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Shorefields School

Shorefields School

Therapies & Interventions

 We are committed to the holistic development of our pupils and ensure that they have access to a wide range of therapeutic interventions. The purpose of an intervention is to address a barrier to learning or to enhance health, happiness and wellbeing thereby enabling the child or young person to develop to the best of their ability.


Thrive uses creative arts and play-based activities with children to support healthy neural development, promote a positive sense of self worth and build optimal learning capacity. There are many artistic mediums that you can work with in the Thrive Approach, sand play, puppetry, story telling, music, drama, movement and dance, painting and drawing, each of which has particular benefits and strengths. The Thrive Approach integrates arts and creativity to support children’s emotional and social development. 
Our on site dedicated Thrive space is supported by our Thrive practitioner and students have the opportunity to access this provision following a referral from the class teacher. 

Sensory Integration Therapy

This approach helps children to understand and cope with the information coming in through sensory channels – specifically touch, movement and an understanding of where our body is in space. This can be particularly difficult for children on the autistic spectrum.

We have several Sensory Integration rooms and members of staff who follow advice from specialist Occupational Therapists to deliver daily programmes of sensory therapy. We use a range of equipment including such items as swings, balances and physio balls to provide structured sensory experiences for children to calm or alert them, according to their need. We also offer regular sensory circuits for all classes to access This can help to make them more receptive to learning and more able to access the classroom environment.

Theraplay (Interactive Play Therapy)

Theraplay is a therapeutic 12 week 1:1 programme of interactive play for children and young people aged 4-19 years, who have experienced trauma. Trauma is defined as an experience that the individual interprets as beyond their ability to cope.

Access to Theraplay is on a voluntary basis and is available for all children and families with a wide variety of problems, including:

Children/Young people who are withdrawn

Children/Young people struggling with relationships

Children/Young people with depressed behaviour

Children/Young people with aggression

Children/Young people with phobias

Children/Young people who have difficulty socialising and making friends

SEN e.g. ADD, ADHD, developmental delay and autistic spectrum

Theraplay is a structured play therapy for children and their parents/carers.  Its goal is to enhance attachment, self-esteem, trust in others and joyful engagement.  The sessions are fun, physical, personal and interactive and replicate the natural, healthy interaction between parents and young children. The interactions focus on four essential qualities found in parent-child relationships.Structure, Engagement, Nurture and Challenge. The purpose of intervention is to promote resilience by supporting the potential for hope.  

Theraplay at Shorefields is provided by a trained theraplayist and is provided at a location close to school. 

Music Therapy

What is Music Therapy?

Music therapists believe that everyone is musical and that we all have an innate response to music. The response to music is intact, irrespective of age, ability, illness, impairment and mental state.  

Music therapists use the different aspects of music (physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual) to address an individual’s needs, while working with their strengths. 

Through making music with the therapist, the individual may experience beneficial changes and developments which are encouraged and worked towards in a safe and creative way. Using music in this way is a form of therapy – music therapy.

The Music Therapist is trained to use music to reach out in this way and to help people develop their potential whatever their disability, difficulties or diagnosis. The individual may come to music therapy for many different reasons.

 What can be achieved through Music Therapy?

The aims of Music Therapy are not musical; they are therapeutic. It is through the process of making music that significant benefits arise. In music therapy sessions, music is used to motivate, stimulate, calm and build bridges of communication. The aim is closely involved with supporting the individual to find meaning, fulfilment, confidence and a sense of worth. This may be achieved in a number of ways through:

  • Improvising music
  • Songwriting
  • Making CDs
  • Music as relaxation
  • Singing together
  • Performance

What happens in a Music Therapy session?

In Music Therapy, individuals experience music improvised uniquely for and with them. They will have the opportunity to interact and communicate musically and to express themselves in whatever way they can – using their body, voice or musical instrument. But most of all, they will be forming a creative relationship with their music therapist.  

The music therapist may work in a range of ways. This depends upon the strengths and needs of each individual and group. The aims of Music Therapy are decided in liaison with the individual, staff, keyworker and therapist.

At Shorefield’s, Music Therapy is provided by a HCPC registered Music Therapist one day a week in partnership with Suffolk Music Therapy Services (

Speech and Language Therapy

Speech and Language therapy at Shorefields is provided by external health service specialists. The provision aims to help students fulfil their communicative potential both within the classroom and wider community through working collaboratively with school staff, families and carers. Our style of input is determined by assessment of the student's needs and as such can take the form of individual or group sessions, collaborative classroom sessions, joining class outings and home/community visits.

