What We Need…

Immersive Sensory Room

Estimated cost: £40,000

An immersive sensory room will create an engaging and enriching sensory experience for our pupils with PMLD. It will create an environment that feels safe, soothing and calm for our children who can find the world an overwhelming place to be. These rooms require a range of specialist equipment and need to be designed and fitted by specialists.

Soft Play Room

Estimated cost: £40,000

We currently have some soft play equipment stored in our school hall, which we take out for some children to use during PE lessons. However, in our new building we will have a dedicated soft play room which will mean that children who find it difficult to physically explore the world around them, will be able to access a safe and engaging environment throughout the day for lessons and interventions. This will mean that some of our most vulnerable pupils will be able to get out of their chairs and build their upper-body and core strength, navigating this purpose built environment. This space is also incredibly important for our students with significant visual impairments and those with spatial awareness difficulties.

EYFS Outside Learning Area

Estimated cost: £40,000

Research shows that young children thrive when learning outdoors and that early years education should involve a flow of indoor and outside learning. It is therefore vital that our youngest learners have an adapted and accessible learning environment that includes a range of specialist outside equipment to support their development.

Rebound Therapy Room

Estimated cost: £25,000

Rebound Therapy benefits many of our students, especially those with dystonia or extensive spasticity within their muscles. Rebound therapy is a specialist intervention that supports physical development including; strength, co-ordination and balance. It can be an amazing sensory experience for pupils who seek physical feedback through movement such as rocking or bouncing. We have a team of trained staff who currently deliver this to students during PE lessons however, we will have a dedicated Rebound Therapy room in our new site – which will allow us to run regular intervention sessions throughout the day. This should have an incredible impact on our students who require daily stretching, pressure and movement.

Library

Estimated cost: £15,000

Marjorie McClure School is going to have its first ever library! We are so excited to have a dedicated space for our children to relax and read, instead of a collection of bookshelves in a corridor! As with everything at MMC, our students read using a range of approaches and resources including; standard books, books with enlarged text or coloured pages, braille and talking books. It is important that the furniture within our library is inclusive and accessible so that our pupils can access this learning space as independently as possible.

Accessible Playground Equipment

Estimated cost: £100,000

Moving to our new site will provide vast outside space to the school community for the first time and we want to make the most of every potential opportunity this space offers! Something we are so excited about is our inclusive and accessible playground which will host a variety of play equipment such as swings, roundabout, climbing frames and a roundabout – all of which will be accessible to our ambient students as well as those in chairs. Accessible playground equipment is not something that can be found locally, which means that most of our children have never experienced the joy of being spun on a roundabout or feeling the wind in their hair whilst being pushed on a swing. We know our children deserve access to these life experiences, that so many ambient young people have on a regular basis.

Outdoor Classroom

Estimated cost: £10,000

Within our new and expansive grounds, we will have an outdoor classroom to help to facilitate various opportunities for outside learning. This could include; forest school, land studies including pond dipping, art and photography, creative writing and observations of nature. These are all things that we are currently unable to offer our amazing pupils and we are so excited for them to experience learning in an accessible and safe outdoor space.

Sensory Room

Estimated cost: £25,000

We currently have a small ‘sensory room’, that has a limited amount of portable equipment inside. Some classrooms also have a small selection of sensory equipment within their classrooms such as fiberoptic strands or bubble lamps. However, so many of our children have sensory seeking and processing needs that a specialist sensory space is vital to our new school facilities. Many of our pupils present with visual sensory processing difficulties, which cause them to seek out visual stimulation through light and movement – this space would create a safe environment for this sensory seeking behaviour. A sensory room can also create a calming space for young people who become overwhelmed by external stimulus or anxiety. As a school with so many children with sensory difficulties, it is imperative that we have a high quality and specialist space dedicated to their needs.

Forest School Equipment

Estimated cost: £2000

For our forest school to have a meaningful impact on the education of our young people, we need to ensure that we have a range of resources and equipment to support outdoor learning and exploration. We want our forest school to include equipment such as a firepit, tree swings, mud kitchen and log seating, as well as the specialist equipment that is required for the forest school curriculum to delivered to the fullest. It is widely recognised that participation in forest school can improve self-confidence, independence, problem solving skills and risk awareness strategies. We currently pay for FE students to attend a forest school experience off-site in the summer term, so it will be fantastic to provide continuous forest school opportunities within our own grounds for pupils across all phases.

Story Telling Area

Estimated Cost: £2000

We want to create a dedicated story telling area, where our children will be able to gather around and listen to staff, volunteers, visitors and older pupils sharing stories and information in an open-air setting. This area will be within one of the courtyards, surrounded by a sensory garden.

Outdoor Musical Instruments

Estimated cost: £1000

As a school that values music and performance it is important that we promote musical exploration and play at every opportunity. To achieve this we plan to have a range of outdoor musical instruments within one of our courtyards, along side an accessible stage area so that pupils can create their own shows and enjoy the musical delights of others. Music is particularly important to our students with visual impairments and sensory processing difficulties. So many of our students are creative and love to share this passion with others.

Specialist Life-Skills Area

Estimated cost: £1000

We will be having a specialist life-skills area within our FE department, which will help to prepare our students with the skills needed for independent living such as laundry, cleaning, home organisation and dining. Our students have access to a purpose built life-skills centre called Wood Lodge which they are able to access across 8 weeks of the academic year. Having this specialist life-skills area within our school building will mean that FE and secondary students are able to access the space regularly throughout the year. This means that skills can be learned, practiced and embedded at the right speed for each pupil.

