Who are we?

At Five Acre Wood School we have our own therapy team consisting of Speech and Language Therapy and Occupational Therapy.

Kent Community Health Trust (NHS) provide Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy support for certain pupils and support for pupils with eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties (dysphagia).

Meet the team

Gemma Byrne – Occupational Therapist/Multi-Disciplinary Team Lead

Maddie Simmons – Speech and Language Therapist

Charlotte Wenham – Occupational Therapist

Gemma Allen – Therapy Assistant

Colette Parsons – Therapy Assistant/Hydro & Rebound Therapy Lead

Katherine Parfitt – Therapy Assistant

Francesca Newman – School Social Worker

Jagdip Bhogal – Counsellor

Our Aims:

  1. To integrate therapy into all aspects of the curriculum across school day.
  2. To increase the knowledge, awareness and skills of all school staff and parents/carers.
  3. To ensure high quality intervention is delivered to those that need it, wherever they are in the school and at home.

What we offer:

  • Regular training and drop ins for school staff
  • Parent Support Groups and attendance at parents’ evenings & transition meetings
  • A referral and assessment process to ensure the right support is given at the right time
  • Availability for advice and support for parents/carers and staff

Therapy Provision at Five Acre Wood School

Advice, training and support is available to all members of the school community, through our Universal Provision as described below.

If a pupil is experiencing challenges that cannot be supported by their specialist classroom team, a referral to the therapy team can be made, the pupil may then be placed on our indirect or direct provision levels.


Support received within the pupils’ class by their specialist teaching team. The class team will receive relevant training and advice throughout the school year and the Therapy Team are contactable should there be any concerns they would like more support with.


Should the need for further support be identified by the class team, a referral may be placed to the Therapy Team by the class teacher and they will then be observed and/or assessed by a therapist. If deemed the pupil would benefit from further support, a programme and targets will written in collaboration with class staff, parents/carers and the therapist. Targets are worked on by class staff, with support from the Therapy Team as needed. These targets will be reviewed by the therapist at the end of a set period of time and next steps determined.


If it is identified that the support required following observation/assessment would be best received via the Therapy Team, a programme and targets will be written in collaboration with class staff, parents/carers and the therapist. The pupil will be placed on the direct provision level and they will then be seen on a regular basis with a member of the team, usually a therapy assistant, for a set period of time. These targets will be reviewed by the therapist at the end and next steps determined.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy aims to promote our pupils’ participation and independence in everyday activities at school. We support students to do the things they want and have to do. Occupational Therapy considers all aspects of the person, the environment and the task that impact on a person’s functioning.

We provide support with:

  • activities of daily living e.g. feeding, dressing, self-help skills, toileting
  • fine motor skills e.g. writing and cutting
  • seating e.g. chairs and cushions
  • manual handling
  • developing sensory skills

We also have a close working relationship with the NHS OT team who support with specialist seating and equipment

Speech and Language Therapy

We work closely with parents/carers and teaching staff to support each pupil to reach their full communication potential. We encourage a Total Communication Approach using speech, signing and/or using alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) which includes using objects, photos, symbols and sensory cues.

Our Speech and Language Therapists work closely with the Kent Medway Communication and Assistive Technology Service (KM CAT) to support pupils who use AAC to support their communication.

Therapy newsletters

Please click on the links below to view our Therapy newsletters: