Reflective Practice Modules

Reflective Practice

When we talk about Reflective Practice we use the following definition:

‘to be able to use one’s own internal experience and observations from others (individually and in groups) to understand and regulate one’s self and relationships, and develop one’s practice. This enables an enhanced awareness of the impact of self on others’

This skill enables individuals to communicate more clearly and feel more in touch with those around them and engage in their work more effectively through better understanding of themselves and others.

We offer a range of facilitated groups with the aim of supporting staff with the emotional impact of their work. All of our meetings and training sessions emphasise the reflective element of working collaboratively, and they support staff to learn to think about dynamics and unconscious communication. This helps develop awareness, confidence and skills, and builds resilience in staff which benefits children, young people and colleagues.

For further details please contact Kathy Smith: / 01865 594700


Teaching Assistant Network

In October 2015 we established the Teaching Assistant Network to provide support, training and opportunities to exchange ideas and share best practice. The network meets for training and reflective sessions three times a year at The Mulberry Bush Learning & Research Centre, Linden House, Standlake. Please see further details here.

The core group consists of Mulberry Bush and local mainstream school Teaching Assistants and is appropriate for teaching assistants in any setting to join.

For further details please contact Kathy Smith: / 01865 594700

“Gives my team time and permission to reflect, empowers you to be open, to express your thoughts in a safe inclusive environment… The reflective space gave me the chance to have a voice, express my concerns.”

(Senior Leader, Edward Feild Primary)

“Thank you for leading this event last week. I found both the information provided and the chance for discussion very useful and look forward to attending more of these events in the future”

(Learning Support Assistant, Beech Lodge School)


Peer Review

In response to the tighter economic constraints placed on schools, limited availability of school improvement services and continuing need for mentoring and sharing best practice, the Peer Review is a minimal cost system for providing peer support. Over the last six years over 65 schools from eight different local authority areas have taken part in this work, which has been led by The Mulberry Bush Outreach. We currently run groups for primary schools, SEMH special schools, and learning difficulty special schools. In addition we are setting up care home peer reviews across the region.

For further details please contact Kathy Smith: / 01865 594700

Read more about our Peer Review for SEMH here
Read more about our Peer Review for Oxon & Bucks here
Read a Peer Review case study here

“The peer review reaches the improvement parts that other processes fail to reach. This is because trusted professional expert colleagues come at your invitation, to help you to critically evaluate, to reflect and to problem solve together in the areas you know are your weakest. Because this is the express purpose of the exercise and carried out in partnership with others facing the same sort of challenges in their own contexts, you actively and specifically share the things which you are least proud of and therefore cannot fail to make them better with the benefit of such a helpful process. This is the direct opposite of more adversarial approaches we have all experienced in recent times, where you do all you can to hide every weakness for fear that it should become a loose thread and be used to unravel the whole rug”.

Special School Headteacher


Staff Supervision and Support

As professionals we are used to dealing with children’s feelings, but what happens to the staff holding those feelings? We consider reflective supervision to be an essential part of working alongside vulnerable children and use attachment theory to support staff and to recognise ‘how they cope with strong emotions in the workplace’.

We offer 1:1 and group supervision and are happy to discuss non face-to-face approaches if necessary.

For further details please contact Kathy Smith: / 01865 594700


Observation & Reflective Workshop Model

Our model is designed for schools who are struggling to find a way forward with individual children. These children may be displaying very challenging behaviour, finding learning difficult, disrupting learning of others and may perhaps even be at risk of exclusion.
This is informed by our experience at The Mulberry Bush School of working with children who have experienced trauma and the emotional impact this can have on staff working alongside them.

You can read more about our model here, or to arrange a phone consultation about our model, please contact Kathy Smith: / 01865 594700

Mulberry Bush Outreach


The Mulberry Bush Learning & Research Centre
93 High Street
OX29 7RH

Tel. 01865 594700
Registered Charity 309565