We are

Our Vision & Values

Our leaders, therapists and educationalists work seamlessly together to teach and proactively support pupils who have endured (and endure) adverse childhood experiences, including trauma, toxic stress and associated mental health difficulties.

Drawing upon innovative methodologies, our effective and consistent provision aims to break the cycle of adversity for pupils and their families.

  • The safety of our pupils is our absolute priority; it always comes first
  • Our multi-disciplinary team works together as one, supported and challenged by an expert governing body
  • Our therapy-centred, values-driven curriculum facilitates pupils' holistic progress over time
  • Our endlessly positive, 'structured but flexible' approach improves pupils' behaviour over time
  • As a responsible, ethical and aware organisation and employer, we are committed, including as Stonewall Champions, to equality for all.


Joanne Evans leads safeguarding across the schools

Nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our pupils. Our designated safeguarding lead is Joanne Evans. As a child protection specialist and safer recruitment trainer, she is the first point of contact across our schools and oversees our robust approach to all aspects of safeguarding, including child protection.

The three key pieces of statutory guidance our safeguarding policy is based upon are:


  • To say that staff know the pupils well, have high aspirations for them and are highly committed, is to understate the quality of the school’s work.
  • The curriculum is well-thought-through and central to the success of teaching and learning over time.
  • Pupils thrive in response to what is on offer, often achieving skills and qualifications that had not been thought possible.
  •  A calm and purposeful environment is evident on each site.
  • Pupils trust and respect staff, and talk openly about their worries and successes.
Latest Ofsted Report


Emily Barlow leads therapy across the schools

Our seamless approach to the provision of therapy means that therapists and teachers work as one to maximise impact on pupils' social, emotional, behavioural and learning outcomes.

We are very proud to offer the following wide range of therapies...

  • ART


    Ruth Leaver is our art therapist. Art therapy is a form of expressive psychotherapy that uses the creative process of art-making to improve a pupil’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. In art therapy the pupil has the opportunity to express themselves using art materials such as paints, clay, drawing on paper, mask-making and sand play.

  • drama


    Sarah Steadman and Emily Barlow are our drama therapists. Drama therapy works with the pupil’s creativity, imagination and personal expression. It aims to encourage confidence, self-exploration, social communication and to realise potential. In these sessions pupils can express themselves and explore experiences in an indirect way using sand, role-play, storytelling using objects or art materials, poetry and creative writing.

  • PLAY


    Steph Marriott is our play therapist. Play therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses play to communicate with and support pupils in their self-expression, to explore their thoughts and feelings and make sense of life experiences. Play therapy sessions may include using sand, arts and crafts and a range of toys including animal and human figurines and sensory toys.

  • Salt


    Rosalyn Addai is our speech and language therapist. Rosalyn plans personalised one-to-one and classroom interventions following assessment of pupils’ communication skills. Speech & language therapy focuses on areas including attention and listening, social communication, emotional literacy (using words to express feelings), receptive language (understanding of spoken language), expressive language (using words and correct grammar to express ideas), speech production (pronouncing target sounds/words accurately) and speech fluency (speaking smoothly without hesitations or stuttering).

  • OT


    Paula Godfrey is our occupational therapist. Occupational therapy can help pupils with various needs including their physical, sensory, cognitive and motor skills. This, in turn, can work to enhance their confidence and self-esteem. Paula looks at the skills needed for pupils to learn and complete everyday tasks. She assesses and addresses any issues that might be getting in the way. This includes, for example, one-to-one and whole-class interventions to support pupils’ handwriting, their processing of information or being able to stay calm and concentrate.

  • Dance


    Anna Wood is our dance and movement therapist. Dance and movement therapy is the use of movement to support the emotional, physical and social integration of pupils. In a dance and movement therapy session pupils explore their own movements and physicality - they may choose to use props and toys, soft play and sensory objects to assist them.



    Kristjana Thorarensen and Andreia Garcia are our counsellors. Counselling is a ‘talking therapy’ but instead of offering advice, a counsellor encourages the pupil to talk about what’s bothering them in order to help find ways of coping. Kristjana and Andreia work in a pupil-centred way and can incorporate CBT techniques and anger management approaches, if appropriate. Kristjana is also a trained play therapist and may use play to help pupils express themselves without verbal communication should they need to. She is also a specialist in attachment theory and disorders (the deep, enduring emotional bonds (or lack of) between children and their caregivers).

  • CBT


    The therapy team work using a pupil-centred approach, which means they use various techniques to suit the individual. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of these approaches; it looks at how we think about a situation and how this affects the way we act. It is a ‘talking therapy’ that can help pupils manage their problems by challenging and changing the way they think and behave. 

  • camhs


    Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) offer assessment and treatment when pupils experience emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. We work exceptionally closely with CAMHS, including with their specialist psychiatrists and psychologists. This enables us to ‘fast-track’ assessment, support and treatment for our pupils and their families.

  • family


    Emily Barlow is our family therapist. Emotion-focused family therapy (EFFT) works to encourage parents to be their child’s behavioural coach (to support their child in their behaviour patterns and transitions) and emotion coach (to support their child to approach and manage their emotional pain) over time. The final stage is to support the parent to facilitate relationship repair between them and their child.

Learning & Progress

Patrik Foster leads teaching, learning & assessment across the schools

Our schools provide a broad, balanced, relevant and values-centred curriculum, based on the national curriculum. We promote the spiritual, moral, cultural, social, mental and physical development of the child, whilst also preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of life in modern Britain.

Latest (July 2018) percentage of current pupils making at least 'expected' progress in…

  • Mathematics 88%
  • More than expected 14%
  • Reading 86%
  • More than expected 36%
  • Skills for Life 90%
  • More than expected 24%
  • Writing 85%
  • More than expected 34%
  • Emotional well-being 93%
  • More than expected 25%

Our Schools

To contact us, email connect@octaviahouseschools.com

  • Octavia House Vauxhall

    Vauxhall Street, London, SE11 5LG
    020 3651 4396 (option 1)

  • Octavia House Walworth

    Larcom House, Larcom Street, London SE17 1RT
    020 3651 4396 (option 2)

  • Octavia House Kennington

    214b Kennington Road, London SE11 6AU
    020 3651 4396 (option 3)