The River Valley Outcomes and Outputs 


The assessment process provides key information in which models of intervention and priorities applicable to the students are discussed with professionals and parent-carers. Our base Intervention model within ADO River Valley is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) with supporting therapeutic specialisms including Animal Assisted Therapy and Activities, Equine Assisted Therapy and Activities, Relaxation Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Mindfulness & Eco-Therapy (Nature), along with Neuro Linguistic programming techniques. This process forms part of the baseline assessment for students, which then continues with ongoing support for the student through their Individual Learner Plans (ILPs).

We currently have support for our students a variety of Occupational Therapists (OT)who work amongst our staff to enable all students to reach their full potential. One of the OTs also has a master’s in mental health.
Occupational therapists (OT’s) use activities as the means of the treatment in the areas of self-care, education, work, or leisure. This will impact positively on their mental and or physical wellbeing, supporting independence, confidence, and or quality of life.

OT’s take a holistic approach considering the ‘whole person’ by focusing on the interaction between the students physical and mental health, the tasks involved and the interaction with the environment. The nature of and adaptation of the environment assists facilitating change. In educational settings OT’s utilise daily activities that are meaningful to them (occupations) to help the student to participate in what they need to do to achieve their individual goals, alongside carer and educational input. The focus is often, schoolwork, self-care, play-leisure time and vocational-transitional work. Our onsite therapeutic team are available to support students on roll, along with the process of assessment, interventions using activity analysis and goal setting as part of ILP’s, either by 1:1 sessions or groupwork, before review and outcome.
Interventions are focused on the YP’s interests and focus on finding just the right challenge so its achievable. This complies with the SEND code of practice and is in line with the student EHCP where appropriate.

Examples of Life Skills

Functional performance skills involved in daily occupations, (cognition, physical, emotional, sensory)

Skill development: in the areas of volition (motivation), routines, roles, habits, interests, such as identifying interests that increase motivation and task completion.

Managing emotion skills such as re-motivation, anxiety management, sleep, self-regulation, and sensory strategies.

Interpersonal life skills: personal care, communication skills, interpersonal skills, social skills, verbal and written.

Domestic daily life skills such as, food preparation, money management, travel, time management.

Vocational- transition interventions towards career-training-voluntary-work-employment goals.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. As per the NICE guidelines, CBT is currently the most widely recognised intervention for anxiety and depression in YP. CBT is a collaborative project between a therapist and YP. CBT is a therapy that links thought-cognitions to feelings, and then helps to highlight how these factors can affect our behaviour, therefore the overall consequence. CBT allows YP to manage negative experiences by changing thoughts, feelings and behaviours and allows them to explore the impact that these three fundamental factors have on one another. Intervention sessions are arranged weekly, as a 1:1 within the student timetable (if they determined they would engage in this type of intervention/ it was suitable for them).
1:1 and Group Assisted Activities are available to all students throughout the week with both animal and art activities factored in to the timetable.
Animal & Equine Assisted Therapy (AAT/EAT) is a holistic, experiential therapy that involves students working in collaboration with therapy animals, and a human therapist. AAT supports students to achieve pre-determined outcomes, with the comfort of having an animal present in sessions to ease anxiety and lower blood pressure.
Trust is fostered and increased between therapist and student with the use of AAT. Animals are non-judgmental and this can support students to open up (Golin & Walsh 1994).
Individual Learner Plans (ILPS) are reviewed termly and any areas of concern for the YP are discussed in weekly team meetings or in supervision and external agencies are involved as deemed necessary.
Timetables are bespoke and lessons are aimed to be 45 minutes in length with breaks. The Learning and Therapeutic Support Staff are able to break away with a student as required. Our education approach is holistic and is adapted to meet the students’ ability or capacity on a given day and therefore the structure may change for the YP. Small group relaxation activities are available at the end of each day for every student’s timetable to support the YP to finish their school day in a calm headspace and practice their relaxation skills (i.e. breathing, visualisation).
Trips and additional activities are arranged for curriculum purposes and via our Jack Petchey scheme. Access to a school nurse would be arranged periodically as required.
Parent-Carers are emailed a termly report covering all areas of school life and attainment.
Parent-Carer-Professional Feedback forms are completed termly online throughout the placement and at placement completion to ensure we can use any feedback for our school improvement plan for the benefit of the CYP and future referrals.


