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Health & Therapy Provision

Therapy Provision at Willow Dene is commissioned by Greenwich and is usually provided by Oxleas NHS trust. Willow Dene buys in additional time for some therapies through service level agreements to enable specific focus areas.

Speech and Language Therapy

The Speech and Language Therapy team at Willow Dene promote effective and functional communication for children through:

  • Universal Support
    • Offering training and advice n specific approaches
    • Supprting all staff to make Willow Dene a communication friendly environment
    • Maximising the cmmunicative potential and opportunity for all students.
  • Targeted Support
    • Supprt with curriculum planning and differentiatin
    • Supprt with cmmunication targets setting fr individual children
    • Supprt with grup planning and cmmunication groups
    • Prviding advice, strategies and support to families.
  • Specialised and Specific Support
    • Offering sme direct therapy sessins to help children learn and use specific skills
    • Offering multi-disciplinary assessment and strategies r advice fr specific children

The Speech and Language Therapy team are on site to manage a caseload of children with complex feeding difficulties, providing timely assessment and creating care plans, which manage risk effectively.

The school has a service level agreement with the Speech and Language Therapy team, which provides time for the team to support the school development plan and priority areas of focus, provide governor training, and attend the therapy steering group and the school AAC clinic.

Please contact the team if you are concerned about the safety of your child’s feeding or about your child.

You can contact the Speech and Language Therapy Team via your child’s home-school contact book or on 020 8317 8596 to discuss your child’s communication skills or complex feeding difficulties


The Physiotherapy Team here at school provides a service to children who have difficulties with gross motor skills limiting their functional independence.

The team provides an innovative and dynamic service, working in partnership with all members of the school community. It is centred on the needs of the child, thereby maximising the ability of the individual, and enabling them to reach their full potential.

We assess, review, provide treatment, physiotherapy programs, equipment and orthosis’ for children that require them.

The aims of the physiotherapy team are:

  • To offer skilled assessment and treatment by specialist physiotherapists.
  • To work closely with MOVE to develop functional programs to help maximize the child’s level of functional independence.
  • To have mutually agreed goals with the wider school team that are a reflection of the child’s individual needs.
  • To provide a package of care that meets the child’s clinical need.
  • To contribute to 24hr postural management.
  • To regularly communicate with families.
  • To regularly use outcome measures to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of treatment.
  • To manage a child’s orthotics need appropriately.
  • To provide advice and education to staff and family that assist in meeting the child’s physiotherapy requirements.

From 2016, Willow Dene has entered into a 3 year service level agreement with the Physiotherapy team, to secure additional time from our Principal Physiotherapist.  This will allow further investment into personalisation, innovation and research within the school.  It will also develop and re-enforce our current core provision.

If you have any concerns or need advice please contact us:

  • Calling the team directly on 020 8316 8021 or the Physiotherapy Phone at Willow Dene or at Goldie Leigh 020 8311 5419.
  • Write in the home contact book.
  • Leave a message with the class teacher.

Occupational Therapy

Children's Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with children, their family, school and wider team, to enable the child to achieve their full potential, and become more independent in the activities they need to do at school and at home.

Helping children who experience difficulties with such tasks as:

  • Being able to sit independently on a chair or toilet.
  • Personal care and dressing.
  • Fine motor skills and tool use (including using pencils, scissors, cutlery).
  • Accessing switches.
  • Sensory processing, for example children who find it difficult to calm or settle themselves.

OTs work to provide ideas, strategies and equipment to promote children’s functional skills, these might include:

  • Specialist supportive seating, supportive toilet chairs, switches, or small items of equipment (e.g. cutlery) to help develop independence in everyday tasks.
  • Advice on positioning and upper limb stretches and providing hand splints to maintain range of movement and prevent contractures and deformities.
  • Advice and strategies on incorporating sensory strategies within the classroom.

Children's Occupational Therapists (OTs) work with children, their family, school and wider team, to enable the child to achieve their full potential and become more independent in the everyday activities they need to do at school and at home, such as  self-care and leisure and play activities.

