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The Court Special School

'Keep Calm - Keep Learning...'

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Psychology/Psychotherapy Support

My name is Alyson Richards and I offer psychotherapy and mental health support to children and their families at the Court School. I work closely with pupils, families, staff and others stakeholders to improve the emotional wellbeing of the children in our care.  


Psychotherapy is a safe place to get emotional support, learn and understand about feelings and problems, improve our relationships, and try out new solutions. Goals of therapy may be specific, such as; learning to use kind hands, be less angry, have a friend, sleep better OR more general e.g. feel happier, feel less anxious, feel better about myself etc. With primary aged children, play, as well as talking, is used to resolve emotional conflict and bring about changes in feelings and behaviours.


I have worked in the field of Developmental Disorders / Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD), Behaviour, Emotional and Social Difficulties (BESD) and Mental Health, with children, young people and adults, for the past forty years, both in the UK and USA, as a Chartered Psychologist and Psychotherapist. I have a particular interest in the factors that foster educational attainment for those with multifaceted additional learning needs related to a complex mix of neurodevelopmental disorders and emotional difficulties.


I'm available during school termtimes on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 9.30am and 3.30pm. During those times you can reach me on 029 2075 2713, or on 07458 073352,  or email me on,  or message me on The Court School ClassDojo -  Alyson's Class


Dr Alyson Richards PhD, MA, MSc, PGCE, BA

Chartered Psychologist

HPCP Registered Educational Psychologist

UKCP Registered Psychotherapist




I'll be adding resources from time to time that I hope will be helpful for managing our emotional stresses whilst school is closed. If you come across any resources to help with our emotional challenges and those of your children then please send them to me and I will share them with other parents and carers.  Please do get in touch if you have any questions or need any support   07458073352. I'm available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm. 



Hi everyone,
I found this song that makes me feel happy when I sing it and I thought of you. You can sing the song on your own or with those living with you. Have a go and let me know how it goes! You could send in videos for the school website of you and those living with you singing the song!  Have fun!!!
Every little cell in my body is happy, 
Every little cell in my body is well.
Every little cell in my body is happy,
Every little cell in my body is well.
I'm so glad, every little cell
Every little cell is happy and well.
I'm so glad, every little cell,
Every little cell in my body is happy and well   yes




Here's a link where Allison Davies explains why singing and this song is helpful for emotional regulation:
Get singing and moving and have fun 😊
Stay safe
Alyson (Richards) 


Monday 27th April 



Hi all, hope all is well with you. 


I was just wondering if any of your children would like to let me know how they're feeling whilst school is closed and the lockdown 


They could show how they feel through drawing/painting, through making something out of lego, plasticine/playdough/dough, out of junk for example boxes, cartons, write a song, a piece of music or a story. Whatever works for them and is fun. What your children create doesn’t have to be a thing … it might be something but it may also be a bunch of colours, shapes. There is no ‘right’ thing to create, so encourage your child just to create rather than have to create a ‘something’. Then, if you and our child would like to, you could send me a photo of what they’ve created.   


You don't need to ask them any questions about what they are creating but they may want to tell you about it. They may only want to tell you about the colours, shapes etc and not the feelings and that's just fine. Just the drawing/painting/creating/making can be healing in itself. Enjoy! 


But they may want to tell you about their feelings. ‘Active listening’ skills are really helpful when your child wants to tell you about their feelings. Here are some links about ‘Active Listening’. When we start back in school, perhaps we can look at these skills in the Parent and Carers’ group and learn more about them together.  






Keep safe. 








28th April


Hi parents and carers


Thought you might find the following link helpful. MindHUB has been recently created by young people for young people and provides information and links to services for emotional health and well-being. I thought the links were really helpful and I thought they might be helpful to you when needed and for others you know.


Stay safe


Best wishes





Monday 4th May


Hi all, hope things are going ok for you all. 


Two weeks ago I sent a song out to you that I thought you might enjoy with your children. One of the parents replied that their child wanted to share a song with you and your child that makes him feel happy and he hoped that it might make you happy too. Its the Disney Lava song. Hope you enjoy it.     


If your child is happy to send me an idea of a song that makes them happy, then please do so and I'll post it like I've done with this one. Thanks.  


Please don't forget that you can call me (07458 073352) if you have any concerns about your child or of your own during this lockdown period. I'm available on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, between 9.30am and 3.30pm. Very best wishes, Alyson 







Monday 11th May


Hi all


Hope you're doing ok. Its Monday again and I'm ready to post another possibility for supporting your children with their feelings. 


During this lockdown we are all feeling less secure and are missing our routines. Its helpful to talk about our feelings with someone we trust. I found this lovely website that I think can support you in encouraging your children to talk about the feelings they are experiencing at this time:  


I suggest you listen to the video first before doing any of the activities with your child. Just ten minutes a day focussing on feelings would be great.


If you and your child want to share any of their feelings with me then please do. Or if you have any concerns when listening to them then please don't hesitate to get in contact on 07458 073352   OR   OR you can message me on ClassDojo -  Alyson's Class


Take great care and stay safe.









Wednesday 13th May




Hi all,


I found this book when I was reading the news. At the moment its available online only.  Its a free book. Its a book of short stories, poems, essays and pictures with contributions from well-known children’s writers and illustrators. Its all about bringing messages of hope to children through this pandemic.      


Please let me know if there are any stories, poems and pictures that you child particularly likes and I'll let other parents and carers know.


Very best wishes






Monday May 18th 


Hi all, hope all well

Its mental health awareness week this week in the UK and the theme is Kindness. As we all know, doing something kind for others supports our mental health. I thought you might like to share the daily act of kindness sheet from Twinkl with your children.

Here's a useful resource explaining about mental health awareness week:

and in particular about how kindness helps positive mental health -

Don't forget to get in touch if you have any questions/ need some help and stay safe.

Best wishes



Wednesday June 10th 



Hi all

Hope you are all ok.   For those of you who have decided to send your children back to school, I thought the following might be helpful.  The link for this resource is:   .   There are some other resources on this page that you might also find helpful. 


Very best wishes







Hi all


Parents and Carers Chat Zoom          Next Tuesday 2nd February 1.30 pm



Rhian Hartwell and I wanted to let you know that we are going to hold a zoom chat next Tuesday at 1.30 pm for parents and carers. Please see the link below. We thought it might be helpful to have the opportunity to 'meet' with other parents and carers to chat about how its going for you at home during this lockdown. You may have some things to share with the others about what has worked for you, thoughts about what you might want some help with, and just the chance for a bit of time for you!  Rhian and I thought that we would run the session from 1.30 - 2.30. We would then be available from 2.30 - 3.30 if anyone wants to speak to us on a one-to-one basis.


Here's the link: 

Rhian Hartwell is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: Parents and carers chat

Time: Feb 2, 2021 01:30 PM London


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 851 8863 2541

Passcode: Court



We thought that we might start to do this monthly. We'll meet on a different school day next time, and each time, which would hopefully help for those who are working on particular days. 


Please join us with your tea/coffee ready for a chat and hopefully a bit of time for you. 


Take care and hope to 'see' you next Tuesday!


Alyson and Rhian