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Cognus Therapies and Sherwood Park School work together to support learners working towards their bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award 

On the 24th of June several of the post 16 learners from both Sherwood Park and Sherwood Hill School attended a Duke of Edinburgh expedition at High Ashurst. They participated in various outdoor activities such as camping skills, archery, rock climbing, and cooking. They were supported by a team of adults, including teaching and therapy staff, in order to achieve their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

Whilst on the trip Ruby, Occupational Therapist, and Joseph Chamberlain, Senior Therapies Assistant, supported the learners to manage their difficulties with anxiety, transitions and the new environment/faces they encountered. This was achieved through implementing individualised regulation strategies, embedding targeted therapy interventions, such as therapeutic listening (quickshifts and gearshifters), use of equipment such as weighted/compression vests and mobility aids. Additionally, Ruby and Joseph supported staff and learners with communication, modelling key language linked in with learner’s targets using AAC systems (Coreboard, Proloquo2go) and supported understanding of the new activities and what to expect through the use of visual symbols.

Ruby and Joseph also supported the learners by implementing specialist interventions, including modulated music to support regulation and engagement and individualised strategies to support the learners to transition around the site and to manage their arousal levels in order to participate in the activities. This included a lot of pretending to be a pirate and beat boxing/dancing for one particular learner who has a tendency of ‘grounding’, which led to Ruby and Joseph getting some very funny looks. By using these techniques, the learner was able to successfully transition and participate in the camping skills session and even led to him having a nap on the sofa after a successful day of transitioning!

Finally, a special congratulations to the learners with mobility issues, who faced their fear of heights by going all the way to the top of the accessible climbing wall!

What an amazing experience for everyone and a celebration of all that was and can be achieved.

To find out more about our Therapies Team, please click here