Tuesday, 2 November 2010

St Joseph's Catholic Special School Opens a New Sensory Suite

Left to right: John Inverdale and Damon Hill open the new suite
Sports commentator, John Inverdale recently opened a new Sensory Suite at St Joseph’s Catholic Specialist School & College in Cranleigh.

John made a break in his busy schedule to perform the opening ceremony in his role as Surrey Region Honorary President of Wooden Spoon. The charity donated funds for sensory equipment, together with BBC Children in Need and the School’s 3 Peaks Challenge event team. The suite has been created to benefit children at this special needs day and residential school along with their families, staff and other local schools through their community partnerships.

School patron Damon Hill joined the celebrations with Chair of Governors, Mr John MacManus and Headteacher Mrs Mary Fawcett who welcomed representatives from Wooden Spoon and their corporate partners, TNT Byfleet, partner schools and fundraisers.

This new facility was specifically designed to meet the needs of children and young people aged 5 – 19 years with Autistic Spectrum Conditions, with additional moderate and Severe Learning Disabilities. As an Autism Accredited school many of the learners have sensory impairments, and difficulty in communicating and interacting with others. The sensory will really enhance the education given to the children and young people by enabling them to reduce anxieties. This Studio comes as a long awaited additional resource for their highly skilled staff.

“The Suite is fantastic and has something for everyone” commented Karen May, Head of Therapies at the school “providing endless opportunities for communication and interaction. The equipment can be used in such variety of ways it can cope with the enormous range and complexity of disabilities we are faced with on a daily basis. Some of our children need extra stimulation so we need strategies to develop their attention skills, whilst for others need an area of calm where they can ease their anxieties. Distinct areas have been developed in such an imaginative way we can easily create different environments for both individual and group sessions. Through what looks like play equipment we can now undertake learning sessions in a fun way! Whether we are developing memory, teaching “cause and effect” or undertaking specific topics, we have a whole new bank of equipment to use and can truly personalise the whole (communication and interaction) process to match each child’s needs”. We are thrilled to have been chosen to receive this funding and build this facility and can’t wait to see how the children will benefit.”

The wonderful work done by this special school reflects the committment of Arundel & Brighton Diocese to supporting education for all.

No comments:

Post a Comment