To help the most disadvantaged children in our school community fulfil their potential by turning an old office space into a sensory therapy room, a safe space where they can learn to manage themselves out of crisis.
Why is it needed?
A rising number of our children are finding elements of life and school environment overwhelming, our safe space will help them learn to Increase their coping skills, by creating a sensory room with calming atmosphere and specialist equipment to create the right level of sensory input to influence the children’s mood and stress levels.
Why help us?
I am a stay at home Mum with a vision to create the best possible learning environment for all the children at Flixton Primary school, I chair the PTA charity where many like minded parents work together to achieve the best for everyone’s kids. This project will help those who are struggling the most emotionally, mentally and educationally. We believe that by teaching the children how to regulate their emotions we will have less disruptions in class benefitting all the children’s learning environment and instead of these children constantly being disciplined, we will use the sensory therapy to teach mindfulness skills. Once that child has learned the ability to regulate their emotions the time can be restricted to 5-10 minutes and learning can resume much more quickly.
What else will we achieve?
By contrast other children With a range of problems such as autism and sensory disorder are proving to need extra physical and mental stimulus, our safe space will provide the chance to get that stimulation in short timed bursts providing the increased amount of input these children need to regulate their nervous systems, repeated physical movement can facilitate greater levels of focus and concentration.
Where’s the proof?
When this idea was first put to me by the head teacher and the SEN coordinator I thought it was bonkers! I assumed the kids would play up in class to get sent to the room and then play instead of learn. But then I researched the mad suggestion and found that there are a growing number of schools in Australia, Canada and USA employing this technique very successfully! Educators are reporting greater levels of concentration, children learning to control their emotions and better mental health indicators, plus less distractions and better learning environment for the whole class. So now I’m completely on board and we are going to give our children the best possible chance of a bright future!
“The kids are responding really well to it and really enjoy the swinging and jumping, which appears to calm them before they return to class,” said Savannah Taylor, Harold McCormick elementary school’s occupational therapist USA.
How will the money be spent?
We will tailor the equipment bought specially to the current needs of our children. The sensory items with the best reported effects are:
- bubble light tubes
- vibrating chair
- cocoon swing
- interactive projected images
- fibre optic tube lights
- mini trampoline
- crash mat
- chair leg thick elastic bands
- elipticle machine
Why do we have a stretch target?
The extra money will allow us to knock down a wall into a disused entrance, replace the old entrance door and place an rsj in the ceiling to make it safe. More space means we can help more children and have a comfortable parent meeting area, putting an end to the negative connotations of SEN meetings being in the head teachers office. We can also lower the ceiling and install specialist lighting to enhance the sensory atmosphere.