New sensory suite making a difference at Northumberland primary school

An investment into state-of-the-art sensory equipment is reaping rewards for children at a school in Lynemouth.

By Andrew Coulson
Friday, 11th February 2022, 12:59 pm
A pupil at William Leech C of E Primary School enjoying the new early years sensory suite.
A pupil at William Leech C of E Primary School enjoying the new early years sensory suite.

Having seen the benefit of a sensory ‘safe space’ for its older pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to use during school hours, staff at William Leech C of E Primary School – part of Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust – set about sourcing funds to create something similar for its youngest learners.

Part-funded by the school itself, an additional £500 was sourced from Northumberland Church of England Academy Trust’s Endowment Fund to complete the project.

The new early years sensory suite features blackout blinds and a blackout tent, sensory lighting and projections, weighted lap toys and sensory table top toys, as well as soft play equipment.

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Amy Thompson, headteacher at William Leech C of E Primary School, said: “Several children within our two-year old and nursery provisions have sensory needs due to SEND, some of which are quite profound, so we knew that we had to do something to ensure that there was a safe space in school for them to go to should they become distressed, angry or upset.

“This is beneficial for the child displaying these behaviours and also allows the other children in the setting to continue with their learning.

“The new sensory suite has proved a huge success so far. We have already seen increased engagement with activities within the suite and in the main classroom following time spent in the sensory room.”

Sensory rooms are used to calm and regulate behaviour when children become overwhelmed, or as a reward space where they can develop their sensory needs.