Senior Educational Psychologist and Service Manager
Melanie Carte BSc (Hons)
Senior Speech and Language Therapist and Service Manager
Madalaine Nicol BSc (Hons), MSc
Lead Assistant Psychologist
Psychological Service Assistant
Psychological Service Assistant
Introduction to the ‘Creative Play with a Pinch of SALT Programme’
Creative Play with a Pinch of SALT is a programme designed by EPIC with generous funding from the Laurel Trust. Informed by the Solihull Approach (endorsed by NICE guidelines) and work by Margot Sunderland (2016), EPIC have worked collaboratively with Educational Psychology and Speech and Language therapy to develop a parent-child programme and class programme using ‘creative play’ to target relationship building and language development.
The Creative Play Journey provides quality time for classrooms, parents and children to take part in fun and creative activities designed to transport them together into a world of sensation, imagination, wonder, delight and shared laughter.
The programmes aim to achieve the following outcomes:
Help to build positive relationships with children and between children through ‘creative play’, to improve mental health and wellbeing
Help parents and adults to model and facilitate quality language and communication to improve child development
Reduce the risk of mental health difficulties amongst children, to improve educational achievement and life chances
Training Video: Creative Play with a Pinch of SALT Programme
The recorded training video below explains the underlying psychological and speech and language principles of the programme. Please ensure any staff member wishing to run the programme watches this training. As this video was recorded in the context of the project, project logistics and ‘group rules’ are touched upon. You do not need to enforce these; however, the content of the training is necessary for the successful running of the programme.
NEW RESOURCE: ‘Secondary Programme Modification Booklet’ including activity adaptation ideas and video links.
Introduction to the Bounce Back to School Programme
This support programme for schools and families was designed by EPIC Psychology & Wellbeing Service in response to what surely was going to be a very difficult return to school following lockdown. Acknowledgement was given to the fact that children, staff and families would be dealing with the unknown e.g. a second or third school closure, heightened anxiety, potential loss, possible anxiety of the outdoors and nature. It was also anticipated that co-operation skills would require a boost and so too would resilience given the amount of time out of such a social learning context.
When schools re-open, it is likely that they will be ‘teaming with trauma’. This can take many forms such as bereavement, an increase in domestic violence, living in temporary accommodation etc. all of which might well have been experienced during the pandemic. Schools and families will need to prepare for children’s, and adults’ return, in trauma informed way. It is also acknowledged that many children will have had happy and positive times whilst away from school and that they may well come back to school settled and very keen.
The programme was written with the aim of pulling these themes together under the umbrella of creating a secure base for all. The aim is to compliment any approaches that the school will be using to manage adversity as a system.
Bounce Back to School is a six-week programme where children, staff and family activities run in parallel with each other. All themes are addressed each week but there is a particular focus on certain aspects of support each week:
Week 1 – Getting Back on Track
Week 2 – Love and Loss
Week 3 – Planning and Dealing with Change
Week 4 – Coping Skills
Week 5 – Celebrate Nature
Week 6 – Staying on Track
Ongoing Support for Schools during Implementation
Ongoing remote support will be available on a regular basis for partner schools who already buy into EPIC’s provision so long as EPIC are not back in schools full-time. Once back in school, support would come under the link EP role for that school. Non-partner schools could discuss ongoing support from EPIC by contacting us to discuss your needs, again as long as the service is not back in schools full-time.
The pre-information packs for school staff and parents provide an introduction to the Bounce Back to School Programme and the necessary pre-learning and general ‘toolkit’ that will support its implementation. We suggest these packs are sent out 2 weeks before the first session of the programme, however if this time is not available we ask that adequate time is given for staff and parents to read their pre-information pack.
In response to the Coronavirus outbreak, EPIC have created the following Adult Self Care Resource Pack to support you in boosting your resilience, reduce anxiety and ensuring your overall positive wellbeing throughout these unprecedented times.
- Headspace App
Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate. Meditation has been shown to help people stress less, focus more and sleep better. Headspace is meditation made simple, teaching you life-changing mindfulness skills in just a few minutes a day. Here at EPIC, we love to use the Sleep Casts at bedtime.
- Meditation App
Meditation music is a free meditation app to relax the body and mind. Enjoy listening to the beautiful meditation sounds that will aid you in finding inner peace, helping reduce stress and even to fall asleep.
Learning for Myself
Enrich yourself during the coronavirus lockdown with these online learning resources —whether it’s through online courses, art, reading, or films.