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St Nicholas School in Canterbury caters for around 360 pupils aged between four and 16 with profound, severe and complex special needs. Some of the most common conditions affecting the young people are cerebral palsy, global developmental delay, autism spectrum disorder, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

The school are redeveloping their soft play room to make it more stimulating and exciting for children and young people, which will encourage them to engage with their individual therapy programmes.  Many of the pupils have physiotherapy and occupational therapy programmes focusing on their mobility, gross and fine motor skills.  Equipment such as a ceiling-mounted therapy swing will help them develop these skills. Some pupils also have significant challenges with their social, emotional and mental health. The soft play area will provide a calm and safe space, offering a healthy outlet for emotions such as stress, frustration and anxiety. It will also be a fun and rewarding environment for the children where they can play and form friendships with others. We would expect the equipment to last at least 10 years.

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“The switch adapted toys have been a wonderful addition to our school. Both staff and children were thrilled to have some new exciting resources. The children love the lights and movement many of these switch toys have and are highly motivated to explore and investigate how to make them work. They have been great for pupils to develop their understanding of cause and effect and we have also noticed improved concentration and engagement when using them. Often it can be difficult to find toys that are robust enough to withstand lots of heavy use AND be interesting and fun. These new resources tick all those boxes. They have made a noticeable impact on the children’s development in this area.”

Sophie Martindale
Teacher
Acorns Primary School, Lancashire

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