Harlow Fields School and College Sensory Room Appeal

Education: Secondary / Thu 2nd Nov 2017 at 05:21pm

Fields Sensory

This is an appeal for funds for Harlow Fields School.

Full details can be found at https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-3237

HARLOW Fields School & College is a caring, nurturing environment but also one of learning, fun and aspiration. The school caters for pupils with moderate, severe and complex medical needs accommodating pupils from 3-19 years. The aim of our school is to promote every pupil’s academic, social, physical and emotional development by teaching them to acquire the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential and develop independent skills for life.

In order to assist with these aims the school and pupils would benefit from a state-of-the-art immersive interactive sensory room. Our aim is to create a space to engage pupils and provide them with fun and memorable learning experiences in subjects spanning the curriculum; accessible to all. The sensory room will involve a projection covering 3 walls forming an immersive, seamless panoramic display. The space will also include an interactive floor which will feature content to match and compliment that which is shown on the walls and a gesture recognition sensor with an out-facing camera to provide other ways to interact.

The tracking software will enable multiple sensing devices to be connected for precise tracking of touch on a large scale. In addition, ‘depth sensors’ will allow the accurate tracking of interaction on the floor whether through feet or wheelchairs as pupils move over the surface; allowing for full inclusion of every pupil regardless of their physical ability. Furthermore, body tracking is supported to enable gesture and hand recognition to be used on the surface of the walls.

The immersive space will also enable us to capture real-life environments in 360 degrees, perfect for introducing our pupils to what would often be challenging situations, such as transitions to further education or off-site activities. This software has unparalleled scope in offering our pupils the chance to react and to interact with the larger world around them.
This project will enhance the academic learning and play of our pupils by engaging sensory stimulation in different areas of their brain, supporting our pupils to retain more information. This space will also help our pupils to improve balance, movement and spatial awareness alongside their fine and gross motor skills helping to facilitate day-to-day living.

Our pupils can struggle with their behavior, often through the frustration of being unable to communicate their needs or from an over stimulating environment. Sensory spaces can be highly absorbing, providing a moment of comfort and calm for when our pupils become overactive or distressed.

Lastly, the sensory room will include stereo surround sound to provide rich and immersive sounds to complement the given environment; along with scent dispensers with a range of over 300 scents to further augment the experience. This will mean that pupils with hearing and/or visual impairments will also be able to access the learning environment.

Harlow Fields School and College Association
Location: Harlow

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It serves the needs of our pupils who despite significant and ongoing cognitive challenges work hard every day. I am proud to work toward providing pupils with the most complex medical, sensory and intellectual disabilities a chance at improving their understanding of the world.
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