More specifically OT’s assess for specialist seating/toileting, to support children unable to sit independently, assess and provide advice on positioning, therapeutic handling and upper limb stretches, and provide hand splints to maintain range of movement, and reduce risk of contractures and deformities. We consider upper limb function in activities which may involve dressing, feeding, cutlery and tool use, and provide advice and strategies on incorporating sensory strategies within the classroom for children with sensory processing difficulties, who may, for example, find it difficult to calm or settle themselves

Children are seen for an episode of specialised input to address the functional concern. OTs work closely with school staff and families, providing advice and strategies.

How OT’s work

The team works in partnership with the leadership team of the school; involving ourselves in service development, training and enhancing the environment. Additionally we support class teams to meet the needs of their children throughout their school day. We provide direct, specialised therapeutic intervention to address an identified functional concern, which they would then be supported with, within their everyday environment.

Willow Dene has a service level agreement with the OT team which secures two days per week of dedicated sensory processing OT time.  This time supports our Sensory Processing Co-ordinators role and includes provision of sensory diets, specialist resourcing, focus groups and sensory circuits.

How to get in touch

If you want to talk about OT therapy provision, please call 0208 854 0594

Music Therapy

The aim of Music Therapy at Willow Dene is to aid communication and self-expression through music. The Music Therapy Service is committed to multidisciplinary working and partnership working with parents, carers and families

Who receives music therapy at Willow Dene?

Every child in early years foundation stage (EYFS) receives at least one term of individual or group music therapy. Children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 are referred to music therapy by class staff and the wider multidisciplinary team.  Children in Key Stage 3 are identified for music therapy through professional dialogue with teachers and the School Leadership Team.

In order to prioritise children for individual or small group music therapy and to reach as many children as possible, a full class group approach is often used by the therapists throughout the whole school.

How Music Therapy works

All Music Therapy is commissioned by the school and there is a five day a week service level agreement in place, which means that we are in school every day and can contribute to the school in other ways, such as supporting the school priorities. The team works in partnership with the leadership team of the school and are involved in service development and training. Additionally, Music Therapy support class teams in identifying transferable skills from the direct music therapy sessions.
As Music Therapists, we use music which is specially tailored in order to meet the child’s specific strengths and difficulties. We then aim to contribute to children’s overall development as well as working on their specific emotional, social or behavioural difficulties through live music-making.

Music Therapy is offered in a number of formats:

  • Assessments for children in Foundation Stage (short term intervention, 6 - 12 weeks subject to need)
  • Weekly individual music therapy for highest risk Foundation Stage children (up to one year)
  • Assessment sessions for new starters (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Weekly one-to-one individual sessions  (Key Stage 1 and 2)
  • Weekly targeted group sessions (All stages)
  • Weekly class group sessions (Key Stage 1 and 2)

Group Music Therapy

Once the children are engaged in music-making, the therapist can then enable them to achieve many of the following aims:

  • Independence
  • Concentration
  • Spontaneous interaction
  • Spontaneous waiting and listening to each other
  • Enjoying learning new skills together
  • Using fine and gross motor skills
  • Oral skills such as blowing
  • Developing confidence in the use of their voices through singing together and to each other

Individual Music Therapy

Children are recommended for individual Music Therapy by the class team, therapists or parents, in order to give them focussed and dedicated time.  Some reasons for individual work are:

  • Social: to help develop relationships and communication
  • Emotional: to help develop self-expression, confidence, enjoyment, sense of achievement
  • Behavioural: to help regulate outbursts of energy and awareness of effect on others
  • Physical: to encourage movement


The commissioned music therapy service in Willow Dene School continues to hold a larger caseload pro rata, than any other commissioned music therapy contract.

This demonstrates the efficiency of early intervention, and the effectiveness of the cohesive multi-disciplinary approach to the education and care afforded to children at Willow Dene School. 

How to get in touch

If you want to talk about therapy provision, please call 0208 317 8596.

Nursing Team

The Nursing team at Willow Dene provides a School Nursing Service to all children of statutory school age and their families. Children and young people can be seen in a variety of settings, including at home.

The nursing team supports children and young people with ongoing or specific health needs in the school environment. The service includes promotion of self-care, supporting parents and carers, referral to other specialists and co-ordination of a range of services.  The School Nursing Team work closely with other Health Professionals such as Pediatricians, Speech Therapists, District Nurses, Mental Health Workers and General Practitioners.

