Our Offer



Our Offer



Our Offer



Our Offer


Our latest news

September 13, 2023 in Events, Fundraising, Our people

Students give seal of approval to Outdoor Regulation Project

There’s play equipment and then there’s Undershaw play equipment – and we do things a little differently. All children need free play. Our students need free play too but they…
Read More
September 7, 2023 in COINS, Fundraising, Our people, Student life

A school that reads together, stays together

A school that reads together, stays together. To that end, we have refurbished our library.  Our English curriculum is broad and evolving - but one thing that never changes is…
Read More
August 24, 2023 in General news, Our people, Student life

Undershaw celebrates as students are ready to soar

2023 sees a record-breaking year as Undershaw students collect their GCSE, BTEC and Functional Skills results: Students excelled in GCSE history and statistics, particularly, with 100% of students achieving a…
Read More

From our gallery



An integrated therapy programme is one of the main pillars of our provision at Undershaw.

Effective, relevant and focussed therapeutic support is imperative for many of our students’ Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

Therapy underpins the ability to learn in a classroom-based environment and to develop autonomy alongside interdependence.

Katy Astles, Undershaw’s Head of Therapy and an associate member of the SLT, leads her team from a range of specialisms such as:
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy (including Sensory Integration Therapy)
  • Physiotherapy
  • Dramatherapy
  • A Therapy Assistant

What is Occupational Therapy?

“Occupational therapy helps you live your best life at home, at work – and everywhere else. It’s about being able to do the things you want and have to do. That could mean helping you overcome challenges learning at school, going to work, playing sport or simply doing the dishes. Everything is focused on increasing independence and wellbeing. It’s also a science-based, health and social care profession that’s regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council”. (Royal College of Occupational Therapists, 2022)

What is Sensory Integration Therapy?

“Sensory integration therapy should only be carried out by a qualified SI Practitioner: this is a qualified occupational therapist, speech and language therapist or physiotherapist who has undertaken additional, rigorous postgraduate training in SI. This training involves developing a detailed understanding of the neuroscience and evidence base underpinning sensory integration as well as developing expertise in assessing and providing intervention for people with sensory integration problems. SI therapy (or SI interventions) include structured exposure to sensory input, movement therapy, balance treatments, carefully designed and customised physical activities and accommodations (eg, changes to the environment or routine).” (Sensory Integration Education, 2022).

What is Speech and Language Therapy (SaLT)?

“Speech and language therapy provides treatment, support and care for children and adults who have difficulties with communication, or with eating, drinking and swallowing. Speech and language therapists (SaLTs) are allied health professionals. They work with parents, carers and other professionals, such as teachers, nurses, occupational therapists and doctors.” (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, 2022)

What is Dramatherapy?

“Dramatherapy is a form of Psychotherapy. Dramatherapists are both clinicians and artists that draw on their knowledge of theatre and therapy to use as a medium for psychological therapy that may include drama, story-making, music, movement, and art; to work with any issue that has presented itself.” (British Association of Dramatherapists, 2020)

The Undershaw Way

Undershaw provides a high quality and integrative therapy service to our students, guided by a three-tiered model of therapy (see link below for further details). Within this system, therapy is integrated into the whole school curriculum, for example therapy programmes, strategies and techniques, as well as individual one to one or small group therapy sessions. The level of input depends on the students’ EHCP, the needs assessed by the therapy team and the individual pathway that each student is following. The evidence and literature from a range of sources around the world increasingly promotes a collaborative and educationally relevant approach to this model of therapy, which is empowering for all students, staff and families.

Integrated Therapy

Therapy underpins the ability to learn in a classroom-based environment and to develop autonomy alongside interdependence.  The multidisciplinary approach at Undershaw ensures students are equipped to develop essential life skills, make and maintain friendships, develop social understanding and the functional independence necessary for their full and independent lives beyond the school gates.

Therapists: intrinsic to school life

Therapists work with students on a one-to-one basis, in small groups, and in the classroom. Therapy is an intrinsic part of everyday school life. The Therapy team work collaboratively with the staff team, providing specialist advice and support within a range of activities and lessons.

The Therapy Team is fully integrated into the Undershaw staff team and takes part in break time and lunch time duties providing structured play and role modelling.

The communication between Home and School is vital to the development of our students and to their therapy interventions. Therapists are heavily involved in the Annual Review process for each student and the weekly Multi-Disciplinary Team planning sessions. These ensure each lesson and Form Time is tailored to meet the needs of each child.

Our Specialist Approach
What they're saying

‘Undershaw is a shining example of best practice in skills education. Congratulations to all involved'

Sophie DeavilleSenior Education Associate, Skills Builder Partnership

A strong focus on developing key life and employability skills in the sixth form ensures that pupils are well prepared personally, as well as academically, for the next stages of education or employment.

OFSTED ReportFeb 2022

The Undershaw students are just so lovely and friendly. I’m impressed how hard working and mature they are.

SarahCafé Manager, Haslewey Community Centre

It was a delight to meet your students: full of questions and curiosity. It’s clearly a lovely school.

Kate Perry, BBC Journalistand Undershaw Careers Week Speaker

The staff at Undershaw have created a lifelong strategy for students, ensuring that they have the essential skills needed to succeed.

Sophie DeavilleSenior Education Associate, Skills Builder Partnership

Thanks for the confidence in me.

Undershaw Alumnus

Honestly the change in him has been amazing. We feel very fortunate to have got into Undershaw. Such a great school with fantastic staff & teachers.

Undershaw Parent

The school has been amazing and has transformed my son in so many ways into the happy and confident 16yr old he is today.

Undershaw Parent

Eliminating the impossible


Undershaw is an inclusive community which is based on mutual respect.  Everyone is valued and their uniqueness celebrated.

Read about Employability


Undershaw is a caring and considerate school. We look after each other wholeheartedly, fostering meaningful and compassionate relationships.

Read about Therapy


Undershaw is a safe space for all, where we can take risks. We support each other to keep going and believe in ourselves when we try new things.

Read about our Curriculum