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Montacute School

Montacute School

‘Where every moment is a learning opportunity’

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Therapy Support & Interventions

At Montacute School all pupils have access to the support of the on-site Therapy Team, but this support will vary from pupil to pupil. 


Our Therapy Assistant is able to liaise directly with school staff, the therapy team, and parents to provide a holistic approach to meet the pupils’ ongoing health and physical development needs. 


Whilst some pupils will, on occasion, benefit from 1:1 support from the therapists, all of our School staff are trained to deliver individualised therapeutic programmes directly to the pupils.


Montacute School are able to offer:


Speech & Language Therapy (S&LT):


Our Speech and Language Therapist works with pupils to enable them to communicate to the best of their ability. The S&LT will work on developing a pupil’s understanding and use of language.


Children who attend Special Schools often use a variety of methods to enable them to develop maximum understanding and communicate with those around them. At Montacute this includes using objects, photographs, symbols, signing and speech. Some pupils use specialised equipment such as a communication books or voice output communication aids.


Our Speech and Language Therapist also works with pupils who have eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties to help them to be safe whilst eating & drinking. 


Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy:


Professionals from Poole Hospital Children's Therapy Services have a clinic base within the school. Therapy from both Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy can be provided in the following ways:


  • 1:1 therapy sessions 
  • Therapy sessions with other professionals working in the school  (speech and language therapy, hydrotherapy, wheelchair services etc.) 
  • Therapy programmes, delivered by the class team and at home
  • Provision of assistive equipment, where appropriate  
  • Liaison and monitoring with school staff 
  • Training for school staff and parents. 




Physiotherapists at Montacute School work with children to help develop their physical skills and increase their independence. Physiotherapy is a combination of exercise, movement and play. Activities should be able to be incorporated into a child's everyday activities so they are fun and motivating.


All the children who attend Montacute have access to Physiotherapy services if these are required. The Physiotherapy  team work closely with the classroom team, so that the students have access to Physiotherapy programmes, advice and equipment throughout their daily activities.


Physiotherapists provide assessment and input in the following areas:


  • Developmental skills
  • Muscle strengthening and range of movement
  • Postural management
  • Gross motor and co-ordination skills
  • Specialist equipment needs (standing frames, walkers and trikes)


The Physiotherapy team are in school on a Thursday.


Occupational Therapy:


Occupational therapists (OTs) work with children in Montacute to help them develop functional skills for everyday life in the areas of self-care, life skills, school work and play. Occupational Therapists are interested in participation in occupations (activities such as dressing, hair brushing, eating, swimming, cycling) that are meaningful to an individual. They look at how the person, environment and occupation work together to enable a person to take part in the activities they want to do. 


All the children who attend Montacute School have access to Occupational Therapy services if these are required. The Occupational Therapy team work closely with the classroom team, so that the students have access to Occupational Therapy programmes, advice and equipment throughout their daily activities.  


Occupational Therapists provide assessment and input in the following areas: 

  • Developmental skills 
  • Play skills 
  • Self-care and life skills 
  • Fine motor skills, including handwriting, typing and recording work in class 
  • Sensory processing skills 
  • Gross motor and co-ordination skills 
  • Postural management
  • Specialist equipment needs (hoists, slings, seating, adapted cutlery/pens, etc)                               

The Occupational Therapists are in school on Mondays and Wednesdays 




Montacute School recognises the health and wellbeing benefits of hydrotherapy for pupils who have limited movement abilities and/or additional health conditions. We therefore directly employ the services of a Physiotherapist to deliver 1:1 sessions in our on-site hydro pool.


  • The warmth of the water has an effect on the individual neuro-muscular junctions which results in decreased muscle tone and decreased spasticity.
  • Buoyancy of the water is used to assist movement of joints - which is either more difficult or painful on dry land.
  • Movement in the water and water pressure helps to reduce residual lung capacity for children and young people with chest problems. This enables more efficient lung function and reduces the risk of chest infections developing.
  • Creating turbulence around an extremity (i.e. arm or leg) can increase their awareness of the limb and help with mobility - both in the water and later on dry land.
  • Multi-sensory environment helps stimulate the senses whilst calming children with sensory and learning difficulties.