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Oxclose Road, Washington, Tyne And Wear, NE38 7NY

0191 691 3940

Columbia Grange School

Little Steps, Big Aspirations For All

WHAT WE DO......

Our Aim: To support the whole school in developing Emotional and Sensory Regulation Skills.


Meet the Team:

Carmela Temple

Paula Fairbrother


What we do:

Explore a range of strategies to support the children's ability to understand and regulate their emotions.

Approaches used:

  • Functional Reflex Therapy 
  • Sensory Diets
  • Special Yoga
  • Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT)
  • Communication support 

Functional Reflex Therapy uses a combination of relaxation techniques drawn from original theories and practices of the complementary therapy of reflexology. FRT may reduce stress, anxiety, relieve tension, help improve mood, encourage engagement, social interaction and increase receptiveness, which will support the children’s ability to engage and be ready to learn.

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Sensory Diets. For specifically identified children we work alongside the OT, following an individualised sensory integration programme as needed.

sensory diet, first created by occupational therapists Wilbarger and Wilbarger (1991) , is an individualised plan of physical activities and accommodations to help a person meet their sensory needs. This plan provides the sensory input needed to stay focused and organised throughout the day. For example, some people may feel overwhelmed or overloaded and need to get to a calmer state; some may feel lethargic or sluggish and need some activities to feel alert.

The main goal of a sensory diet is to prevent sensory and emotional overload by meeting the nervous system’s sensory needs; however, it can also be used as a recovery technique. Understanding a child’s sensory profile and the activities which create calmness and regulation can really help when a child feels overwhelmed and out of control. Engaging children in sensory experiences on a regular schedule can support focus, attentiveness and interaction. Children may feel less anxious when they feel comfortable and in control.

Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) aims to support the children through a variety of known therapeutic movements and massage techniques to support physical development, sensory integration and reflex integration as well as supporting emotional and physical wellbeing.

RMT involves using a variety of small movements that target specific reflexes, which in our children may not be fully developed yet. By introducing these small movements slowly, the body and brain are stimulated in a positive way, supporting the brain’s ability to process information and encouraging the development and integration of these reflexes that support learning and emotional wellbeing.

This approach aims to help develop better focus, have a calming effect, support emotional regulation and help with sensory issues, such as sensitivity to sound / smells / touch. The basis of the approach is to focus on the reflexes that support the entire system.

Just as sensory integration supports children’s sensory system, RMT focuses on the primitive reflexes.

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‘Special Yoga’ sessions are aimed at individuals and groups of children to support their emotional wellbeing and regulation as well as improve engagement.

 Special Yoga’s methodology includes the classical yoga practices of movement, breath work and deep relaxation combined with mindfulness, sound, rhythm, massage and sensory integration techniques.

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Communication support. Working under the guidance of the Speech and Language Therapists we endeavour to support the children;[] through the use of PECs, Communication boards, Makaton and Communication Devices, as appropriate to the individual, to be able to help them to communicate their needs and wants, in an effective way. 

We aim to involve parents, carers and staff in the approaches that we use to enable them to support the children with their Emotional Regulation, both at home and in the classroom, in order to have maximum impact.


All input takes into account EHCP targets, parental concerns, specific areas of development and individual targets as set by class teachers.


Parents will be updated about input provided and progress made and will be given opportunities to observe and take part in the practices set out for their child.


All staff will be informed and consulted about input provided and progress made and will be given opportunities to observe and take part in the practices set out for the children.