We promote effective communication by all means, for example, speech, sign, symbol exchange and electronic low/high-tech communication aids. We also support the development of students’ social interaction skills.

The local health service speech and language therapy team also support students with eating and drinking difficulties. We provide assessment, diagnosis and recommendations alongside training for school staff.

In addition to the above, our on site Communication Assistant, supports students with some of their communication needs and runs small group intervention activities. 

Physical Therapies

Our school is offered a regular service from the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy employed by Anglian Community Enterprise CIC. Therapists visit the school during term-time and also offer home and community support where clinically appropriate to their service users.

The therapists work in collaboration with class staff and other professionals involved in the child's care to implement an integrated programme which meets a child’s physical needs within their educational setting. Therapy is offered on an individual or group basis depending on the needs of the child.

The physiotherapists offer a joint clinic with the local orthotics service once a month within our school. This enables student's known to physiotherapy and orthotics to benefit from joint clinical reasoning and maximises outcome and function. Therapists also co-ordinate joint appointments with equipment reps, the local wheelchair service, children's social care OT's, etc to maximise joint working to meet pupil needs.


Sport in our school is about engaging learners in physical activity which involves the whole body, developing strength, stamina, flexibility, posture, and positioning. It includes taking part in non-competitive activities within the school and, for some young people, it involves participation in inter-school sporting competitions in an increasing number of sports.

We encourage all learners to increase their range of movements and manipulative skills and to develop a positive attitude to a healthy and active lifestyle.

Our facilities ensure inclusive provision :

Regular active sensory circuits. Trampolines in all class play areas. Wheelchair accessible outdoor equipment - swing, roundabout, trampoline. Vestibular and proprioceptive sensory processing spaces and equipment. Go kart track. All weather sports pitch.

In recent years Shorefields has been extremely successful in competitive and non-competitive sport.

The sports team has not only managed to regularly compete against other Essex SEN Schools but have also been highly successful in a range of different sports. The school has taken part in the Panathlon competition for the last few years including swimming at the Olympic Park. Shorefields also takes part in other sports including athletics and football. Each year the school hosts the Alex Ball football competition where other SEN Schools attend. This is a competitive but enjoyable day and gives the students a chance to meet new people.

Shorefields has also been involved in the Specialist School Games where SEN schools and mainstream schools take part in a mixture of sporting activities.

Even though the school takes part in competitive competitions we also aim for the students to have fun and give everybody the opportunity to take part in sport; this includes the Messa Indoor Games, Messa Mini Olympics and sports day. As a school we want all our students to have a chance to take part in sport and PE regardless of ability or age.


ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant)  is a trained, school-based learning support assistant. Their role is to support the emotional wellbeing of pupils.   They are trained by a team of Educational Psychologists and receive ongoing group supervision.   It was designed to build the capacity of schools to support the emotional needs of their pupils from within their own resources.  This is achieved by training teaching assistants to develop and deliver individualised support programmes to meet the emotional needs of children and young people in their care.    It recognises that children learn better and are happier in school if their emotional needs are also addressed.  

This intervention is now widely implemented by educational psychologists across Britain ELSAs work with children and young people either individually or in small groups and deliver bespoke interventions tailored to the presenting situation or need.   

The role of the ELSA is to develop children and young people's: 

  • emotional literacy 
  • positive mental health, 
  • social skills 
  • emotional wellbeing. 

Play Therapy 

Play Therapy for students at Shorefields is accessed by qualified staff at Tendring Families First on a referral basis from the schools senior leadership team. 

Tendring Families First engages PTUK qualified Play Therapists to work with our children to provide an evidenced based psychotherapeutic provision.

Play is a child’s natural way of expressing themselves. Instead of talking through what is troubling them, they can use play to express their feelings and emotions. Play Therapy is integrative, working with the conscious and unconscious to work with the child holistically with whatever they bring to the session.
The therapy sessions in school will benefit children experiencing social and emotional difficulties. Children are provided with 12 sessions usually lasting 45 minutes, where they have as access to creative materials to include sand, clay, paint, puppets, dressing up and music. This specialist approach ensures the therapist meets the need of the child, and a trusting relationship is formed, and the child feels listened to and understood. With weekly therapy the child’s emotional regulation improves, appropriate self-expression is empowered and the need to act out or internalise emotions is alleviated.