Heather Field School is a therapeutic community providing a holistic approach to the education and well-being of each child. Our safe, therapeutic learning environment enables every pupil to engage, enjoy, grow and thrive.
Cognitive behavioural therapy underpins the support provided for each child and is supplemented by exceptionally nurturing relationships between our staff and children. Our relational model enables children to feel valued, to recognise their strengths, and provides help to express their thoughts and feelings positively through those healthy relationships.
We recognise that every child’s needs are different and we believe that experiencing warmth, affection and consistency supports children’s trust in the adults around them and improves self-esteem.
Emphasis is placed upon supporting the development of each child’s self-awareness. We believe that this process enables children to reflect on their regular thought patterns to encourage positive change.
Although individual therapy sessions are a key part of our therapeutic offer, therapeutic practice extends across the whole school community and all pupils experience the embedded approach. Our approach is an integrative one, combining a range of therapeutic interventions which are regularly reviewed to ensure they remain most responsive to a child’s individual needs. Provision incorporates a range of alternative therapies to support well-being, and individual and/or group therapy, where appropriate. Therapy is delivered by a fully qualified and experienced therapy team.
Cognitive behavioural psychotherapy may be integrated with other therapeutic techniques. Attachment-based therapy understands past experience and supports the development of healthy relationships. Play-therapy combines non-directive and directive use of creative mediums to explore conscious and unconscious thought processes, providing acceptance, permission and freedom of choice. Psychoanalytical therapy considers the effects of past experiences on the here and now and supports coping mechanisms and building of resilience to difficult thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness supports well-being, through developing acceptance of thoughts and feelings in the here and now, bringing balance to past experiences.
Therapy programmes may be tailored to groups of children within which thoughts and feelings can be shared around a common focus to effect positive change.
Counselling support may be given to families in resolving a range of issues which may include relationship or communication difficulties. Guidance in behaviour management techniques and effective problem-solving may also be provided, with ongoing support to implement these within the family.
Heather Field School has chosen to follow the pathway of continuous improvement offered by the Community of Communities for Therapeutic Communities (The Royal Society of Psychiatry).
We are required to evidence and maintain our therapeutic practice through a system of external and internal review. Standards of practice extend across the whole school community ensuring each child benefits from an embedded approach to their education and well-being. Experienced staff provide emotional support, tailored to the needs of each individual child. Pupils enjoy clear, firm and nurturing boundaries enabling them to feel safe, and to enjoy a calm, relaxing environment within which they can recognise their achievements and build self-esteem.