Farewell Occupational Therapy program 2011

29 September 2011

This week six Occupational Therapy (OT) students said goodbye to their Kindergarten to Year 2 students and their teachers at Marrickville, Marrickville West, Wilkins, Picnic Point, Panania and Revesby South Public Schools after they completed their final year placement.

During their placement with Compass partner schools, the OT students have developed programs for the primary school students to correct their posture, strengthen their hands and improve their handwriting. The OT students also facilitated a workshop with teachers where they demonstrated practical activities that can be implemented in the classroom.

The enforcement of basic aspects of fine motor development such as pencil grip and use of scissors has significantly contributed to the schools' efforts to improve students' academic outcomes. The improvements in these basic skills also engage the primary school students and encourage them to continue improving their outcomes at school.

When asked if they enjoy spending time with the OT students and one Year 2 boy said "Everyday!" with a big smile and both hands up in the air.

Teachers also expressed importance and ongoing need for OT services incorporated as part of the basic services provided at schools:

"… OT is an essential part of assisting children in all areas of life…"- Revesby South PS.

"Thank you so much for this initiative! The program reminded me of the absolute importance of targeting fine motor skills at the beginning of a students' school career and to persist using fun activities"- Panania PS.

Students also produced useful fact sheets which will be available for parents and teachers on the teachers resource page of the Compass website. The fact sheets provide great information that can be used for ongoing professional development for teachers and are a useful resource for parents.

This completes the OT placements in Compass partner schools for 2011. The program will commence in 2012 with a new batch of students from University of Sydney Occupational Therapy (OT) final year and more schools will benefit from this fantastic program again next year.