To add to the new leadership, management and teaching team at Fountain Head House School in Saltash, Headteacher Thereza de Lucca is very pleased to introduce the team of therapists, who will be working closely with pupils to help improve their emotional wellbeing, mental health and realise their full potential.
Many of the children attending Fountain Head have an Autism diagnosis, which means they may have difficulties with processing sensory information such as textures, sounds, smells, tastes, brightness and movement.
These difficulties can make ordinary situations (such as attending school) feel overwhelming. They can interfere with daily function and even isolate children from their friends and families. Motor clumsiness, behavioural problems, anxiety, depression, school failure, and other impacts can result.
Some of the children attending the school may have psychological or emotional conditions that are causing behavioural problems which are preventing children from realising their potential.
Constanza (Connie) Matus joins the team as an Occupational Therapist, having completed a Master's degree in Autism in Special Education and supported neurodivergent children in a mainstream setting, as well as offering paediatric specialist assessments and interventions in clinic.
Headteacher Thereza de Lucca, said: “The Occupational Therapy sessions offered by Connie will help our children and young people to grow, learn, have fun, participate in daily life, socialise and play so that they can develop, thrive and reach their full potential”.
Vikki Freeman joins the team as a Play Therapist with over 20 years experience of working with children, young people and their families. She has completed a four year post graduate course in Play Therapy at Leeds Beckett University, qualifying with a Post Graduate Diploma. She also has a Degree in Psychology from Manchester University. Vikki has had experience of working with children in schools who have needed a therapeutic approach in order for them to explore their emotions and feelings and differing levels of trauma they may have experienced.
Jules Mitchell is an experienced Emotional Literacy Support Assistant (ELSA) who has been supporting our pupils since the last school year. She brings with her a wealth of experience in supporting vulnerable children and young people, particularly those with social, emotional and mental health difficulties, having set up nurture groups in previous settings. Jules aims to engage with those young people who have missed out on early nurturing experiences, and help them to develop the social and emotional skills to be successful at school, develop their resilience and deal more confidently with the trials and tribulations of daily life.
Thereza added: “Play therapy enables children to explore their emotions, feelings, and any trauma they may have experienced, try to make sense of it all, and develop coping strategies that will span their whole lifetime. ELSA offers a safe space for children to develop their understanding and expression of emotions and feelings in a safe environment.”
Headteacher Thereza de Lucca, added: “We are delighted to welcome our team of therapists, and look forward to the children reaping the benefits that their skills and experience will bring. By helping to reduce these barriers, our aim is that our children and young people will feel confident, able to learn and enjoy life as a whole.”