Therapy and Medical


Speech and Language Therapy

The aim of Speech and Language Therapists at Hatchside is to use a Total Communication Approach to develop pupil’s attention and listening skills, understanding, functional and social use of language. All forms of communication are encouraged and developed including the use of:

  • Words and vocalisation
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Objects Of Reference
  • Photographs and symbols
  • Makaton signing
  • Communication boards/books /electronic devices
  • Switches

 The Speech and Language Therapist will assess all pupils who have an Educational Health Care plan. An individualised communication plan will be created with recommendations to continue to develop communication skills.

The Speech and Language Therapy input may include:

  • Writing communication plans
  • Annual Review of the Education and Health Care Plans
  • Meeting and Working with parents
  • Individual therapy sessions
  • Small group work
  • Whole class group work
  • Target setting
  • Providing resources to teachers and parents
  • Modelling and training teaching staff

Recommended strategies can include the use of Visuals to support understanding and use of language, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Intensive Interaction, and Colourful Semantics.

 Appropriate training is provided to staff to ensure carryover and embedding of recommendations, strategies and resources into the classroom setting.

 There will be opportunities for parents to meet the Speech and Language team to discuss their child’s communication in a 1:1 meeting or during coffee mornings, and training workshops. We are keen to support parents to use resources and strategies that are working at school in the home environment.


Occupational Therapy

The aim of the Hatchside Occupational Therapist is to help pupils participate in activities of daily living whilst promoting independence and a better quality of life. An occupational therapist can help transfer skills from school to home and vice versa whilst using a holistic approach to develop on the following skills using a person-centered approach:


Fine Motor Skills: Developing handwriting, using cutlery, typing skills, finger strength, manipulation, isolation, grasp and dexterity. 

Gross Motor Skills: Developing bilateral coordination, crossing the midline, postural control/stability, balance, hand eye coordination and feed forward/ feedback movements.

Sensory Difficulties: Providing movement breaks, personalised sensory diets, messy play exploration, assessments of sensory motor functions and sensory aids such as weight vests and hug vests. 

Emotional Understanding/Regulation: Understanding emotions and feelings, identifying strategies to regulate emotions, understanding emotions of oneself and others through music, role play, art, writing, discussions

Executive Functioning Skills: Developing attention, planning, organization, working memory and prioritization 

Adaptive Equipment: Such as chairs, slings, hoists and toilet aids. 

Life Skills: Developing skills in dressing, personal hygiene, toileting and eating skills.


School Nurse

The goal of the specialist nursing team is to promote wellness and help maintain the health of our pupils so that they can thrive and be the best versions of themselves.   

At Hatchside School the special school nurse is provided by the local NHS services (NELFT) but provides onsite provision regularly. The role involves coordinating a range of health services within the school setting; working closely with school staff and the multidisciplinary team to ensure that pupil health needs are met. School nurse responsibilities and assessments include:

  • completing individualised health care plans for pupils with medical needs
  • providing medical training and support for teaching staff
  • continence assessments and advice on toileting
  • monitoring of children’s growth (weight/height)
  • contributions to your child’s educational health and care plan (EHCP) 

The trust also employ a number of healthcare and welfare assistants who support with the implementation of all aspects of school nursing work, to ensure that pupil needs are fully met within our school setting. They form part of the trust pastoral team and work closely with our parent liaison officers to provide positive partnerships between school and home.