills: A Guide for Parents and Teachers (PETA UK)
  • Developing Basic Scissor Skills: A Guide for Parents and Teachers (PETA UK)
  • Cutting Skills (Mark and Katy Hill. LDA)
  • Success with Scissors. All the steps you need to kick start scissor skills for children. (Alison Harris and Janet Taylor. Special Direct)