Our therapeutic approach, along with our school values of ambition, curiosity and happiness, is at the heart of everything we do at Cornerstone School.
This includes ensuring that policies and procedures consider the needs of our profile of student. We have removed many barriers by adapting the language we use and understanding that all behaviour is a form of communication. We ensure our environment is kept minimal to support students with focusing on their learning.
Students have their own learning space and are able to adapt this to their needs using wobble cushions, overlays, fidget toys etc. All students have access to their own device in lessons. As well as being able to personalise learning through these resources, they also have subtle accessibility features to enhance learning. Using the same device each day also prevents the need for students to have to worry about passwords, sites etc.
We also work with a range of other agencies including; Autism Advisory, Educational Psychologist, Bexley SEN Team and the SLAM team at The Maudsley to share our approach working with young people with eating disorders such as ARFID.
Alongside our general approach we also have more targeted interventions.These include;
- Speech and language therapy, supported by Oxleas NHS team
We work with Bexley SALT team who work closely with teachers and teaching assistants to acquire a holistic picture of our young peoples’ needs, provide advice, discuss support strategies and put in place interventions across the school.
- Lego therapy
Lego Therapy encourages young people with autism to communicate with one another and solve a problem by building in pairs or groups of three. Each young person is given a specific role which has rules that they have to follow. Students have the choice to access this each morning where we offer a “soft start” to the day from 8.10am to 8.35am.
- Access to school counsellor
Paula Harrington (Trinity School’s Counsellor) provides emotional and therapeutic support for students in school.
Wayne Llewellyn from Boxing4Schools provides weekly boxing sessions where the focus is; dedication, fitness, focus and control. We are keen to offer a range of fitness/non-competitive exercise alongside our more traditional PE curriculum for those students who find team games and activities difficult. Our aim is for all students to enjoy physical exercise as we know the positive impact this has on both their physical and mental health.
- Monty, our school dog
Monty currently spends between 2 and 4 hours in school each day as advised by Jenny Duckworth from ‘The Dog Mentor’ company. Jenny is there for us with support and guidance whenever we need it. Monty has a positive impact on student’s mental health, overall attendance and sense of self.