Educational psychologists (EP) are concerned with children’s learning and development. They use their specialist skills in psychological and educational assessment techniques to help those having difficulties in learning, behaviour or social adjustment. Much of their work is with children aged 0-19 years, in pre-school and at maintained and special schools. They are involved in assessing children’s strengths and difficulties and often work as part of a multi-professional team.
The school’s EP is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and has trained in child development, the psychology of learning and teaching, children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and the psychological aspects of educating children with special educational needs. Training was also undertaken in how groups function, how people communicate and maintain relationships as well as assessment, problem solving, counselling, treatment, research and training others.
The EP works with our pupils and supports staff by using a consultative approach – helping children by working through others who have direct contact with them and who most impact on their lives. Benefits of this approach include:
- development of strategies that are practical and can be implemented by teachers and parents
- action by teachers and parents which create environments that bring about positive change in children
- enhanced skills and deeper understanding for the adults involved
- reduction in concern about individual children, as a result of sharing information and agreeing actions and priorities.
The school’s EP will concentrate on:
- understanding the child’s strengths and weaknesses and the quality of their learning environment
- using a systematic problem solving approach
- encouraging equal access and opportunities to the curriculum for all children
- offering intervention strategies for individuals and organisational situations, for example in schools, classrooms etc
- collaborating with colleagues to provide a joined-up service
The school receives around 30 hours of targeted intervention and support throughout the year, though we can request more. The service has proved particularly beneficial in developing staff awareness around SEMH, engaging pupils in learning and improving children’s behaviour.