Our project story
We would like to redevelop an existing bungalow on the grounds of our school to become an alternative space for our students with complex behavioural issues. The facility will be refurbished so that it has five main spaces for the students to spend time in; a social space where they can congregate and eat together, a sensory space for students to control the sensory experiences they have, a 'chill out space' for students to wind down, an office for staff and a garden area for students to spend time in. Our current facilities do not adequately cater for students with such complex behavioural needs and the renovation of this building would greatly impact the wellbeing of our students and the wider school population.
Riverwalk School caters for pupils aged 3 -19 who have severe, profound and complex learning needs. A number of our students suffer from challenging behavioural issues and as such, need specialist teaching, resources and facilities to deal with those issues. We have an excellent body of specialised staff as well as a range of resources to aid our teaching of those pupils. However, we do not have adequate space or facilities to effectively help those children as well as we could.
Some students' behaviour is so challenging it breaks down relationships with parents so much so that they have to be removed from the family home, which further breaks down familial relationships. We would like our facility to be preventative so that students no longer have to be removed from the family home due to their behaviour.
Our plan is to convert a former residential home - the caretaker's former bungalow on the school site - to a facility that can be utilised for students with challenging behaviour who are removed from the classroom.
An out of classroom facility with a range of sensory areas for students to spend time alone, with other students or with members of staff would make a positive impact on students' behaviour as it would provide them with a space to work through any emotional or behavioural issues away from the ordered classroom environment.
A number of children with special educational needs have high levels of sensory integration. Space to develop this would make a positive impact on their behaviour. The ability for facilitators to control sensory input as well as pupils to control sensory input would have a positive impact as it would allow both to monitor and work through any behavioural issues that arise.
The space will have five key areas for student development; a social space where they can congregate and eat together, a sensory space for students to control the sensory experiences they have, a 'chill out space' for students to wind down, an office for staff and a garden area for students to spend time in.
This will positively impact our student population as it will allow a calmer, more productive classroom environment. Currently, students' behavioural issues often negatively impact the rest of the classroom environment as it can disrupt workflow and can aggravate and upset other students. The alternative provision facility will allow us to deliver an excellent standard of teaching and learning to all of our students and their learning needs.
4 - 6 pupils at a time would use the facility.