Live and Learn

"Creating a Culture
of Gentleness"

Occupational Therapy


What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy provides practical support to enable people to facilitate recovery and overcome any barriers that prevent them from doing the activities (occupations) that matter to them. This helps to increase people's independence and satisfaction in all aspects of life.

   "Occupation" refers to practical and purposeful activities that allow people to live independently and have a sense of identity. This could be essential day-to-day tasks such as self-care, work or leisure.

What we offer here at Bradstow-

Debbie.jpgCaitlin.jpgBradstow School employs a Band 5 Occupational Therapist (Caitlin - pictured right) who works 52 weeks of the year working with the young individuals both in the residential care and within the classroom. Additionally a Band 7 NHS Occupational Therapist (Debbie - far right) who works one day a week during Term Time.



Assessments are conducted by observation and direct intervention of the child/young adult’s sensory needs, independence skills (including seating and access needs) and functional needs within the school curriculum such as handwriting and scissor skills.

OT2.jpgOT3.jpgReports are then completed and recommendations are made. Recommendations may be individual programs/interventions, implementing strategies and trial and provision of equipment. This takes place both within in class and House. Copies of reports are sent home to parents/carers.

The Occupational therapist (OT) will provide information for child/young adults EHCP’s (Educational Health and Care Plan) and annual reviews as needed.


Caitlin and Debbie work with the staff, families and the young person in both class and residential care, focussing on three main areas:

OT4.jpg1) Self-help Skills - assessing and advising on such areas as eating, dressing, toileting.  Making recommendations of types of equipment/aids where needed. Example of what an occupational therapist may do to help an individual with feeding difficulties- OT can teach the child to use utensils, have a good posture, and other supports they may need to eat their meal.  

OT5.jpg2) Movement Skills – looking at function and improving mobility (including referral to NHS physiotherapist as needed).Encouraging the use of the great outdoor space at Bradstow School. The school also benefit from taking children to the local beach. Example of what an occupational therapists may do to help a young person to focus on any particular needs of development such as

2a) Gross motor skills- incorporate activities which will require strong core muscles and the ability to produce a fluid movements such as in throwing, catching or kicking a ball and using outdoor play equipment. Gross motor skills need to be developed in order for a child to be able to produce finely controlled movements needed in such activities as climbing stairs.

2b) Fine Motor Skills - are the skills used when you move your hand to do an activity. Focus is the development of hand and eye coordination, muscle strength and bilateral coordination- which all help to facilitate activities such as using cutlery, holding a toothbrush, scissor skills, and handwriting.   


3) Sensory Needs – Caitlin and Debbie work as part of the Sensory Integration Team. They assess and can select activities to use during therapy sessions or to recommend activities that can be tried at home, residential care and class to meet a specific sensory need of the young person. Other interventions involve the use of Sensory Circuits, Sensory Diets and the use of specific sensory equipment such as “move and sit” cushions and fiddle toys.

Ofsted Outstanding 2008-2009, BCS, Cache, EFQM, Wandsworth, Sen Specialist Schools, Healthy School, Investors in People | Champion, Silver, iNet, Specialist Schools and Academies Trust
Bradstow School
34 Dumpton Park Drive
CT10 1BY
T: 01843 862123
F: 01843 866648