HAVEN Therapy and Teaching Facility
Widening the occupations older students take part in is a vital part of their progress through school and preparation for adulthood. Additionally, it gives students opportunity to continue to develop skills that underpin occupation such as using their hands effectively, following instructions and work routine, taking responsibility and using initiative.
Through HAVEN, students can start to develop new occupational roles. Students may:
- Become workers of the future for example as gardeners, animal carers and catering staff.
- Become more active in contributing to the running of their own home by developing skills to carry out chores.
- Widen their interests and leisure opportunities for example learning how to use tools so they can volunteer with support to help with conservation projects.
- Understand work ethic, adopt working dress, work with stamina and endurance in a variety of work environments and weather conditions.
HAVEN provides a nurturing environment which supports students emotional wellbeing by:
- Being outside in nature and not classroom based.
- Providing meaningful, functional physical and sensory activity.
- Developing self-esteem and confidence by being given responsibility and learning new skills.
Skilled, experienced teaching staff select, grade and break down HAVEN occupations to provide the “just right” challenge for each student.
WHY ARE HAVEN OCCUPATIONS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT NOW?
Research highlights the increasingly sedentary, technology focussed lives young people are leading which is contributing to the growing number of mental and physical health issues young people are experiencing.
HAVEN occupations mostly happen outside in natural environments which research identifies as improving wellbeing. The active nature of work contributes to students physical fitness, no screen time contributes to eye health, the sensory nature of the work nourishes the sensory system. Being outside with space and quietness provides a calm environment in which to work productively.
WE WANT TO ENSURE HAVEN OCCUPATIONS ARE EXTENDED INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
The work carried out at HAVEN is just the first step for a student. Ultimately the aim is that it will impact all areas of their life. Examples at home could include:
- Developing a shared gardening interest with a grandparent.
- Earning pocket money for following a routine of feeding the family dog and getting it ready for a walk.
- Preparing a snack for their parent.
Emma Clee, Occupational Therapist
Unity of Mind and Body
(feeding the mind and body project)
In order to maintain health and wellbeing, it is important for us all to look after both our body and our mind. This enables us to participate as fully as possible in all the occupations we want to as well as preventing ill health.
FUEL activities form an important part of the students day at Freemantles and need to be incorporated into life outside school. FUEL activities support the student to engage as much as possible within the school day, as well as being healthy occupations to pursue outside of school.
Examples of FUEL activities include:
Fitness – Daily mile (where students are encouraged to walk a mile a day); Cycling
Unity of Mind and Body – yoga to develop physical skills, mental focus and a feeling of calm; Sensory circuits – to develop co-ordination and modulation
Emotional regulation – Mindfulness to create a sense of calm and focus; Quick Shifts – to ease students between emotional states e.g. to calm quicker if upset.
Lifestyle – Trying new foods to develop healthy eating patterns; Identifying activities that help students feel good to increase quality of life.
Students access different FUEL activities depending on their individual interests, strengths and needs. Our aim is that thinking FUEL at home and at school will help students engage in occupations to support their own health and wellbeing.
We will be developing a list of resources for parents and carers to access through this page to support implementation of FUEL activities.
Emma Clee, Occupational Therapist