Belmore School provides a sensory inclusive environment that caters for all students’ sensory needs. All people have their own unique preferences and dislikes of certain sensory experiences and this is no different for Belmore Students. Through observation of students and consultations with their families, caregivers, and private therapists we can create individualised strategies for each student’s needs to help them be within the green zone and feel safe, happy, calm and focused.
As part of this inclusive sensory environment Belmore school is getting an exciting new sensory room that will be available for use in 2021.
The room will be controlled via a central technology system called the SHX.
The SHX system is operated by an iPad or wireless keyboard that communicates with several sensory objects within the room including
- LED lighting
- Vibroaccoustic mattress
- Interactive sphere
- Bubble blowing machine
- Switch access kit
- Voice access kit
The SHX controller system can be controlled by users in many ways including buttons, switches, mats, and dice. Teachers, staff and students can activate and coordinate sounds, projection, and change the colour of the lighting or activate a relevant effect either individually or by combining a group of actions to occur simultaneously.
The system is programmed to provide calming and stimulating sensory input, educational activities and relaxation programs, and allows your own content (videos, images, sounds and music), to be programmed in along with lighting changes and other sensory effects.
Immersive sensory scenes are created that can be linked to learning topics in the curriculum, for example, if the book of the week was The Snail and the Whale and the class was learning about sea animals and the beach, then a projection of an beach in a blue-coloured environment while bubbles blow could be programed to help learn about the beach.
The sensory room has been developed with occupational therapist input and in accordance with The Victorian Department of Education and training policy on sensory rooms in schools.
The aims and features of the sensory room are:
- To offer appropriate forms of sensory stimulation to all students attending Belmore school through an inclusive sensory learning space with activities and experiences suitable for different ages and cognitive ability so that students are calm, happy and ready to learn.
- To prepare students for engagement in learning and school activities, and, to reinforce self -regulation skills.
- To provide a safe learning environment that reduces distraction, anxiety, withdrawal and self- stimulatory behaviour.
- A focus on increasing the means and opportunities for the students to communicate interests and preferences
- Students learn the language that applies to sensations, thoughts and emotions so that they work toward the lifelong skill of self-regulation in a non-scripted manner.
- Opportunity to practice AAC access methods.
- Empower students to make choices about their own needs.
- A focus on an environment to support students motor and sensory needs.
- Students use the engaging cause and effect nature of the equipment to work on upper body posture control ,head control, whole body movement and independent movement, even subtle independent movement.
- Engaging equipment through visual, auditory, tactile (Vibroacoustic) and movement based activities can stimulate gross upper limb movements including reach and finer upper limb movements such as grasp and release.
- The equipment can be switch adapted in order to provide direct access for our students.