ADO River Valley is open Monday to Friday 9-3:30pm with a 26.5-hour curriculum being on offer as standard.

Our separate company, ADO Therapy are able to run separate services for individuals from 3pm-5pm after school.

ADO Therapy also run various activity programs through the holiday periods and these services support sustainability of ADO River Valley.

As per our Assessment & Admissions Policy we provide a handbook to all parent-carers following assessment to all families where a placement has been offered within ADO River Valley. In line with our Environmental Policy, ADO River Valley use online forms and admission forms are managed via our school website to obtain permission for parent-carers. Copies are emailed to their personal address. The school provide paper forms at assessment stage if the family do not have access to a PC and this process would be followed for a home-school agreement.

We work in small classes (1:3) or 1:1 and offer individual child and young person-centered learning programmes to meet their needs and interests enabling YP to learn whilst developing confidence and self-esteem. The curriculum has a range of subjects and awards that YP can study, covering the independent framework. These options are discussed in the first assessment meeting with the YP to complete their Individual Learner Plan (ILP). This is led by our therapeutic team who discusses the YPs goals, aspirations and aims to match the interests to subject studies accordingly, whilst meeting their needs. Our YP then have a bespoke timetable created accordingly.

Some students who join us are placed on our higher level ratio due to their SEND/LAC/1:1 needs. Some new starters join us on the higher level ratio, and we then aim to transition the YP to small working groups 1:3 dependent upon risk assessment within the first term. This is to ensure that new students learn the procedures of our bespoke setting in order to keep safe.

We have not to date experienced the requirement for utilising a translation service however we have researched and identified a provider that we will plan to use ongoing should the need arise to ensure equality and accessibility are maintained to a high standard for both CYP and their families. Provider quotes would be based upon the service required at the time i.e. written or verbal.
We have an Attendance Policy & Procedure in place which is managed by the onsite team and our office using our school system.


• Our process for recording daily student attendances is cloud-based software, Arbor. It can be updated by the office-based team or the onsite team onsite within an appropriate time frame.

• The register is marked by the school team onsite and any pre-known absences are recorded. Any unexpected absences will be flagged. The office-based team will send an SMS or email to parent-carers noting the absence of a student and this action is recorded onto the system. An email will also be sent to the supporting professionals, advising the absence and any reasons known.

• Students arriving late are registered with a specific code denoting <30 mins or >30 minutes late. These significant differences will affect on-going attendance records. Supporting professionals will be updated following any changes in the student status during the day.

• The register is updated with any further variances before closing after 12:15pm, to account for ‘pm only’ student’s arrival.

• If a student attendance drops below 80%, without exceptional circumstances, these are flagged with professionals and a strategy is formulated working with and supporting the student’s family to improve attendance.

• Creative or Hybrid timetables can be offered in specific circumstances which are causing a student to feel unable to engage in our full time timetable on the ground at Poets Corner. An example of a circumstance like this would be if a students mental health was suffering and therefore learning alternatively with some study at home can be put in place, to help them reach their full potential.
• Students receive their end of term report as well as their term attendance.
We work closely with CAMHS as all of our YP have an Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and therefore, may have already been involved with the agency. We work to ensure any therapeutic interventions and strategies that have previously been successful with the YP are applied consistently in our setting where appropriate. We maintain close liaison through email and telephone with all professionals involved to ensure effective multi-agency working and seek to involve other health professionals with family-carer permission as required.


We are members of ACAMH (The Association for Child & Adult Mental Health) to ensure we keep up to date with best practice in CYP mental health.

We intend to work towards the Respect Accreditation standard.