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Wexham Court

Primary School

Preparing every child to become a successful individual in an ever evolving world

Sensory Diets

Sensory processing disorder is a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory information including things you see, hear, touch, smell or taste. When a child has a sensitivity to one or more of the senses it can at times become distressing or overwhelming. Children with Autism often have some sensory sensitivities, however there are many children with no diagnosis or special educational need that also experience this.

When children demonstrate difficulties with their sensory processing, we will ask parents and teachers to complete a questionnaire, so we can identify the senses which cause the most difficulty. We will then use this information to create a personalised ‘Sensory diet’ for the child. The sensory diet is made up of three main provisions: sensory room, sensory circuits, sensory curriculum.

Sensory room

We have two sensory rooms at the school, one for early years and one for Years 1-6. Children will have timetabled time to explore the sensory room daily with an adult. The rooms are small and dimly lit with cushions and weighted blankets. There are also twinkling lights, lava lamps and mirrors to encourage stimulation of slight; smelling bags to stimulate their smell; music instruments and quiet music to stimulate their hearing and tactile toys to stimulate their touch senses.

Sensory circuits

Sensory circuits is run every morning when the children first arrive, some children also receive access to this provision after lunch times based on their needs. Sensory circuits is a 15-minute intervention which follows three stages. The first stage is called alerting, where children take part in a physical activity such as skipping, jumping and bunny hops, this helps release hyped up energy. The second stage is organising, the children may practise balancing, push-ups and throwing. This stage supports their focus and attention. The last stage is calming, when the children may meditate or listen to music. These activities are not conclusive and change daily. Sensory circuits also support children who have difficulties with their gross motor skills and if a child has advice from an occupational therapist then this is incorporated into their circuits.

Advice on how to use sensory circuits at home can be found here: http://www.starsteam.org.uk/media/Example%20sensory%20circuit%20info%20and%20ideas%20for%20home.pdf

Sensory curriculum

The sensory curriculum takes part in the classroom and may involve the teacher planning activities in lessons where the child learns through sensory means such as physical resources instead of pictures. The teacher also provides breaks when necessary for the children and sensory toys are then used to help the child become ready to learn.

To support children who have sensitivities to taste we run a lunchtime club where we offer opportunities for the children to touch, manipulate and taste different foods.

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