Westbourne Primary School’s new sensory room a huge success

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A GLOWING ball pit, animated columns of bubbles and a cascade of psychedelic green cables are among the captivating views of a school’s new sensory room.

The Sensory Den at Westbourne Primary School in Skinner Lane, Manningham also features an overflow tunnel, seesaw roller and more.

Surrounded by mirrors, the reflections of the luminous bubble tube follow one another.

Kids love the twinkling columns of light

“We find that many children engage with it when the bubbles change color and the tube vibrates,” says the school’s inclusion manager, Becky Fowles.

“This tube, as well as our fiber optics, can all be controlled by switches, which not only support color recognition, but also cause and effect and color mixing.”

Sensory resources stretch and develop children. “We have the light-up ball pool that wraps around the kids. One of the boys said, “I feel like the balls are hugging you.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: students use a light boxStudents use a light box

She adds: “A lot of the equipment is visual, but we also have a full rocker and two vibrating bumpers on the wall that vibrate when pushed.

“Movement-based resources have worked wonders for some of our children to self-regulate in times of crisis.”

The Sensory Den – which will be used by children aged 2 to 11 – is on the ground floor to allow access for all. It’s a half and half piece so kids can engage in both sensory play and messy play.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: enjoying the ball poolEnjoy the ball pool

It has been funded by the school to ensure that all children have access to a broad and balanced curriculum.

“The Sensory Den is a place where every child can achieve and learn in ways they may never have experienced before,” says Becky.

“It is a space where a child who does not speak can laugh and clap, a space where a child who struggles in an entire class can thrive, a space where staff can witness a complete change in a child simply by turning off the main lights and allowing a child to explore”.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Exploring a light boxExplore a light box

Assistant Director Robin Cusdin says, “To see the happiness on our children’s faces when they use this exceptional resource is priceless.”

Westbourne Primary School children will be able to use the Den at different times of the day and it will be open to the toddler group on Thursday mornings.

Parents can book a session with their child from 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: in the ball pitIn the ball pool

The wipeable floor has already allowed staff to introduce messy games.

Children were able to experience Orbeez, paint, sand and water in a quiet one-on-one environment.

Staff have used it to develop fine motor skills, follow directions, take turns and develop social interactions when accessing the space with peers.

When asked what they liked about the sensory room, one of the children replied, “It’s quiet. It helps me think when my brain is blurry.

Another commented, “I love everything about the room, especially the ball pit. I like the way I sink to the bottom.

Parents have already commented positively on the changes they have seen in their child after using the new facility and how much they have enjoyed exploring this exciting new environment.

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