Over the past few years Team JFS has become increasingly aware of, and impressed by, the sterling work of local charity Sensatheraplay who provide pop-up sensory experiences in schools, theatres and shops, and raise awareness of the benefits of sensory play to those with additional support needs.
We saw these benefits first-hand on a visit to Merkinch Primary School and got speaking to their staff about how having permanent access to this type of equipment could have invaluable benefit to their pupils.
We asked teaching staff to choose items that they felt would be particularly beneficial to their pupils and bought them on behalf of the school.
The dark tents, vibrating pillows, weighted blankets, along with many other illuminated and textured items are now central to Merkinch Primary School's sensory room.
Allison Howie, Principal Teacher of Additional Support Needs, explained to Vicki and Sarah on their most recent visit that time in this room is scheduled in to many of the pupils' timetables - giving them an opportunity to enjoy peace and quiet away from busy classrooms. This type of sensory stimulation is beneficial to all - whether diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder, find a classroom environment stressful, have some challenging behaviour or a physical disability such as impaired vision.