What is Physiotherapy?

The role of a Physiotherapist is to assess and manage the physical needs of children and young people with movement disorders, disability or illness. The aim of the physiotherapist is to help the child/young person reach their full potential through providing physical intervention, advice and support. Physiotherapists aim to improve the quality of life of children and young people by promoting independence and encouraging physical fitness and well being.

Physiotherapists who work with children are specialist practitioners who have the right skills and specific knowledge to deliver appropriate care and to promote involvement of education and families.

How is Physiotherapy provided at Parkwood Hall Academy?

Physiotherapy is integrated into the philosophy and practice of the school. Throughout the day there are many opportunities for physical activities as part of the curriculum.

Students who require Physiotherapy input will have an initial full assessment of their physical needs and difficulties. Discussion with staff, families and the student usually take place beforehand to enable the therapist to take into account individual circumstances, concerns and needs. Following the assessment and in partnership with the student, families and education staff the Physiotherapist will use clinical reasoning to ensure a suitable programme/plan is put in place.

Programmes tend to address walking ability, stamina, gross motor skills, balance and proprioception, specific muscle weakness or tightness and functional abilities.

Examples of Physiotherapy Intervention

  • Individual Physiotherapy programme of stretches and exercises
  • Recommendation of use of Trike, bike or scooters
  • Walking or Running activities in the school ground
  • Adapt Physical activity in playground/outdoor gym specific to student
  • Recommendations for adapting PE activities
  • Referral to Orthotics or other local services as needed
  • Liaison with local NHS therapist, consultants or other professionals

Programmes are mostly carried out by the classroom staff and are integrated into activities during the school day. The Physiotherapist will train and work with staff members and the specific student ensuring they are confident and competent at carrying out the programme.

Reviews are scheduled according to the individual needs of the student, but if there are concerns the Physiotherapist is able to re-assess. Parents are welcome to make contact to discuss any concerns or ask questions and arrange a meeting in school.