Blossom Upper House
South West London
Developing independence through real life experiences
I want to be listened to;
I want to do things for myself;
I want a job I like.
Blossom Upper House is a specialist school for pupils from Year 7 with complex speech, language and communication needs who flourish when following a functional curriculum within a total communication environment. The pupils have co-existing significant gross and fine motor difficulties which require specialist direct therapeutic input.
Communication is at the root of everything at Blossom South West London. The school is a total communication environment, with visuals, signing, drawing and writing used alongside verbal communication. Speech and Language Therapy is delivered daily by a qualified SLT and is integrated throughout the school day. Self-advocacy is an essential skill for pupils and is supported by valuing and validating all types of Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Pupils are supported to use their Augmentative and Alternative communication systems to their full potential by a Specialist SLT. The attached SLT is also trained in Makaton signing and has extensive experience and training in a range of different evidenced based approaches in order to support pupils with language and social interaction difficulties. These include Talking Mats, SmiLE therapy. The staff team are also able to empower families and the wider community through specific training packages such as AAC training and the accredited Elklan Speech and Language Support courses.
Occupational Therapy input is embedded within the curriculum in order to build the skills required for independent living and a qualified Occupational Therapist is onsite a minimum of 2 days per week to deliver therapy and integrate therapeutic strategies. A physiotherapy programme is individually tailored for each pupil who requires this. This is formulated and monitored by a qualified physiotherapist after an individualised assessment. The pupils also have structured travel training sessions delivered by the OT team. Arts Therapy is offered to pupils as required.
All pupils follow the Equals Semi-Formal curriculum focusing on functional literacy and maths
skills alongside essential life skills. This is delivered through short highly engaging multi-sensory lessons and is interspersed with frequent opportunities for community interaction. Photography and videography is integrated into the curriculum in order to celebrate the pupils' visual strengths and showcase their creativity. The curriculum is tailored to each individual pupil in order to harness their unique strengths and is facilitated by the high adult to staff ratio. The pupil’s outcomes are assessed using a bespoke and robust system (MAPP). Assistive technology is overseen by the school's specialist spLD team.