The Therapeutic Team at Mount Tamar School
As an Occupational Therapist at Mount Tamar, I support class staff, parents and carers to understand the child or young person’s unique capacities & barriers which form their ability to engage in school-based activities. I support the children & young people to experience enabling; through practical adaptations to their routines & exploring their individual ways of engaging more effectively with their learning environments. As an Occupational Therapist I’m interested in the factors that motivate learning; a young person’s interests, his/her sense of capability, the feelings and thoughts related to the ability to “do”. These are central to life. I work alongside school staff to help build routines and environments that support a young person’s capacity to learn and promote ways of learning and teaching which help to build the regulation of feelings, behaviours, attention, organisation and memory. As a team we work to develop the student’s physical skill and social skill, develop student’s experience of personal significance, motivation and community identity as well as grow through personal experiences of success
The therapeutic team at Mount Tamar School consists of an Occupational Therapists and a music therapist. We have a school based focus. This means that our efforts are directed towards enabling learners’ access to their education, to feel motivated to learn, to experience success and satisfaction in their school day. We recognise that the ability to feel calm, ready to learn and ready to play, i.e. to be regulated, is particularly difficult for our young people. Regulation precedes the ability to have self-control. It is only from this point a young person can begin to learn.
For this reason, the therapeutic service we offer pre-dominantly focuses upon helping teachers to co-regulate their learners and learners to explore tools which help them to feel safe and calm. We help teachers to understand and manage the barriers to learning. Our work is pre-dominantly based upon what is called developmental neuro-scientific theory. This theory emphasises the importance of understanding a young person’s development, their life experience and the responses of their body, brain and mind to the daily situations they encounter. We provide assessment, consultation and intervention for the young people at Mount Tamar School. Our team is also responsible for the development of the content of the Personal, Health, Social, Emotional and Economic curriculum within the primary school.
We appreciate and welcome the knowledge caregivers hold about their child and work with them to help everyone understand the young person’s needs and how they may be best met. Caregiver workshops aim to bring people together, to share experience and to provide knowledge and skill across a range of subjects caregivers perceive as important to their child. We also provide training to members of the school team, liaise and consult with outside agencies and offer training to a broad range of people. We welcome all these opportunities.