Due to the exciting success of the previous cycles of the Family Project, Longcause are running the project again!! The project will begin on November 8th until December 13th.
The Family Project is an intervention programme, where families and children will work together with various professionals on a weekly basis.
Blending of family and school…
Working in partnership….a family centred approach.
We aim to help parents and family feel empowered to be their child’s first teachers. We respect and embrace the family experience and knowledge of their own child whilst hoping to show them how to use techniques modelled and explained by therapists. The family is as much a part of the intervention team as the ‘professionals’. Family are a key part of the programme and our experience has shown us that involving the family is the most effective intervention.
Our intervention programme starts with a focus on what the child can do, rather than what they currently cannot do. It will build on the child’s and families strengths as a point of access to developing those things which the child finds more challenging.
We believe that at the core of human development are the emotional bonds between family and child and that emotional development underpins all aspects of physical and cognitive growth. Effective intervention will therefore embrace the reinforcement of relationships between family and child, professional's and child and among the whole team.
We will encourage families to interact with each other to help provide mutual support, sharing of ideas , hopes and difficulties.
Each professional is encouraged to observe the work of the others so that the best picture of the needs and responses of each child can be formed.
We will have team meetings of about an hour at the end of each session which will allow all the professionals to discuss each child’s strengths and needs having been freshly observed, make joint notes and decide on any adjustments that need to be made.
Meet the Professionals...
Anne- Anne Thorne has been the Headteacher at Longcause School since January 2010. She will liaise with families and take an overall professional lead on the project. Anne also forms part of The Family Team.
Jodie- Jodie will be delivering play works sessions. The fundamental principles and structure of the play therapy work is based on the Theraplay® model developed in the USA. Jodie has been delivering therapeutic support
Vickie- Vickie will be delivering sessions to support early attention and engagement. She has worked at Longcause for 5 years.
Richard- Richard is an Occupational Therapist and Michaela is a physiotherapist. Both have undergone training in sensory integration and specialise in working with children with sensory processing and sensory integration difficulties. By using a variety of techniques they work with children to help build their sensory awareness, physical confidence and social skills.
Chris- Chris will be leading the music therapy sessions. He has experience across the entire school where he leads music sessions for each class.
The Family Team- Vicky, Theresa and Anne form our family team. Their session will be a relaxed opportunity to talk just as adults about your child’s needs.
Francine- Francine is the teacher in our Early years classroom. She has experience of complex needs and has worked with children with Autism for over 16 years. She will be supporting early communication sessions.
Hello Anne and the Family Project Team,
I would like to thank you all for being so warm and hospitable to us on our recent visit to the Family Project at Longcause Community Special School. After reading about the model, we were excited to have the opportunity to see it delivered. We had a wonderful day observing and joining in. Allocating a real family to each of us, allowing us to experience the project with them was emotional and a privilege.
Thank you to the families for welcoming us and giving us insight from their perspective. Though it was only week 2, hearing one of the Mum’s talk about the progress her son had made in just a week was astonishing; her beaming face said it all! I lost count of the amount of times she told the team members how much she was loving it. Navigating our way around the school was fun; the children were able to transition without much difficulty. All staff, not just those on the project helped us find our way, with smiles on their faces.
I was interested to see the logistics of delivering the approach in a school environment. Anne’s vision and belief, using every available space, even giving up her office for the morning facilitated this. Having time for the families to re-group and share how they got on that day confirmed how effective the project is.
The Team- wow, such dedicated and highly skilled practitioners. It was evident that every single member loved the project and had a real passion for their role in process. They enabled and empowered the parents to engage with each session, discussing progress and possible differentiation for the next week with expertise. Positivity and happiness shone throughout.
As a passionate believer in the Early Support model, being part of the team meeting, where all the professionals group together, to discuss the how the child and parents managed in their sessions was inspirational. It was obvious that the team like and respect each other. Seeing the learning between the professionals was fantastic. Sharing different professional perspectives built an all-inclusive picture of the children and their families. We also learnt so much from the wealth of knowledge around the table. We were able to see each family holistically. Multi-agency working at its best. Fabulous!
Our day at Longcause was well worth the long trip from London, in fact the three and a half hours on the train home whizzed by, as we could not stop talking about the project. We are inspired and eager to create a similar project at Whitefield Academy.
Thank you for having us.
Zoë and Geraldine
Zoë Wells Geraldine O’Grady
Specialist Early Years Researcher Research and Development Centre Director
Whitefield Academy Trust
Waltham Forest. London
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