Fair Furlong School – Testimonial
At Fair Furlong School we have been using Jackdaw Play therapy to provide one to one therapeutic support for our vulnerable learners who experience a wide ranging level of need including those exposed to DV, transient households, having experienced a history of abuse, home lives with high levels of social disorder and those with self esteem, resilience and attachment issues.
The staff have been extremely flexible in applying different support to meet the varying needs and also working within the constraints of the school timetable. For example, during the SATs period they re-arranged timetables to avoid taking Y6 children out of class in the morning but also made sure they saw them after their tests.
Both members of staff have fitted in extremely well to our wider staff team and are very much part of our community. It is testament to their skill set that they have managed to engage many parents who prior to their child receiving therapeutic support have never engaged proactively with school. In addition staff have found their communication style very effective so they have listened to the view of the classteacher, provided timely feedback that has been very useful in finding ways forward to meet the child’s needs and they have also responded to the feedback they have been given. In addition staff have felt able to approach the team for advice on other children and they very much worked in a cohesive manner within the team of people supporting often complex cases. This has included contributing to case conferences and core group meetings.
In practical terms the demands on the school resources have been relatively limited and we believe they have provided excellent value for money.
The support was so successful that midway through the year we doubled the capacity so we are now able to provide two full days of play therapy support for our learners.
All of the children they have worked with have very complex needs so its difficult to directly attribute, for example, academic gain to the therapy sessions and many of these children will be making only very small steps, would need much longer term support but even so relatively are progressing.
For example Child K had attendance below 90%, only expressed negative views towards school, rarely participated in any extra curriculum activity and was border line school phobic. Following four terms support K has increased their attendance above 90%, has attended two enrichment clubs beyond the end of the school day and even most recently still choose to come to school when they had been ill overnight rather than take the opportunity to stay at home. Child C had experienced chaotic home circumstances and multiple CP concerns. They were extremely self regulated and rarely disclosed any concerns about their circumstances although physically presented as emotional and sad. Since Child C has received play therapy whilst they still have a long way to go they are now able to seek support when required, have made several significant decisions about their home circumstances and where they would like to be looked after that otherwise they would not have been able to make. Child C’s attendance has also increased rapidly following the support.
Whilst we don’t have the testimonials of the children concerned every single child that has been offered the support knows they have the option to stop but none have done so. Also we can report that one child was overheard talking to another who was asking them what they did with one of the therapists and the child was heard to say if you get the chance you should go it really helps.
Whilst we have a huge number of interventions and provisions to support a whole range of learning needs and the ability range across the school we recognised that for some children they require a much more specialist approach before they are able to begin the journey of engaging fully with their wider academic and wellbeing development. Working with Jackdaw Play Therapy has proved an excellent match in this regard and is providing support we do not have the capacity to offer. We would unreservedly recommend the therapists to any other school organisation.
Emma Drew – Headteacher