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Our school has a Hydrotherapy pool with a light and sound system that provides our students with a relaxing or energetic sensory experience. There are a variety of light patterns that bathe the water in a range of colours to add to the ambience. Our sound station can produce music to fit the mood. Students are carefully monitored in the water with float supports and staff assistance.

Every pupil at Mapledown School is offered the chance to enjoy a swimming session each week. Pupils are assessed, taking into account mobility and health needs etc. Those who are unable to access a community pool are offered a session of hydrotherapy each week. Pupils usually access the pool with their class teacher, learning support staff and classmates. If possible a member of the physiotherapy staff will join the sessions.

Each pupil is assessed prior to accessing the pool, transfers are risk assessed and medical needs discussed. The pool area has changing and showering facilities and pupils can be transferred into the water by sling hoist from a changing table, sitting hoist or by walking to the edge and down the wide steps at one end. The pool is at a constant depth of 1.2 metres and the temperature inside and outside the pool monitored daily.

Pupils each have a hydrotherapy programme to suit their specific needs and these are carried out either supported by a carer or using one of our many flotation aids. The warmth of the water provides the perfect medium for relaxation of tight muscles allowing stretches in a fun and motivating environment. It is also the perfect place for monitoring of mobility problems in an appropriate setting.

The lighting and sound system can be changed to create a full sensory experience for those with very complex needs. MOVE targets can be appropriately incorporated into the session – e.g. practising sitting, standing and walking skills either within the pool or as part of dressing, undressing in an appropriate setting. Other benefits identified include communication, eye contact, reduction in sensitivity and tone, improved mobility and body awareness.

Staff running the sessions are hydrotherapy trained and safety and emergency evacuation procedures are regularly reviewed.

Tel: 0208 455 4111 ext 239