Sensory and Calming Rooms
There is one of these rooms in each phase of the school - Rivelin, Loxley and Sheaf. They provide a safe, relaxing space for children to regulate their emotions and de-escalate their behaviour. The rooms are designed to be safe for children during a crisis and reduce damage and injury. The seating area is a place to sit or lie down and calm down. The lighting in the rooms can be changed and controlled by the children using the remote control and the Bluetooth speakers are linked to a tablet so that the child can choose relaxing music that they want to listen to. There is a soft beanbag in the Loxley and Sheaf rooms and a rocking therapy chain in the Rivelin room. There is also a basket of resources (weighted blankets, fleece blankets, squeezy and fidget toys) for children to use to calm and regulate themselves. Children can also take their own preferred calming objects in with them. Children are always supervised when they are in a Calming Room.
The aim of the Calming Rooms is to enable children to learn how to calm themselves, to recognise when they are dysregulated and begin to explore things that they can do to help themselves feel better, in a safe environment. The rooms give children control over the lights, sounds and textures of the room and this will help them to recognise and cope with their emotions. The hope is that once children have developed a way of using these new resources, it will lead to an improvement in children’s wellbeing and happiness. This will be achieved by changing the attitudes, skills and school practices of both children, staff and leaders.
The Sensory Rooms and equipment within it create a nurturing, child-centred and calming environment. The experiences that children have in the rooms can facilitate empowerment, self-organisation, sensory awareness, calmness, relaxation and improved awareness of self, others and the environment. This is hugely beneficial to children who have had gaps in their development, suffer from low mood and who have experienced trauma. Staff can further enhance this therapeutic experience by talking with children around their experiences within the room and by making links to the Zones of Regulation.
Children are supervised at all times while they are in a Sensory Room.