A recent move to new purpose-built premises was the perfect opportunity to upgrade the existing facilities for the staff at the Pioneer School in Basildon, Essex. The new Pioneer School is a Model Special School catering for 90 children in the age range of 3 to 13 years and 80 pupils in the age range of 14 to 25 years with SLD, PMLD and ASD. SpaceKraft designed and installed a dual-purpose sensory room with an unusual sunken waterbed in the floor and also equipped the school's new swimming pool with Sensory Show Magic interactive sound and lighting.
Sensory teacher Helen Carpenter explains how plans for the sensory room developed. "At our old premises we had a room that had some SpaceKraft lighting in it but we didn't actually have a full White Room. For the new building we decided to install what is technically three sensory rooms: a tactile room, a teaching sensory room and a relaxation sensory room. What we decided to do was bring all our old equipment from the other site
The 232-pupil school which specialises in Autistic development but cares for children with a wide range of conditions, collaborated with SpaceKraft on the development of two Softplay Rooms and two Multi-Sensory Rooms.
"We knew from experience at the original site the kind of products we really liked," explains Deputy Headteacher, Lesley Love. "We had a very good understanding of what we wanted before we came here."
The Softplay Rooms which encourage mobility and expression, are now established as a vital and extremely popular resource at the school and used for a variety of functions; "We use the rooms as a way of teaching children to communicate," says Lesley. "The rooms are highly motivating for the children and they're particularly encouraged to ask for the things in the rooms that they like. It really helps develop their communication skills."
Award winning Multi-Sensory Rooms in Cardiff.
Spacekraft's largest project to date is the Ty Gwyn Special School, in the Ely area of Cardiff. Ty Gwyn is a local authority day school catering for children and young people from 3 to 19 years who have profound and multiple learning difficulties, including some on the autistic spectrum who present with severe challenging behaviour. Long established at an ageing former hostel building in Penylan, the Ty Gwyn pupils and staff recently moved into the remarkable new £16 million purpose-built school building with state-of-the-art facilities for 150 pupils from the Cardiff and South East Wales area.
Funded by a School Buildings Improvement Grant provided by the Welsh Assembly Government, planning for the new school building began in 2007 and took three years to reach fruition, finally opening in September 2010. As
Late in 2006, SpaceKraft completed work on a major four-year project to design and install an extensive array of multi-sensory equipment across 20 separate areas of the new purpose-built Bridge Special School in Telford, Shropshire. The implementation of SpaceKraft's multi-sensory environments as a major part of the school's ongoing inclusion programme has proven so successful that in November 2007, the school won the 2007 BECTA Award for Excellence in ICT Practice in the Inclusion (Primary) Category.
Originally based at sites in Brookside and Stirchley, The Bridge School was relocated in January 2007 to the Hadley Learning Community (HLC) Telford. This is a £70 million PFI (Private Finance Initiative) project which has created a 21st century learning campus incorporating three schools within a single, modern building on a 39-acre site.
Activate - Discover, Create, Inspire!
Activate is a truly inspiring facility and the result of over 12 years of unwavering and dedicated effort by the Chief Executive Officer, Vivienne Guy, to provide effective alternative education programmes.
Activate is based at the Bracknell Centre, Kirby, Liverpool and is a fully accessible integrated community and education facility for young adults with learning difficulties and the local community. It is deemed to be the first of its kind in the country as it incorporates social enterprises, education and community services to ensure sustainability. The site itself boasts a range of facilities such as a small animal care centre, on site café, horticulture base, SpaceKraft Sensory Pod and community room.
Activate's aim is to provide a facility that promotes inclusion and integration
Abbey Hill School & Performing Arts College has always endeavoured to be a forward thinking school, a place where every child really does matter. Abbey Hill prides itself on providing quality education, support and care for all its pupils. The staff always try to go "the extra mile".
Abbey Hill is held in high esteem by parents and the local community and it is their aim to be even better! Independent accolade from OFSTED inspections, confirm this; "From low starting points most students make rapid progress in all subjects" (Ofsted 2014), "The sixth form is outstanding" (Ofsted 2014).
"We have approximately 230 pupils on roll, with over 40% having Autistic Spectrum Conditions. In our new build, we were keen to develop a range of sensory rooms to meet the wide age range within our school, 3-19 years."