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 works with us promoting a Whole Service Approach to Emotion – Regulation. This is achieved through training staff in The Boundary Model – A whole Service Approach to emotion regulation and Brain Training, for Staff, Students and Parents, helping all to understand and manage thoughts, feeling and the nervous system. This is underpinned through whole school and individual Consultancy, Supervision and Reflective Space.

BACP Children & Young People Article – March 2017, Cathie O’Brien

Mindfulness Meditation is an intervention supporting students to be aware and present, in the here and now. Learning compassion and meditation techniques to engage in whatever is happening.

Techniques include: Awareness of Breath, Mindful Eating, Mindful Movement & A Guided Body Scan Meditation

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. 

Brain Training
Brain Training teaches Young People, Parents and Professional’s all about their brains, in particular, the effect of life events can have on their emotional brain.

Brain Training pays specific attention to the emotional brain; in particular feelings, anxiety, fight, flight and freeze impulses and shows how the 5 senses are connected to the emotional brain – developing awareness in this area. Brain training also considers relationships and how individuals adapt in relation to another or situation.

Further Information

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.

Therapeutic Story Writing
Each group of pupils receive one therapeutic story session, lasting between 45-50 minutes, per week, for a ten-week period. Once a group had started the members of that group and their facilitators remain the same for each session thereafter, ensuring consistency and allowing pupils to build trust and relationships with others in the group. Each session follows the same procedure: 1. Feelings check-in 2. Review of previous week’s stories 3. Introduction of new story theme 4. Silent writing of stories 5. Sharing the stories 6. Mime/game to support children’s attention and listening skills

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 SPL therapist also supports our social skills groups.

All staff have been trained & accredited with the Elklan training ‘Speech & Language Support for Vulnerable Young People’.

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.

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

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