A specialist SEN school for secondary aged boys with Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs

LWS Academy works in partnership with Cathie O’Brien, Home & Away Psychological Therapies Service.

Cathie O’Brien is a Psychotherapist, Clinical Supervisor and Organisational Consultant. She works with us promoting a whole service approach to emotion-regulation. This is achieved through regular reflective practice and training in attachment, trauma and the neurosciences, helping all to understand and manage thoughts, feelings and the nervous system. This is further underpinned through whole school and individual consultancy, supervision and reflective space.

Cathie’s published work:

  • Chapter: Whole service approach to emotion-regulation, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, Theory and Practice, 3rd Edition, 2021.
  • Self, Other and The We, BACP Journal, 2017.
  • Disorganised and in Care – A Whole Service approach to therapeutic interventions, Attachment Journal – The Bowlby Centre, 2013.
  • Disorganised and in Care – A Whole Service approach to therapeutic interventions, BACP Journal, 2011.

FEIPS – Framework for Enhanced Individual Pastoral Support
FEIPS is an intervention on a 1:1 basis where the students can talk about anything they want to in a safe, comfortable and confidential environment (whilst still adhering to Duty of Care/Child Protection policies) The role of the practitioner is to listen with empathy and understanding and empower the student to work through any difficulties with full support, but not in any way trying to tell them what to do, or problem solve for them.

FEIPS sessions are normally weekly for as long as the student wants or needs them and a wide range of resources can be used to help the students explore and discuss their thoughts and feelings.

Mental Health First-Aid
It is becoming ever more important and recognised that school settings need to have trained staff to support and help young people with emotional and social issues, and mental health problems as these can be a barrier to educational learning. Therefore we feel it is essential to have trained staff within the team to be available to the students at all times.

In the same way, as we learn physical first aid, Mental Health First Aid teaches us how to recognise those crucial warning signs of mental ill health in order to access appropriate help as soon as possible.

We have a qualified Mental Health First Aider who able to identify, understand and support a person who may be developing a mental health issue. 

Social Skills – Alex Kelly Model
The hierarchical approach to teaching social skills is based on the clinical work Alex Kelly (SALT) did in the early 90’s. She found that people with intellectual disabilities progressed more in the social skills work if they developed foundation skills and non-verbal skills before the more complex ones such as verbal skills and assertiveness. These findings were then tested on different client groups around the UK and the resulting programme was published as ‘TALKABOUT: A social communication skills package’ (Kelly, 1996) The hierarchy means that you may start by developing a child’s self-awareness and self-esteem before progressing onto body language. You will then move onto conversation skills and then onto friendship skills and assertiveness.

At LWS we use many different approaches to learners during our groups eg: role play, puppet making, video making and art-based projects.

Speech & Language Therapy
For those students who have been identified as having speech & language difficulties on their EHCPs, the speech & language therapist is available 1 day per week. The S&L therapist also supports our social skills groups.

Our Speak and Language therapist also works with the staff team as a whole in developing a communication and interaction focused school community.

Educational Psychologist – Kerry Jackson
LWS Academy works closely with Kerry Jackson, an independent educational psychologist. Kerry provides training for staff, assessments of students’ needs and recommendations, and strategies to support students. Kerry attends EHCP reviews as appropriate and liaises with parents and carers to enable a holistic perception of a student’s needs. Kerry can be contacted through the academy.

Recent Tweets
Contact Info
  • LWS Academy, Montefiore Drive, Sarisbury Green, Southampton, SO31 7NL
  • 01489 582684
  • enquiries@lws.gfmat.org

Website feedback