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Case Study: Meet Freddie

(To protect our participants’ anonymity photos do not relate to this case study)

A pupil at one of our special educational needs (SEN) schools, 14 year-old Freddie has Autistic Spectrum Condition. He finds it difficult to engage and interact with his environment and with others; he is used to getting his own way, and can be aggressive towards other students and members of staff. Freddie has thus been unable to participate in group PE lessons. To address this barrier to Freddie’s physical activity, Coach James, who works full time at the school, started working with him in one-to-one hydrotherapy sessions.


The hydrotherapy sessions are as much about holistic development as physical ability: in the pool, Freddie works on puzzles and problem-solving activities designed to help develop his Greenhouse Sports STEP (social, thinking, emotional and physical) Framework of skills, particularly communication, planning and negotiating. These are fundamental skills if Freddie is to develop the ability to navigate his environment and work towards independence.

Coach James is proud of the progress Freddie has made in these sessions.

“Freddie used to need a lot of prompting, but now he is able to work on familiar routines independently. He can complete puzzles that he found very difficult a few months ago.”

A teaching assistant at Freddie’s school has also noted the positive effect of the hydrotherapy sessions on Freddie’s behaviour, learning and engagement.

“Freddie relaxes as soon as he enters the pool. He is able to remain focussed for longer than normal and the calming effects continue into the next class.”

Greenhouse Sports works hard to help young people with special educational needs become as independent and as self-sufficient as possible. Our 10 multisports programmes delivered full-time at 9 special educational needs schools across London, and our Inclusive Swim Club, provide our young people with a huge range of intensive, fun and stimulating sessions aimed at developing a life-long love of sport and activity.

During the 2013-14 academic year, our multisport head coaches and swim teachers – with the support of over 20 volunteers and numerous school teaching assistants and care staff – helped over 1,000 young people improve their life chances.

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