Castle School is supported by a range of specialist agencies to ensure that we provide the highest quality support to our pupils, meeting all of their individual learning needs.
For each of our pupils we offer a personalised curriculum, set out in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which draws from the National Curriculum core and foundation subjects and an essential curriculum that covers all aspects of Personal and Social Education.
We also provide a sensory curriculum to support the needs of our pupils with profound and multiple learning disabilities.
Use the drop-down links below to find out more about the range of specialist support staff who provide services to Castle School.
Speech and Language Therapists from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust work in Castle School, they work jointly with class teams and other visiting professionals to support and develop the speech, language, communication and feeding skills of pupils. Further information regarding their service can be found on the Northumbria NHS website.
You can contact the Speech and Language Therapy team through school or via the details provided by the service.
Our Physiotherapy team supports pupils across the school to promote physical activity as part of their overall health and wellbeing, and ensure that all of our children and young people reach their physical potential. By working alongside pupils, their families and carers and other third party care providers, our team delivers individualised therapy sessions for our pupils with severe and multiple disabilities which affect their motor skills as part of their daily curriculum, including rebound therapy and hydrotherapy sessions in our on-site hydropool.
Occupational therapy (OT) services are provided to The Castle School by Jigsaw Therapy Services Ltd alongside colleagues from the local NHS service.
The Occupational Therapist is involved across the school in providing advice, assessment and interventions. Children are referred to the OT by their class teacher as well as the OT liaising with class teams every half term to determine needs within the class. The aim of occupational therapy within school is to enable children to become as independent as possible and to utilise the skills as they develop.
This may be by:
- Promoting the development of functional skills such as self care, handwriting
- Development of postural and motor skills.
- Improving perception (e.g. body and spatial awareness, visual discrimination)
- Using sensory integration and modulation techniques to help calm and organise themselves in order that they can improve their concentration and so participate more ably in activities.
OT intervention can include:
- Seeing a child in class or on 1:1 to observe and assess their abilities
- Setting up a programme of exercises and activities to be carried out regularly at school
- Providing general advice to be incorporated into daily living activities and curricular activities at school.
- Advising on and demonstrating specialist equipment.
- Writing reports, attending reviews, if necessary, and liaising with other professionals.
- Support and training to school staff
We’re incredibly fortunate to have a fully qualified School Medical Officer and Special School Nurse on-site at Castle School. Our School Medical Officer is a community paediatrician who has a dedicated role in providing a link between our pupils and the Local Authority and Health services for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
As well as providing front line medical support for our pupils should they become unwell while at school, our medical team is responsible for the correct administration of all of our pupils’ medication. They are also required to collect information about pupil’s medical needs to help agree Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans in collaboration with local authorities.
The Children’s Community Nursing Team (CCNT) is a specialist team of Children’s Nurses and Child Health Carers who work with babies, children / young people and their families from 0-18 years. They must be registered with a GP in North Tyneside or Northumberland, and have been assessed as having a nursing need.
We provide nursing care advice, support and equipment to children and young people with complex, chronic and acute health needs in their home and a variety of other community settings eg. Nursery, School. The CCN will work with the SSN (Special School Nurse) to meet the identified health needs of the child. We may be asked to see a child who is on the CCN caseload whilst they are in school, but this will be with knowledge of the parent/carer. For example, wound care, change of gastrostomy.
The CCNT will work with the Special School Nurse to provide training for Education Staff to meet the health needs of identified individual children within school. On completion of training Staff will be signed as competent. This will be reviewed yearly or if there is a change in the child’s needs.
The CCNT will contribute to Team around the Family meetings for any child on the caseload with identified additional needs and also provide a report for an Educational Health Care Plan.
How to Contact us: We are based at Northumberland Child Centre and can be contacted on: 01670 564070 or 07702 690059 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm weekends and bank holidays.
A social worker gives support and advice to parents and families. Social workers can give welfare advice to support our pupil’s statutory assessment as part of their Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. Social workers are employed by Health and Social Care Trusts.
Educational psychologists are experts in developmental and educational psychology and provide valuable insight as part of your child’s statutory assessment. Educational psychologists are typically also qualified and experienced teachers. They can advise on the educational needs of children and young people and can suggest ways to help your child get the best out of their time in school.