Sound Beam Equipment

Estimated Cost: £5000

Sound Beam is a touch-free approach to the production of music. This equipment will enable our pupils who have difficulties in controlling their co-ordination or movement to create and record musical masterpieces. Music is an important aspect of both our curriculum and extra-curricular offer at Marjorie McClure, as it creates an opportunity for our pupils to express their emotions through creativity – Sound Beam would allow them to do this in a much more independent way. Sound Beam is accessible for our pupils who use Eye-Gaze technology as well as those who use Switches to communicate. This technology gives students immediate feedback, so not only will it help students to develop their musical skills, but will also help pupils who are at the beginning of their journey using ACC such as Eye Gaze for communication.

Wheelchair Accessible Outdoor Seating

Estimated Price: £10,000

We will have two outside seating areas at our new site – one will be in the courtyard that connects to the school hall, and the other will be in the outside learning area that connects to the food tech room. These areas will be external social spaces in which our students can relax, spend time together and enjoy some food. In the warmer months, students will be able to choose whether to eat their lunch in the hall or the courtyard – giving pupils more autonomy over their unstructured time and allowing students to spread out enjoy some fresh air. The space outside of the food tech room will be used as an outdoor cafe area, when students can enjoy the food they have made during their lesson, or customers of our pupil-led cafe (McClures) can sit together and socialise over their purchases. It is important that this seating is accessible as so many of our students are wheelchair users and would otherwise be excluded or segregated from ambulant pupils who are able to sit around the benches together.

Closomat Toilets

Estimated Cost: £30,000

Closomat toilets allow many of our students to be independent with their own intimate care – which is of increasing importance as our pupils get older. Many of our students find the experience of personal care uncomfortable and it can take them away from learning experiences for large periods of time throughout the day. A Closomat toilet allows students who would otherwise need to be hoisted onto a bed to be cleaned and changed by an adult, to instead sit on a toilet which cleans them at the touch of a button – meaning more independence, autonomy and dignity for our young people. It is also a much quicker process which leaves fresher and more comfortable results – this is especially important for our students who can be independent in the other steps involved in toileting, other than wiping. These toilets are also very important to girls experiencing menstruation, as it can help them to feel fresh and comfortable in a way they would not be able to otherwise, due to difficulties managing this aspect of self-care. Within the new build funding allowance, we are being given three of these toilets to share across over 100 pupils. We would like to provide as many of these toilets as possible – across all phases of the school.

Inclusive equipment for outside learning areas

Estimated cost: £20,000

We are so excited that every classroom at our new site will have an outside learning area, as we know that outdoor learning experiences can help to embed understanding, increase sensory experience and develop independence skills. These areas are wonderful and could create amazing learning and social experiences for our students however, for these spaces to be meaningful they need to extend the learning that is happening inside the classroom. For this to happen, and for these spaces to have the impact they have the potential to, we need to ensure they are appropriately resourced. Apparatus such as sand and water play areas, sensory zoning, musical instruments, outside art equipment, playground games, team activities and gardening tools would help to improve these blank canvases.

Sensory Panels

Estimated cost: £10,000

A lot of our students have sensory processing difficulties, so exposure to different textures can be incredibly soothing – in fact, pupils with sensory processing needs can develop a range of self-soothing strategies following exposure to different sensory experiences. Corridor wall panels like these can also create a safe space for children experiencing anxiety or distress.

Animal Care Area

Estimated cost: £10,000

Many of our students are passionate about animals and are able to connect with them without worrying about verbal communication or physical ability. We currently have visits from a therapy dog each week – the wonderful Milo – however, in the new school we are hoping to have our own school dog so that our pupils can gain from the benefits of a therapy dog throughout the week. Our students also have the opportunity to go horse riding for short periods throughout the year and enjoy visits from animals, or trips to the farm/zoo as often as possible. Because of this, we want to create an animal care area within one of our new courtyards to not only give pupils the opportunity to build and develop relationships with the animals, but also to gain some responsibility in caring for them. Research shows that children can gain a variety of skills and knowledge from caring for animals, as well as building upon empathy and self-confidence which is so important for our pupils. Therapeutic animals can support children in a range of ways including; emotional support, reading buddies, overcoming fears, creating relationships, extending communication skills and physical development. In many settings, school animals have also proven to improve attendance and increase enjoyment at school.

65″ Interactive Touch Screen

Estimated cost: £2000

Due to difficulties with fine and gross motor control and/or visual impairment, many of our pupils benefit from using touch screen devices – the larger the image displayed, the better. A device such as this can be used to engage pupils of all ages in interactive learning games and activities that help to develop understanding, communication and participation – helping to extend children’s attention span. Interactive screens can be used across the curriculum in a range of practical ways. We use a variety of software to support learning and engagement. A large screen like this will help us to deliver whole class teaching and small group / individual interventions.

Interactive Whiteboard Trolley

Estimated cost: £2000

Interactive whiteboards are an amazing resource that we use in a variety of ways – during main class teaching, interventions, sensory sessions and for extra-curricular clubs. Many of our students are visual learners and can find it difficult to process verbal input, therefore using a large screen can help in the delivery of instructions and modelled examples. We will have interactive whiteboards installed in each of the classrooms, however we would like to access a mobile IWB so that we could use it in group rooms, intervention spaces, physical development rooms and the meeting room. This would enable students to access the visual support they need, in any space they are working in.

Wheelchair Accessible Play Train

Estimated cost: £2500

We want to provide a range of play equipment for our children and a train like this would not only be accessible to both ambulant pupils and wheelchair users, but would also be fun for students of all ages. Many of our pupils love trains and other forms of transport and so would enjoy rolelplay activities in this accessible train.

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