Physical and Sensory (PASST) at Rabbsfarm Primary School

Meet the PASST Team!

RB(1)

Rachael Horner
 Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist (OT)
HCPC/BAOT Registered

Rachael leads the physical and sensory team and visits the school every Monday. She works in collaboration with parents and school staff to identify and provide input to children who need additional support to access the school environment and to meet their learning needs. She provides recommendations and strategies to best support the child’s development of foundational and functional skills needed for academic achievement and independence.

What is Physical and Sensory?

How do we implement this within the school?

At Rabbsfarm we adopt the following strategies and interventions to provide challenge and additional opportunity for our pupils with physical and sensory needs:

High Quality Teaching:

The pupils needs can be met in the classroom through everyday high quality teaching which can include considerations of the classroom environment. Important aspects that our teachers will consider are seating and positioning, sensory strategies and ensuring that learning resources are accessible. Additionally, all our classrooms are equipped with visual posters to support PASST including zones of regulation explaining how we can monitor and regulate our bodies. Our LSA’s have also received regular training from the Occupational Therapist in order to help support pupils that they work with in class.

Targeted Support:

Some of the needs of our pupils can be met through more targeted support in the classroom with help from the teacher or TA. This may include looking at classroom layout, equipment needs and adaptations. Further examples of support at Rabbsfarm include:

Sensory Tools – Each classroom is equipped with a box of ‘fidget toys’ to be used by those pupils who need additional sensory stimulation. Examples of the tools include: tangle toys, stress balls and theraputty.

sesnory tools

Theraputty – Theraputty is a silicone material that can be used for a variety of hand exercises. This material is available in a range of different colours and is used when suggested by the OT or when a pupil may have poor hand strength. If practiced daily it can help pupils to strengthen their hand muscles.

Sit & Move Cushions-

Some pupils use ‘sit and move cushions’ which are air filled cushions designed to help with core control and provide ‘active sitting’.  The wedge shape and unevenness of the cushion adds an element of instability, keeping your body in motion and enhancing stomach and back muscles. These can be particularly beneficial to pupils who have difficulties with core stability as well those who need movement stimulation and find it more difficult to sit still for sustained periods of time.

Focussed Handwriting Group - At Rabbsfarm we provide handwriting groups for those pupils who find it more difficult with the motor aspects of handwriting. This can include helping students learn how to grip a pencil correctly and how to move the pencil to form letters and words when writing.

Nursery and Reception Group -Within the classroom, small group work is provided for children who may need an extra boost to develop their fine motor skills, pencil control, scissor skills, pre-writing skills and body awareness.   

Individualised Support:

Individual Occupational Therapy programmes are designed for children identified by the SENCo and OT who need additional individual support. Each programme contained targets and recommended activities or strategies to help the child achieve and develop their own unique skills. The OT will work closely with the classroom staff to support implementation of these programmes.

Lunch Club
At lunchtime we offer a group for pupils who find eating and lunch time more challenging than other pupils. During lunch club we focus on developing basic table manners such as using an knife and fork to cut and eat food, trying different and new foods, biting, chewing and swallowing routines and cleaning away after self. Lunch club also provides a quieter lunchtime away from the noise of the busy food hall for those who find this kind of environment overwhelming. Pupils can only attend lunch club if recommended by the OT, EP or SENCO.

Gross Motor Groups
This group aims to support the development of gross motor skills including balance, core stability, coordination, motor planning and ball skills. It is currently primarily run for children who access the Launchpad.

How can I support at home?

If you think your child might need help with their physical skills at home you can support them in the following ways:

  • Playing a variety of games that require co-ordination, balance, and ball skills  e.g. catching and throwing, target practice, obstacle courses and swimming.
  • Encouraging your child to be physically active and engage in sports outside of school.
  • Playing with small toys and objects that can manipulate e.g. shape posting box, using scissors for arts and crafts, jigsaw puzzles, playdough.

Further sensory or physical advice can be sought from the Occupational Therapist according to your child’s needs.

Hillingdon Fitness - This link shows all the active opportunities around hillingdon to get involved in, including activities for those with physical impairments: 
https://www.hillingdon.gov.uk/fitness

Get Active Sports - Shows what active opportunities there are available in Hillingdon for children, such as holiday camps:
http://www.getactivesports.com/clubs/hillingdon-leisure-complex-holiday-camp/

The Children with Disabilities Team (CWDT) - CWDT is a specialist Social Work team providing support, advice, assessments and access to specialist services to children and young people with disabilities and their parents/carers resident within the London Borough of Hillingdon:
http://directory.hillingdon.gov.uk/kb5/hillingdon/fsd/service.page?id=BeYjeAEJhhw&familychannel=7-5

National Autistic Society - Explains the different types of sensory difficulties some children with Autism may encounter and how to support them:
http://www.autism.org.uk/sensory

Here is another link on the different types of sensory difficulties and examples of support:
https://www.iidc.indiana.edu/pages/Sensory-Integration-Tips-to-Consider

If you would like any further information on the PASST support we offer at Rabbsfarm Primary School please contact Sara Daly, the schools SENCo, on sdaly@rabbsfarm.hillingdon.sch.uk