These are some of the interventions that may be used at COPA.

Speech and Language Therapies

At Cherry Orchard our SLCN unit has access to a qualified NHS Speech and Language Therapist 2.5 days a week, who oversees the speech and language plans, sets and reviews individual targets and works with our EHCP children within the classroom and in 1:1 direct therapy.  Resources are provided to support learning as well as being sent to parents to augment learning at home.

Colourful Semantics

Colourful semantics is an approach that was created by Alison Bryan. It focuses on the meaning of words by breaking down and colour coding various parts of a sentence. Colourful semantics are designed to help children develop their knowledge by joining the structure of a sentence and its meaning. Once each part of a sentence is colour coded, it becomes very easy to see how a sentence is built.

Language for thinking

Language for Thinking provides a clear structure to help children’s language develop from the ‘here and now’ to the ‘how and why’. It enables children to apply their language skills to reading comprehension.

Language for thinking has been specifically created to teach and develop children’s language from the abstract to the concrete.

The skills which a child can gain include:

  • Improved verbal reasoning skills
  • Improved thinking skills
  • Develop language skills
  • Improved Spoken & Written language
Lego Therapy

Lego therapy is a play based piece of intervention which focuses on developing collaborative play skills. It is predominately used with children who have Autism or social interaction difficulties. However, it can be used with all children.

Lego therapy works on key areas of social interaction, such as turn taking, listening, initiation, eye contact, problem solving and sharing. In addition to this it works on language concepts such as size, prepositions and colours.

Within a therapy group an adult will set the ‘ground rules’ with children and facilitate if necessary. Each child is given a role. These are a builder, supplier and engineer. In addition to this there may be a director role too. Each role contributes towards the success of the Lego model being made.

Sensory Circuits

All children in the SRP – as well as some identified children – take part in a regular programme of specifically designed physical activities called a Sensory Circuit.  This daily programme helps to focus concentration – in readiness for the day’s learning.

To give some background information to the scheme, a senior Occupational Therapist has made the following observations:

‘Children who have difficulty organising and making sense of sensation may have difficulty learning in school.  This child may need to work harder to achieve the same outcomes as other children within their class.  They may feel tired, anxious and helpless most of the time.  They may have difficulty in getting changed for PE on time, writing legibly, remembering sets of instructions or paying attention in a busy room full of people.  Equally they may be fidgety, jumpy and easy to anger – acting out rather than withdrawing from a situation.’

Sensory Circuits is a programme developed by an experienced senior Occupational Therapist, who specialises in sensory integration and sensory processing difficulties and is delivered by experienced members of staff, who have been trained by the Paediatric Occupational Therapy Team from Kent Community Health NHS Trust.

The Sensory Circuits structure is simple and runs in three sections;

  • The Alerting Section – which aims to provide stimulation in a controlled environment, to prepare the brain for learning and the demands of the school environment.
  • An Organising Section – which includes activities that require multi-sensory processing and balance. Activities such as climbing, hopping, balancing, looking and throwing into a target hone skills that may increase a child’s focus, attention span and performance within the classroom setting.
  • The Calming Section – which ensure the children leave the circuit and return to the classroom calmly and as ready for the day as possible.

Possible benefits of a sensory circuit may be improvements in self-esteem, quiet, unresponsive children are more ready to engage, improvement in focus and attention, quicker more efficient dressing skills, improved communication skills – as well as development of physical skills.

We deliver this programme, without it impacting on valuable class learning time, as the circuit takes place before registration each morning for no longer than 10 – 15 minutes to allow the children to return to class promptly by 8:45 am.

Social Skills

Social skills programme provides the children the opportunity to experience and to be taught how to cope in social situations.

We aim to improve:

  • Children’s interaction with each other
  • Receptive and expressive language
  • Reasoning skills
  • Listening skills
  • Problem solving
  • Ability to turn-taking
  • Improve self-esteem.
Visual Aids

SIGNALONG is a sign supporting system that has been  developed to help children acquire language skills and to aid where there are communication difficulties. SIGNALONG is designed to support and encourage spoken language and every sign should very accompanied by the spoken word.

Communicate InPrint aids the creation of resources to support children’s understanding of vocabulary through adding pictures to words

Word Aware

Word Aware is a structured approach to promote the vocabulary development of all children.

Children need twelve meaningful encounters of a word before they really know it. Word Aware promotes a method called STAR, which stands for Select, Teach, Activate and Review. This process ensures the children encounter the new words many times and many different ways.