A Sensory Room is coming to Oasis Academy Putney! It has the ability to benefit every student throughout their school career, by improving the children’s wellbeing and focus in the classroom. This technology is at the forefront of educational development, and we are fortunate that we have the space for this at Oasis Putney.
There are projects and developments across the school that are taking place. One of which is this sensory room, for which there is secured funding for the majority of the project. Some is coming from the Oasis Academy Trust, some is coming from PTFA existing funds, but we are £2000 short of the total cost. We fully appreciate that this winter is a particularly difficult one for many, but if you are able to donate anything at all it would immensely benefit the children. We have set up a Crowdfunder to hopefully bridge this funding gap. Click here to visit our fundraising page.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration, information about the project is below.
Our day is full of sensory experiences from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep. We all respond to sensory information within our environment differently as we touch, move, see, hear, taste and smell things around us. The environment in which learning takes place has a significant impact on the participation of children, especially those with disabilities, social and emotional needs. Over the course of the year that would include every child within the academy.
The sensory room aims to highlight the importance of enhancing and promoting the health and wellbeing of the whole school with a focus on both the culture and the environment. Equality and inclusion are at the heart of Oasis Academy Putney. We have a passion to include everyone and provide equal opportunities to all pupils. By creating a sensory room, we will be providing a place for neurodiverse and neurotypical pupils to relax, de-stress and diffuse anxieties. It will provide pupils a sense of calm and comfort, sensory rooms help pupils learn to self-regulate their behaviour, which ultimately improves focus.
There are many benefits to creating a sensory space:
• Sensory spaces can promote self-care, self-nurturance, empowerment, skill development, resilience & recovery.
• Sensory spaces can reduce sensory overload for students who may find the school day overwhelming and enable them to achieve a calmer state for learning.
• Sensory spaces can also provide increased sensory input for students who require more stimulation to enable them to regulate their sensory and emotional needs.
• Sensory spaces can incorporate mindfulness activities to support interceptive awareness to facilitate self-regulation and support social and emotional learning.
• Sensory spaces can also be used as part of a school’s trauma informed approach to supporting students who have experienced loss of a consistent caregiver, neglect, different forms of abuse and maltreatment, and chronic stress.
What is a Sensory Room?
A sensory room is a quiet space dedicated to stimulating, developing and relaxing the senses. Unlike a school classroom, where children are usually expected to watch and listen to the teacher, a sensory room allows pupils the freedom and autonomy to explore the environment for themselves, in their own time, using all of their senses. The décor of a sensory room might include low lighting and adjustable lighting projections, fibre optics, mirrors and bubble tubes. It will typically contain a choice of comfortable places to sit, a variety of interesting objects to examine, and it might also feature sounds and soft music.
Sensory rooms in schools are still far from the norm, especially in mainstream schools, but they have an important role to play for many children. Unfortunately, many schools are not able to be in the position to direct financial resources into this area.
Why Create a Sensory Room?
A sensory space in the school environment promotes a positive school culture and climate in supporting student’s health and wellbeing. Sensory spaces can benefit all students, especially those who have been exposed to trauma, chronic stress and those with specified sensory needs. They can provide a safe environment where the student can be supported to calm and regulate, therefore optimising learning and participation in the school environment. The Sensory Space should be flexible, changeable and adaptable in order to meet the needs of students.