The double decker bus offers a calm safe space on school grounds for students. With no need to travel to reach the bus, students remain connected to their regular school routine. From our experience, ease of access to therapeutic interventions is a key element in successful uptake.

Use of space

The two decks are designed to offer distinctive yet complementary therapeutic spaces. On the upper deck small groups of 6-8 students begin their sessions with experienced facilitators trained in the Beattie Methodology.

The upper deck includes a tailor-made art workshop space and a quiet sofa space for group welcome and discussions.

On the lower deck there is a purpose-built kitchen area for eating together around a table.

What is the Beattie Methodology?

The Beattie Methodology was devised by Juli Beattie as a way of using art to support and enable young people with complex needs to raise their self-esteem and build their self-confidence.

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Our therapeutic facilitators work to inspire, engage and encourage the group in a nurturing environment where every student is given the chance to express themselves.

A key element of each session is the time to participate in carefully facilitated, supportive conversations in the group, one-to-one and with each other. There is a high ratio of skilled, trained facilitators to students for this reason.

Everyone is treated with care, attention and respect and this approach is encouraged in the way the group works in the therapeutic space.

Each student is recognised, and successes, big and small, are celebrated within the group.

 Juli Beattie OBE, Creative Director of AT The Bus quote

“In the process of transforming the objects, a transformation of self-worth is given the opportunity to grow.”

Juli Beattie OBE, Creative Director of AT The Bus

A typical day on the bus

  • What we do

    Arrival

    Students arrive at the bus for the first of a series of timetabled group sessions. Groups consist of between 6-8 young people working with a minimum of two trained and experienced facilitators.

  • What we do

    Welcome

    The atmosphere is calm, welcoming, creative and purposeful. The session begins at the sofa area on the upper deck. All students are included and given opportunities to talk, to find their voice and participate in discussion.

  • What we do

    Inspiration

    Illustrated books, art books and picture books are used to inspire, to share ideas and as works of art in their own right.

    Projects are introduced using a variety of different books, images, stories, current affairs and visual objects to bring the project to life.

  • What we do

    Nurture

    Students are offered freshly prepared fruit, toast and drinks on the lower deck of the bus. Eating around a table together is an important part of the session.

    Classical music, often Mozart, is played in the background as students begin the process of creating works of art.

  • What we do

    Creation

    After eating together, the group moves to the art studio area. The art projects are either individual objects or group projects that are transformed over a number of weeks.

    We offer high quality paints and other materials to create new works of art.

    There is no ‘wrong’ way to create art. The students are encouraged to develop and build on their creative ideas each week.

  • What we do

    Affirmation

    While students work, skilled AT The Bus facilitators nurture and offer guidance and choices. The approach is inclusive and non-judgmental.

    At the end of the session, students are encouraged to comment on each others’ work to build a sense of recognition, achievement and progress.

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