What is Educational Psychology?
Educational Psychology provides an understanding of and support for children and young people’s learning, development and wellbeing.
An Educational Psychologist (EP) can provide an assessment of a child’s learning, social skills, emotional wellbeing and/or behaviour so that families and school staff can better understand how and why a child may be experiencing difficulties at home or school.
Psychological Assessment may include some or all of the following: consultation, observations and assessments. Each assessment is bespoke to the child, depending on the concerns raised and the child’s presenting strengths and difficulties.
The EP then draws upon the assessment findings and their knowledge of psychology and child development, in collaboration with the family and school staff, to identify strategies, interventions and provision that will lead to the best outcomes for a child.
Psychological consultation with parents and/or school staff
Consultations provide an opportunity to have a detailed structured discussion about a child so that a shared understanding can be developed of their strengths and needs, and a way forward can be agreed. It may be focused for example on their learning, attention and behaviour, or social and emotional wellbeing.
These are usually carried out at nursery/school in a range of different environments (e.g. classroom, dining hall, playground). The child does not need to know that they are being observed, unless it's agreed this is preferable. Observations enable an EP to identify specific situations which the child finds achievable and those they find challenging. They also give insight into which strategies and provisions are working and where there are opportunities for additional support if necessary.
Assessment of a child's strengths and needs is bespoke for each child depending on the concerns held by adults. It may focus on some or all of the following: thinking and learning skills, memory and processing, literacy and numeracy, attention and behaviour, social communication and interaction skills, self-esteem and emotional wellbeing, sensory needs, and self-help and independence skills.
Assessment may include some or all of the following: consultation with concerned adults, observations in the school or at home, questionnaires completed by family and school staff and individual assessment with the child using a range of tools (e.g. cognitive, literacy and numeracy assessments; questionnaires and worksheets; resources to gather their views).
Early Years assessment
For children in Nursery or Reception, psychological assessment is as described above, however any individual work with the child will usually be through play either at home or school.
Exam Access Arrangments
A detailed assessment can be carried out to determine if a child is eligible for exam access arrangements, such as extra time, a reader or scribe. This assessment can only be completed where the EP has a working relationship with the child’s school and Form 8 is provided by the school in advance. For more information get in touch.
Capturing the voice of the child and advocating on their behalf
This would usually be part of a psychological assessment. Often the child has not yet been asked about their thoughts and feelings in relation to the concerns that their family or school staff have. Using a range of resources and techniques their opinions (and ideas for solutions!) can be captured and shared with the concerned adults.
Attending multi-disciplinary meetings regarding a child or young person, with the purpose of representing the child or young person’s best interests, facilitating solution-focused discussions and mediating between parties. Examples may include: IEP review meetings, EHCP planning meetings or annual/emergency reviews or Team Around Child/Family meetings.
Additional Services for schools/nurseries
Developing and supporting therapeutic or learning interventions. E.g. introducing Zones of Regulations as a whole school approach; setting up Precision Monitoring interventions; supporting the use of Circle of Friends.
Bespoke workshops or training for staff or parents - on topics such as working memory, self-regulation, social communication skills, social stories and attachment.
Individual or group supervision for staff - including work discussion groups and Solution Circles.
Please get in touch to discuss which service is right for you and associated fees