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Longcause Community Special School Learning for Life

Family Project

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.


The Project...


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.

Strengths based…

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.

Build support….

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.





Why did we start the family project? What is it? How does it work in our school?

Impact of the project- family views and feedback, visiting professionals feedback.

Dear Anne


I’m sure Alison L has already contacted you to say thank you to you and your team for being so welcoming to us this week. I just thought I’d very quickly offer my own thanks and thoughts. My trip to Longcause really touched me – perhaps I’ve been stuck in an office for too long away from the real world but I did find the day we spent with you to be very emotional – in a rewarding and life-affirming sense. Obviously, the project was amazing but the thing that I was most struck by was your team. I’ve been around the block a few times and have been involved with many schools or organisations but never have I seen a team that was so … I don’t quite know what the word is … so together, actually so like a family.


One incident that stayed with me was when it was brought up that somebody had to challenge Mum about (I think ****) use of nappies. I loved the way that it was suggested that Richard would be the one who knew what to do but that he should explain it to another member of staff so that it could be explained to Mum in simple terms! And that all that was done with such knowing humour and good grace that revealed how deeply and intimately everyone knew each other and how they felt totally safe and bonded with each other. It was a simple but lovely moment.


And of course, in each of the sessions there was such incredible skill, energy and real love for those children. I noticed this in the corridors too with other staff and children that I saw even in passing. Literally everyone seemed to be smiling. All the time!


I imagine you must go home each weekend exhausted but extremely proud of your colleagues and your students.


Thank you Anne and please thank your team for being so inspiring and restoring an old man’s faith in life.


Ian Sutton

Commissioning Officer

Children and Young People's Services- Strategic Commissioning

London Borough of Newham