Our senses provide us with a means of interacting with society as well as helping us to understand and respond to the environment around us.

Some pupils at The Collett School who have a diagnosis of Autism, traits of Autism , or have other complex learning disabilities, struggle to intergrate or make sense of sensory inputs which often manifest as withdrawal, distress or challenging behaviour. These responses can often impact on progress, where sensory needs are not addressed effectively enough, leading to further barriers to learning. Addressing sensory issues should result in increased engagement with the curriculum and therefore improved learning experiences; along with greater opportunities for engagement in both school and non-school activities. The Collett School 'Hive' has an intervention room, where sensory workshops and individual interventions take place throughout the school day.

Aims of Sensory Interventions at The Collett School

  • To support our young people with sensory needs with an appropriate support to enable them to develop the self-regulation skills for independence in life
  • To inform school staff, visitors, volunteers and parents of the importance of sensory issues in the education, health and wellbeing of our pupils
  • To provide an adapted environment and personalised teaching programme that addresses individuals' sensory needs and requirements in order to impact positively on their health, wellbeing and ability to access further learning

To help regulate their sensory systems, the children engage in a variety of activities, using the specialised equipment to either alert or calm their sensory system.

The use of the piano helps children develop their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination as well as encouraging crossing the midline.

Responding to children's sensory needs is key for supporting children with a propensity to self harm. The site below has information about sensory support and is helping guide our continual fundraising programme to equip our school:

The Role of the Sensory Lead Teacher

  • To create nurturing relationships with pupils to enhance academic success and independence
  • To create safe, healthy and supportive environments for the pupils
  • To strengthen connections between home and school
  • To work collaboratively with the Occupational Therapist to address the needs of individual pupils
  • To deliver Wave 1 Intervention and Wave 2 Intervention; individual and group-based programmes to help support pupils' learning.

Leadership of Sensory Provision at The Collett School
Review performance data, observations, statement, discussion with the class teacher and OT. Once information has been gathered and analysed with other teams in school, goals are set and plans devised and delivered with appropriate interventions and the monitoring of these over time for their impact and effectiveness.

Determining further training, development of provision and improved resources, the Sensory Lead Teacher will ensure the constant learning of the departmental staff and lead improvements in the services we provide.

The Sensory Lead Teacher works closely with Gillian Lawton to develop the fundraising requirements of the school to support our children with complex needs.

The Role of the Occupational Health Therapist (OT)

We have a designated NHS Occupational Therapist who works at The Collett School twice a month.

The OT has experience in assessing and interpreting sensory issues, needs and preferences. Our Sensory Lead Teacher collects sensory information on pupils and liaises closely with the OT in the interpretation of sensory assessments and in establishing a Sensory Diet. Together the needs of the child are determined, along with the views of the class teacher and the child's parents.

The OT offers set times during the year to support our Whole School Sensory Policy, which in turn has seen a phenomenal development of sensory awareness in our staff, children and families and appropriate strategies deployed to support children's access to learning.

Take a look at the document below for further information as to how occupational therapy can support children and young people with Autism:

Assessment and Reporting on Sensory Needs

Sensory Profiles, assessments and sensory diets will be formally reviewed at EHCP Annual Review Meetings as well as being discussed at Parents' Evenings. The OT will review progress of programmes with the Class Teacher and Sensory Lead Teacher throughout the time identified for the provision. The CAPPS Kinaesthesia data will support the monitoring of sensory arousal levels and regulation and the assessment will include all staff involved in the child's sensory provision at The Collett (including parents/carers being invited to participate in the assessment of their child).

Kinaesthesia CAPPS