The River Valley Outcomes and Outputs 


The assessment process provides key information in which models of intervention and priorities applicable to the students are discussed with professionals and parent-carers. Base Intervention models within River Valley are OT & CBT with supporting therapeutic specialisms including Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities, Equine Assisted Therapy and Activities, Relaxation Therapy, Mindfulness & Eco-Therapy (Nature), along with Neuro Linguistic programming techniques. This process forms part of the baseline assessment for students, which then continues with OT assessment for the student through their Individual Learner Plans.

Occupational therapists (OT’s) use activities as the means of the treatment in the areas of self-care, education, work, or leisure. This will impact positively on their mental and or physical wellbeing, supporting independence, confidence, and or quality of life.

OT’s take a holistic approach considering the ‘whole person’ by focusing on the interaction between the students physical and mental health, the tasks involved and the interaction with the environment. The nature of and adaptation of the environment assists facilitating change. In educational settings OT’s utilise daily activities that are meaningful to them (occupations) to help the student to participate in what they need to do to achieve their individual goals, alongside carer and educational input. The focus is often, schoolwork, self-care, play-leisure time and vocational-transitional work. Our onsite OT is available to support students on roll, complete the OT process of assessment, interventions using activity analysis and goal setting as part of ILP’s, either by 1:1 sessions or groupwork, before review and outcome. Interventions are focused on the YP’s interests and focus on finding just the right challenge so its achievable. This complies with the SEND code of practice and is in line with the student EHCP where appropriate.

Examples of Life Skills

• Functional performance skills involved in daily occupations, (cognition, physical, emotional, sensory)

• Skill development: in the areas of volition (motivation), routines, roles, habits, interests, such as identifying interests that increase motivation and task completion.

• Managing emotion skills such as re-motivation, anxiety management, sleep, self-regulation, sensory strategies.

• Interpersonal life skills: personal care, communication skills, interpersonal skills, social skills, verbal and written.

• Domestic daily life skills such as, food preparation, money management, travel, time management.

• Vocational- transition interventions towards career-training-voluntary-work-employment goals.

• Activities during sessions include the use of creative activities such as art, drama, music and incorporate adaptations as appropriate to the unique environment of our AP with its nature and animal assisted activities to progress towards student goals.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

As per the NICE guidelines, CBT is currently the most widely recognised intervention for anxiety and depression in YP. CBT is a collaborative project between a therapist and YP. CBT is a therapy that links thought-cognitions to feelings, and then helps to highlight how these factors can affect our behaviour, therefore the overall consequence. CBT allows YP to manage negative experiences by changing thoughts, feelings and behaviours and allows them to explore the impact that these three fundamental factors have on one another. CBT sessions are arranged weekly 1:1 within the student timetable if they determined they would like to engage in this intervention.

Animal & Equine Assisted Therapy (AAT/EAT) is a holistic, experiential therapy that involves students working in collaboration with therapy animals, and a human therapist. AAT supports students to achieve pre-determined outcomes, with the comfort of having an animal present in sessions to ease anxiety and lower blood pressure.
Trust is fostered and increased between therapist and student with the use of AAT. Animals are non-judgemental and this can support students to open up (Golin & Walsh 1994).
ILP’s are reviewed termly and any areas of concern for the YP are discussed in weekly team meetings or in supervision and external agencies are involved as deemed necessary.

Timetables are bespoke and lessons are aimed to be 45 minutes in length with breaks. The TA-therapeutic support staff are able to break away with a student as required. Our education approach is holistic and is adapted to meet the learners’ ability or capacity on a given day and therefore the structure may change for the YP. Small group relaxation activities are available at the end of each day for every student’s timetable to support the YP to finish their school day in a calm headspace and practice their relaxation skills (i.e. breathing, visualisation, mindfulness). Trips and additional activities are arranged for curriculum purposes and via our Jack Petchey scheme. Access to a school nurse would be arranged periodically for appropriate education.

Parent-Carers are emailed a termly report covering all areas of school life and attainment.

Parent-Carer-Professional Feedback forms are completed termly online throughout the placement and at placement completion to ensure we can use any feedback for our school improvement plan for the benefit of the CYP and future referrals.


The ADO River Valley AP is open Monday to Friday 9-3pm with a 25-hour curriculum being on offer from September 2021. As per the IS, ADO is currently restricted to part-time provision for those with an EHCP. ADO therapeutic services also run for CYP during these hours and can include adults after school hours until 6pm. ADO also run various education and health activity programs through the holiday periods and these services support sustainability of the AP.

As per our Assessment & Admissions Policy we provide a handbook to all parent-carers following assessment for all families where a placement has been offered. In line with our Environmental Policy, ADO use online forms and admission forms are managed via our AP school website to obtain permission for parent-carers. Copies are emailed to their personal address. The school provide paper forms at assessment stage if the family do not have access to a PC and this process would be followed for a home-school agreement.

We work in small classes (1:3) or 1:1 and offer individual child and young person-centred learning programmes to meet their needs and interests enabling YP to learn whilst developing confidence and self-esteem. The curriculum has a range of subjects and awards that YP can study, covering the independent framework. These options are discussed in the first assessment meeting with the YP to complete their Individual Learner Plan. This is led by our OT who discusses the YP goals and aspirations and aims to match the interests to subject studies accordingly, whilst meeting their needs. Our YP then have a bespoke timetable created accordingly. The majority of YP referred to us presently require 1:1 support at least for the start of their placement and the relevant TA moves them around their timetable to access the subjects. We then aim to transition the YP to small working groups 1:3 dependent upon risk assessment.

We have not to date experienced the requirement for utilising a translation service however we have researched and identified a provider that we will plan to use ongoing should the need arise to ensure equality and accessibility are maintained to a high standard for both CYP and their families. Provider quotes would be based upon the service required at the time i.e. written or verbal.

We have an Attendance Policy & Procedure in place which is managed by the onsite team and our office using our school system.


• Our process for recording daily student attendances is cloud-based software, ScholarPack. It can be updated by the office-based team or the AP team onsite in real time.

• The register is marked by the AP team onsite and any pre-known absences are recorded. Any unexpected absences will be flagged. The office-based team will send an SMS or email to parent-carers noting the absence of a student and this action is recorded onto the system. An email will also be sent to the supporting professionals, advising the absence and any reasons known.• Students arriving late are registered with a specific code denoting <30 mins or >30 minutes late. These significant differences will affect on-going attendance records. Supporting professionals will be updated following any changes in the student status during the day.

• The register is updated with any further variances before closing after 1pm, to account for ‘pm only’ student’s arrival.

• If a student attendance drops below 80%, without exceptional circumstances, these are flagged with professionals and a strategy is formulated working with and supporting the student’s family to improve attendance.

• Weekly reports are provided to professionals and at any stage there is a full audit trail of all data recorded for the SCR.

• Students receive their end of term report as well as their term attendance, which lists all reasons for absence and any notes on lateness.
We work closely with CAMHS as the majority of our YP have an EHCP and may have already been involved with the agency. We work to ensure any therapeutic interventions and strategies that have previously been successful with the YP are applied consistently in our setting where appropriate. We maintain close liaison through email and telephone with all professionals involved to ensure effective multi-agency working and seek to involve other health professionals with family-carer permission as required.


We are members of ACAMH (The Association for Child & Adult Mental Health) to ensure we keep up to date with best practice in CYP mental health.

We intend to work towards the Respect Accreditation standard.

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