New Sensory Room at Cooks Spinney

A primary school has invested £25,000 in a sensory room to ensure all pupils are given the best opportunities to achieve.

Cooks Spinney Primary Academy is now able to fully embrace pupils with educational healthcare plans which outline their additional needs.

Previously, the school was proud of the one-to-one assistance it was providing to those pupils with conditions such as Down’s syndrome, autism and developmental delay, but did not have the physical resources to match.

Neil Stirrat, head of school, said: “Now, we have the best of both worlds.

“We have been running bespoke curriculums for those who need it to ensure they can thrive in our mainstream school. Parents send their children to Cooks Spinney as they believe this is the best place for them. We embrace the challenges these children bring and work hard to give all children the same opportunities.

“The children began using the room just before the break and it will be used every day going forward. We do not usually see the level of engagement in class we have seen in the sensory room. This provision is incredible for our children. For the six or seven years these children are with us, they will have access to something amazing.
“It sets us apart from other primary schools.”

Children with educational healthcare plans are being allocated a set number of hours per week in the sensory room, while the whole school will benefit from the space and equipment which helps to nurture good behaviour and social skills.

While schools are battling against financial strain, a decision was made to make the sensory room a priority for Cooks Spinney.

Mr Stirrat said: “We have achieved this through very careful budgeting. We have been gradually moving the room up the priority list and scrimped and saved to achieve it. We have not taken from the special educational needs budget, we have made money available from the main school budget.
We have worked hard to make this happen.

“When we set this year’s budget, we looked at where was best to spend our money and what would have the biggest impact. It’s about investing in physical resources as well as human resources.”

Sensory One

Sensory TwoThe provision will also be used by other schools within the Burnt Mill Academy Trust in the town.

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