Our Nursing team is comprised of Qualified School Nurses, a Paediatric Nurse and Nursery Nurses.  The team works in collaboration with the school and is very much a part of school life.

The School Nursing team is responsible for:

  • Height and weight measurements of Reception Year and Year 6 pupils for the National Childhood Measurement Programme
  • Providing health, development and behavioural advice and support to children and their families
  • Ordering of continence products and advice about continence
  • Providing clinical training to the school staff in areas of clinical competence
  • Medication transcribing which allows the school permission to administer medication to children
  • Supporting children and young people who have medical needs by providing support and advice to the school and signposting to specialist services
  • Taking bloods for children within their familiar school environment
  • Attending to children in emergency or crisis situations
  • Sourcing medical supplies

You can contact the Nursing team in school at any time by either writing in your child’s home school contact book or calling 0208 854 9841 and choosing the option to speak to the Nursing team.

Art Therapy and Play Therapy

Our Art Therapist and Play Therapist are each commissioned by the school to provide one day of therapy a week.  This is used to provide blocks of targeted therapy for children who are identified by the school as benefitting from therapeutic input.


Our children are likely to have a high number of appointments with a variety of professionals.  If these happen at hospitals or out of school venues, it can be disruptive for the child who may miss days in school and it can be difficult for families who will need to organise transport.  Often children need a day off school for an appointment that may only last thirty minutes, not to mention the difficulties that many of our families have in visiting unfamiliar locations or travelling with their child.  

To minimise disruption to our children, Willow Dene has developed a number of unique school-based clinics, where visiting professionals conduct their appointments at the school.  Parents are welcome to request an appointment at any of our school-based clinics.  All of our clinics are accessible to our children who attend our Oakmere Road school. 

Dietetic and Feeding Clinic

Our visiting dietician holds a weekly dietetic clinic to see children who need support in maintaining a healthy diet and weight or children who need monitoring because they are enterally fed by an alternative method such as gastrostomy.  These clinics are also attended by the Nursing team, Speech and Language Therapy team and school staff.

School Paediatricians

Our school Paediatricians are in school every week conducting regular medicals for children and addressing concerns as they arise.  We have a dedicated Paediatrician for children under five years old, who comes to Willow Dene regularly to see our youngest children.

Ophthalmology Clinic

We are working in partnership with SeeAbility, campaigning for better eye care for children in special schools.  SeeAbility hold a weekly clinic in school, where our visiting Ophthalmology team are able to assess vision and write prescriptions and fit glasses on site. These clinics make good use of our sensory rooms. They are also attended by school staff.

Wheelchair Clinic

There is a monthly wheelchair clinic which is run by Greenwich Wheelchair Clinic, in conjunction with our Occupational therapy team.  Wheelchair services can fit, adjust and assess wheelchairs and buggies for all wheelchair users at school who are Greenwich residents. NRS will visit children in school on request to repair wheelchairs or buggies.

CAMHS school clinic

Once hold a regular ‘in school’ Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) clinic where our visiting CAMHS team will meet with staff and parents to discuss concerns around challenging behaviour.  Within the allocated clinic time she will observe children in school and meet with staff and parents to examine possible causes, strategies and where appropriate treatments.   

Postural Assessment and Pain Profiling

Children with limited mobility regularly have their posture and equipment fully assessed by our Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists.  This information is used to inform hospital specialists of any changes, therefore ensuring rapid intervention as well as making sure that the equipment they have is the best possible.  In a similar way, we regularly use pain profiling for children experiencing pain or discomfort and this information can be used to inform hospital specialists so that pain relief can be achieved quickly.


Our school nursing team have two members of the team trained in phlebotomy, who are able to take blood samples in school.  This has enabled children to have the procedure done in a familiar environment with people they know.


The school dentist and dental nursing team are regular visitors to Willow Dene.  They provide dental supplies so that children can have their teeth brushed in school and conduct regular dental screening in classes, so that children are in a familiar environment.  We also hold dental workshops, which allow parents to talk to the dentist about any concerns they may have around their child’s dental hygiene.

Visiting Consultants

We work collaboratively with Consultants at Queen Elizabetha and Guys & Evelina Hospital and can hold school-based clinics where orthopaedic and Neurology Consultants carry out their clinics on-site.  This reduces travelling time for children and families and allows the local team and school staff to attend these important appointments.