There is no doubt at all that schools can be noisy, busy places. For some, the sheer volume of stimuli can get all too much thus making the school environment a stressful place at times. We are therefore delighted to let you know of the completion of our new state-of-the-art sensory room here at Sutton Valence Primary School in order that we can offer a calming and safe space for those that need it, when they need it. It is our hope that this designated positive learning space will allow our pupils the freedom and autonomy to explore the environment for themselves, to advance their communication and social skills, and develop their tolerance to sensory stimuli.
Sutton Valence Primary School consistently strives to promote inclusion and acceptance, and has long wanted to further existing SEN support by offering a space accessible for all children that have sensory needs in which they feel welcomed and comfortable, and where they can both explore and learn in a fun, play-based, sensory-rich environment. We wish to meet the needs of all of our pupils through an imaginative and flexible approach by enhancing the experiences of children who have sensory challenges, enabling them to interact in a different way within their worlds.
Our new sensory room will be used by pupils across all year groups and includes:
- a bubble wall with interactive soft dice that controls colour
- an infinity panel with built-in colour-changing buttons
- a sensory mood light table and accessories
- sequin motor skills frames
- illuminated handwriting boards
- sensory glow pebbles
- emotion wallcharts and corresponding feeling cards
- fibre optic lamps and jumbo fibre optic strands
- a large sensory jellyfish tank
- a UV waterfall divider
- portable fascination floor gel panels
- weighted blankets, weighted jackets, weighted lap buddies and shoulder weights
- an aura projector
- a wide range of handheld sensory resources and equipment
Children who will Benefit from a Sensory Room
Children on the autism spectrum
It is estimated that 1 in 100 people in the UK are considered as having autism spectrum disorder. Whilst this condition affects every individual differently, children with autism often experience difficulty processing sensory information. Such sensory issues can either involve hypersensitivity - where too much stimulus is difficult to cope with - or hyposensitivity, where pupils don't experience the same level of intensity as others. Sensory rooms can help children deal with sensory challenges and provide stimuli in a relaxing and calming environment
Children with learning difficulties
Learning isn't just something that happens in the classroom and sensory rooms can enable pupils to develop at their own pace in a unique and stimulating learning environment. All of us have different learning styles and some absorb information when it is presented visually, whilst others might prefer tactile learning. A sensory room allows for both learning styles and can be used in a way that meets each individual child's needs.
Children with developmental delays or sensory impairments
It is thought that around 11% of the school population receive SEN support of some kind and our new sensory room is another way through which we can meet the needs of those with a wide range of learning difficulties and physical requirements. For children with physical disabilities, a sensory room can help to develop their sight, sound, touch and hearing, as well as encouraging independence. The use of sensory equipment can also help to develop hand-eye coordination, fine and gross motor skills, colour recognition, communication and sensory skills.
Pupils with behavioural issues
Our sensory room will be used as a calming environment in which we can work with children on de-escalation, and self awareness and regulation of their behaviour. Exploring difficult emotions in a safe and supportive space with an adult they can talk to will enable them to work through issues to enable them to go back to class learning.
Pupils at Sutton Valence Primary School will benefit hugely from our brand new sensory room which has been made possible as a result of a successful application for Section 106 funds for educational projects for our school.