Meet the Team
Luke has been on the leadership team as SENCo since Oak Tree School opened. His background is in outdoor sports instruction and geography. However since being at Oak Tree he has completed professional certifications in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, as well as becoming a Thrive practitioner, DDP level 1, Foundations of attachment trained, Trauma informed school practitioner and trainer, Mental Health First Aid trainer and Cornwall Autism champion.
More recently he has collated our own in-house staff induction programme called Building Positive Relationships, which is a 2 day programme focussed on some of the most useable aspects of other approaches for our settings, such as the PACE approach, emotion coaching and active listening. He is a key member of the therapy team, as well as tieing into wellbeing services as a whole across the Cornwall region for the Outcomes First Group. He speciliaizes on brief interventions with our children focussed on thinghs like anger, anxiety and OCD.
In his spare time, he practices what he preaches and has a deep believe in the restorative power of nature and the outdoor environment. He can be found spending time with friends and family engaging in cycling, surfing or general outdoor activities.
Michelle has worked at Oak tree since it opened in 2014. Her role has changed significantly in this time, starting as an HLTA then developing the role of the Parent & Child Support Worker. And now as part of the senior leadership team as the Designated Safeguarding Lead/ Therapy coordinator and Oak tree schools senior mental health lead.
Michelle is a person scentred counsellor and Play Theapist (PgCert) DDP level 1, Foundations of attachment trained, Trauma informed school practitioner and Mental Health First Aid trainer. ELSA and SPACE facilitator ( Supportive Parenting for Anxious Childhood Emotions)
Michelle has worked with children with social & emotional difficulties for a lot of years. She continues to use her therapy skills within Oak tree school to support the children. And as part of the therapy team helps to drive change and awareness throughout the school.
Michelle enjoys taking up new challenges and has recently taken up the joys of sailing and is an expert in capsizing!!
Louise has been a qualified speech and language therapist since 2001 and worked for the NHS until becoming an independent therapist and working with Oak Tree school from 2018. Louise is an HCPC registered therapist and has memberships to the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Association for Independent Speech and Language Therapists in Practice.
Louise has a particular interest in supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) alongside mental health, trauma and attachment needs. Louise has attended extra training in these areas to work towards becoming a specialist therapist in social, emotional and mental health needs. Louise also has an interest in literacy development and is undertaking further training this year to be able to provide more support for students and staff.
At Oak Tree school, Louise works in a variety of ways, including directly with students, supporting staff through consultation, observation of lessons and training, supporting parents/carers and providing input to/leading projects across the school. Some of the recent and ongoing projects Louise has been involved in, include developing a literacy pathway and introducing the Blank Levels of language framework across the school. Louise loves working with the staff and students at Oak Tree and enjoys being part of the wider therapy team who work closely together.
Outside of school life, Louise spends time with her family and children, and enjoys growing vegetables, reading and long dog walks on the beach.
Emma is a music therapist who has worked at Oak Tree since March 2020. Her background is in the creative arts sector through playing, composing and teaching but since 2015 working as a music therapist in schools and colleges throughout Cornwall.
She holds a Masters in Music Therapy and is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council as well as the British Association of Music Therapy. This allows her to use the protected title of ‘Music Therapist’. She is a person-centred therapist who specialises in working with young people who have experienced trauma, are adopted and experiencing challenging mental health and has undertaken professional development in all these areas in order to best serve the young people at Oak Tree.
Music is an amazing tool as it uses non-verbal skills create opportunities for connection, improving self-regulation and confidence and providing new ways of thinking about challenging experiences, relationships and emotions. Often music can provide a person with new ways of understanding themselves and is undertaken very gently and in the persons own time.
In her spare time you’ll find her fiddle in hand at various Cornish cultural events, walking around the Moors, swimming in the sea or watching movies at the cinema.
Sarah has been an Educational Psychologist (EP) since 2009 and is a registered practitioner with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Prior to becoming an EP, Sarah was a primary school teacher.
Sarah has worked at Oaktree School since 2016 and has a particular interest in supporting children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs.
Sarah works with students, staff and parents/carers at Oaktree School. This work involves classroom observations, spending time with students to gain their views and/or assess skills in a particular area; delivering workshops for parents/carers on a variety of topics such as Autism, the Zones of Regulation and Emotion Coaching; collaborative consultations with parents/carers on school staff and staff training and support. Additionally, Sarah uses Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) to support both school staff and parents/carers to strengthen interactions. Sarah is also involved in project work across school with the therapy team. Sarah loves being part of the Oaktree team!
When not in school, Sarah enjoys spending with her family, running, walking the coastal path and doing yoga!
Wendy works with Oak Tree School 1.5 days each week as an Educational Psychologist; this involves working in collaboration with students, key school staff, families and other professionals to formulate an understanding of the strengths and needs of students. With a background in primary teaching and SENCO, Wendy works in consultation with the whole staff team to help build a language of psychologically informed approaches for our students within an education context.
Training for staff has been provided by Wendy on a wide range of areas such as executive functioning skills, emotion coaching, the use of trauma informed approaches (PACE) and staff well-being along with themed workshops for families. Wendy has introduced Loss and Change groups to Oak Tree, where students are able to access a safe space to process losses they have experienced in their lives through art, stories and psycho-education approaches. Wendy is also a qualified Video Interaction Guider (VIG) and uses this evidenced-based intervention at Oak Tree to support the attunement of relationships between staff and students.
Outside of work, Wendy spends most of her time exploring the outdoors; running, paddleboarding, cycling and walking her new pup together with her son.
Philipa Robbins (Pip)
Hello, I am having the best time working alongside children, teenagers and young adults for the past 30 years, firstly as a professional dancer and choreographer, then a qualified teacher and now as play and creative arts therapist. I have been lucky enough to dance and tour with some amazing, talented, young people from diverse backgrounds. I have taught extensively in London where I was Head of department in a very busy inner city school. Now I work as a play and creative arts therapist all over Cornwall and I love it.
My aim everyday is to provide a safe, nurturing, empathetic environment where children of all ages can come and ‘play out’ what is needed to fulfil their full potential. I have received and am continuing to engage in extensive training in subjects such as child development, attachment (the bonding process) and especially trauma. I am currently completing another Postgraduate in Trauma Studies and a Postqualifying certificate in Filial Play Coaching. Filial Play coaching is an intervention that involves the parent/carer and is effective in repairing and improving the parent/child relationship through play.
I am trained to use play and the creative arts as a means for understanding and communicating with children about feelings, thoughts and behaviour, through Play Therapy UK and BACP. I am amazed everyday at the capacity of children to know innately what they need to do in the playroom to make sense of their trauma story.
When not working you will find me dancing, spending time with my family, walking my three dogs children, cold water swimming and probably engaging in more dancing.