The Russell School

Aim High, Have Courage, Be Kind

Art Therapy

The school currently funds an art therapist, Lizzie Duncan, to work with children for one day a week.  This is funded through the Forward Fund and FoRS and plays an important element of  our commitment to meet the social and emotional needs of our pupils as they learn and develop.

What is art therapy?

Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art-making as a form of expression and communication for people experiencing difficulties in their lives. Art therapy sessions take place for an hour a week with our art therapist, Lizzie Duncan, in a safe and supportive environment.

Through art-making, it can be possible to explore feelings and concerns that may be confusing and hard to put into words. Art therapy can help young people express themselves, understand their experiences and learn to modify difficult behaviours. It can help them build self-esteem, improve relationships and engagement in learning as well as helping to improve concentration and academic achievement.

Why have art therapy in school?

Art therapy is a specialist service made available to pupils who are experiencing emotional and/or behavioural difficulties which impact their well-being, affects their progress in school and may cause disruptive behaviours in class. If pupils are able to access art therapy in school early on, it may prevent difficulties from escalating.

Who is art therapy for?

Pupils may be referred for art therapy if they:

  • experience emotional or behavioural difficulties
  • are struggling with particular life events such as bereavement, family breakdown or illness
  • have communication and social difficulties

Where does it take place and when?

After referral and following consent given by parents or carers and the child concerned, art therapy sessions will take place on a weekly basis for an initial period of 6 weeks. This to see if the young person is happy to engage with therapy and it is thought to be of benefit. Art therapy takes place in a dedicated room at the same time each week. A slot is chosen from the child’s timetable which has minimum impact on their learning.

Any art-work produced in art therapy will be kept safe in school until the end of therapy when the child may take their work home.