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First Published Wednesday, 4 February 2009


Sensory Room

An interactive sensory room is helping Rosehill School, St Ann’s Nottingham, pupils to learn


PUPILS at a St Ann’s special school are embarking on global adventures and can even control the weather.


It’s made possible in the Multi Interactive Learning Environment (MILE) recently installed at Rosehill School.


Virtual worlds can be created inside the £35,000 facility.


Scenarios can range from windy days to snowy evenings, underwater diving missions to mountain climbs, even journeys to erupting volcanos or treks in the South American rainforest.


Sights, sounds and textures create a sensory experience which calms pupils, helps them to put scenarios into context and learn about the world around them.


Click here!Wind, smoke and snow machines and state-of-the-art technology work together in the MILE and even smells can be generated to give authenticity.

Rosehill teaches around 90 pupils, from five to 19, who all have varying degrees of autism and Aspergers syndrome.


Deputy head Andy Sloan said: “Our pupils have autism, which is a spectrum disorder.


“It means they are affected in different ways. Some pupils are very sensitive to smells so our staff don’t wear perfume or aftershave that is too strong. Others crave noise, for example, and like to stimulate their senses.


“Sensory impairment can affect different people in different ways and the MILE helps to regulate their experience and the sensory input.


“Our children absolutely love the MILE and their parents do, too.


“It makes them [pupils] so calm and relaxed and if they are calm they learn more effectively.


“The MILE helps them understand concepts and scenarios which they may not be able to imagine as easily as other pupils.”


Classes use the equipment twice a week.


As more such areas are installed at other schools, it is hoped that programmed scenarios can be shared and best practice created to get the most out of the innovative learning resource.


Mike Anderton, who is a sensory advisor at Experia, a designer and manufacturer of equipment for special schools and adults, helped Rosehill staff create the scenarios in the MILE.


Mr Anderton said: “There are 30 MILEs in various guises and sizes in the UK.


“Rosehill School’s is currently the only fully operational MILE in Nottingham and Notts schools and is one of our largest MILEs that exists.


“It is a very flexible space and provides very valuable and meaningful learning.


“Its a key MILE also as other schools visit Rosehill School to see how effective it is.”


The MILE was paid for using a donation from British and Irish Rugby charity Wooden Spoon.


It uses donations to support mentally and physically disadvantaged children.


michael.greenwell@nottinghameveningpost.co.uk


Source:   http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/homenews/Technology-sets-school-MILEs-apart/article-660360-detail/article.html



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