Maritime Academy Trust

Maritime is a charitable education trust with schools across London and the South East.

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Therapy Provision at Danecourt

Our Therapy Assistants also work jointly with our Therapists to deliver programmes in communication, behaviour, sensory and motor/physical skills.

What we believe:

Effective learning can only take place when all staff members understand children’s individual learning needs within the context of their whole being; this includes an understanding of both their therapeutic needs and learning needs.

Once a child’s individual needs are identified we can provide personalised strategies and resources needed to ensure that our children make effective progress. 

Effective personalised learning for our children occurs as the result of a combined integrated approach between Therapists and the Teaching staff to-

  • Gain an understanding of the child’s learning profile – the child’s strengths, motivations and the characteristics of their learning disabilities/diagnosis that may form a barrier to learning.
  • Collaboratively plan, deliver and resource curriculum activities within the various learning environments at Danecourt School that incorporate the children’s’ individual targets.
  • Jointly set agreed targets for the children’s Education, Health and Care Plan, and where those targets are a focus for and underpin all of the children’s learning so that the children do not have separate therapy targets but have well, planned, EHCP goals agreed by all of the adults working with them, including their parents/carers.

Lou and the Therapies team hold the highest expectations and aspirations for the children and work together with the Teaching team to ensure that children reach their full potential, both educationally and therapeutically.

We support the learning of new skills within the context of the environment in which the skills will be used. We also understand that repeated daily exposure and rehearsal of a new skill, which is embedded through the child’s daily school routine, will increase rate of progress; we do not support the withdrawal of children from class for 1:1 isolated interventions however formal assessment does require a protected quiet space in order to be distraction free, and the results valid.

Our Therapy Assistants work jointly with our Therapists to deliver programmes in communication, behaviour, sensory and motor/physical skills

Therapies Team (ID 1145)

  • Lou Elliott
  • Sian Williams
  • Tasmin Jesse
  • Clare Stevens
  • Robyn Moore

 How it works?

At Danecourt School the sharing of information about a child’s learning style and personalised learning needs is documented on their Person- Centred Learning Plan (PCLP).

Every child at Danecourt has a PCLP; this document also contains their Education, Health and Care Plan Targets.

It also contains information about:

  • Current EHCP targets.
  • the children’s learning profile; including their communication and sensory profiles.
  • the strategies and approaches they require adults to use with them throughout each day (for example that could be a sensory circuit, the use of Makaton sign, the number of Information carrying words to be used when communicating with them.
  • The personalised resources they need for emotional/sensory regulation (e.g. weighted blanket, chewy, box of fidgets), effective communication (Communication book, VOCA) and other practical resources such as seating, writing slopes, pen grips, splints etc.
  • Strategies to assist positive behaviour in school including ‘Help scripts.’
  • Medical information (as required)

Therapy team members work hard to get to know the children and make assessments about their learning profile. Alongside class teaching staff we will trial and introduce strategies to assist the children, aligned to their targets. This might be introducing a sensory circuit, or it might be a longer joint piece of work to establish an effective, functional communication system. Once in place, the strategy/ equipment is entered into the PCLP so that all staff know how best to work with the child.

Our Therapy Tool-Kit:

We deliver training for staff regularly in a wide range of approaches so that these can be used by the class team, and bespoked in collaboration with our Occupational and Speech and Language Therapist.

Universal Strategies:

  • A consistent Visual approach in each class that includes visual boards, timetables, Now and Next cards, Working Towards cards, Timers, and Zones of Regulation check-in boards and assistive symbolised lanyard symbols. Danecourt uses Boardmaker PCS Symbols.
  • Use of generalised ALERT programme equipment for calming and alerting.
  • Sensory Circuits
  • Adaptations for table top learning – writing slopes, foot kicks, pen grips, recordable whiteboards and sound buttons to support recall of ideas.

Use of communication strategies such as:

  • Objects of Reference and photo choice boards
  • Communication grids, Communication books and PECS,
  • Use of Big Macs, large sound buttons,
  • Makaton signing – in class and promoted in wider environments such as lunchtimes and playtimes. We have, “Makaton Mondays,” in which everyone learns two new signs relating to our curriculum topic.
  • Language supports such as Colourful semantics – with an emphasis on learning names, by wearing our own photo to develop language and social skills.
  • Attention Everyone – an Attention Autism adapted approach.


  • Assessed and targeted application of sensory equipment for personalised ALERT programme and sensory diet strategies.
  • Development of communication skills to use lite tech and high tech AAC such as voice output communication aids.
  • Lego Therapy.
  • Use of our multi-sensory environments including our Therapeutic Swing and Multi-sensory room for learning and emotional/sensory regulation.
  • Fine motor skills groups delivered developing skills for everyday functional tasks.
  • Therabox 
  • SCERTS – Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, Transactional Supports, is used as an assessment and curriculum tool for children who require an alternative
  • The Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding approach is a targeted approach to widening the range of foods that a child will eat, when extreme sensory preferences for colour, taste and texture are affecting diet and health.

Specialist services

  • Medway Community Health (MCH) NHS Trust provides Specialist Therapy Services for children at Danecourt School. Their service is provided to those children who have their need for therapy provision specified (and quantified) in their EHCP. Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational and Physiotherapists attend school regularly to review their programmes.
  • Our NHS Team at based at the Snapdragon’s Centre and comprise:
  • Laura MacLeod and Lucy Palmer (Speech and Language Therapists)
  • Diane Maxwell (Speech and Language Therapy Technician)
  • Shenice Waters (Occupational Therapist)
  • Dionne Francis (Physiotherapist)
  • And our School Nurses Suzanne Lee and Justine Collins.
  • The Paediatrician and the Multi-Disciplinary team from MCH/Snapdragon’s Centre attend school regularly to review children with their parents and school staff as required. Appointments are arranged by the NHS team.
  • Please talk to your child’s teacher if you think that a referral to the NHS team is required.

Contacting us:

  • If you have any concerns or worries about your child’s development, please talk it through with your class teacher so that a referral to the team can be made, alternatively contact the Therapy team by telephone on the main school number 01634 232589, or you can email us at