Teacher and therapist collaborations that benefit the whole class

Posted on October 31, 2022 in Latest News and Information
Teacher and therapist collaboration

Image: Teacher Shelly, Jackson, Occupational Therapist Ashleigh and Speech Pathologist Gracen

Jackson is a happy six year old who loves school and playing with his friends. For the past three years Jackson has been receiving his therapy at school and for the last year, therapy has included his whole class.

Speech Pathologist, Gracen, and Occupational Therapist, Ashleigh, work closely with Jackson’s Year 1 teacher, Shelley Antoni, to integrate Jackson’s therapy sessions into his regular school day and syllabus….. and best of all it includes all of his classmates.

With high numbers of therapists now attending schools, the SensesWA team are always finding the best practice ways to work in partnership with schools and teachers to get the greatest outcome for everyone.

“The Year 1 syllabus includes writing skills such as sentence writing, letter formations, spacing between words, punctuation and developing readable handwriting. We have created resources and strategies created and implemented them with the whole class achieving positive outcomes for all.” Ashleigh

“The syllabus also involves learning social skills. We include many whole class activities based around developing social skills. One example of this is during recess and lunch everyone in the class has the task of asking someone to play with them. The response to this is always very positive. After recess the children are so excited to report back how they had asked others to play with them. The result is improvements in social and peer relationships after recess and lunch.” Gracen

These whole-class-based practices promote inclusivity, increase practice opportunities, focus on skills that will be immediately used, and allow therapists to model activities and strategies for teachers to help their students and expand their skills.

SensesWA understands that everyone’s time and resources may be stretched. We work with teachers to develop therapy sessions that include and complement the current syllabus, thus benefiting the teacher, the other students and our clients, most importantly in this case, Jackson.
Mrs Shelley Antoni (Year 1 Teacher) says: “It has created a collaborative streamlined approach to Jackson’s overall development and immense benefits can be seen. Using whole class developmental and social skills, we have supported the whole class to further their progress.

It has helped me grow professionally. I have been able to utilise the therapy team as a touchstone when I’ve noticed other needs within the classroom and been able to access quick ideas and suggestions that help those children.

As a teacher, I have felt supported and more informed. It’s great to have the therapists’ knowledge in the classroom providing additional support.”

Jacksons mother, Ashleigh said: “Whilst Jackson is aware that his therapists are coming to school, he does not feel singled out as they have resources for others in the class to use. This has normalised the experience for Jackson and his peers have benefited too. We are really pleased with the progress Jackson has made in the collaboration sessions.”


Teacher and therapist collaboration

Image: Speech Pathologist Gracen during a whole class therapy session

Teacher and therapist collaboration

Image: Jackson and Occupational Therapist Ashleigh practicing writing skills

As always, the SensesWA team is here to assist, talk to us if you have any questions.

Call 1300 111 881 or email csa@senses.org.au