Sensory Studio

The Sensory Studio

A totally emersive environment

In July 2011, after many weeks of research, consultation and careful planning, Mike Ayres Designs was chosen to design and install our Sensory Studio. It is the most amazing space and the environment is ever-changing. Leading off of the Studio is an outside space which we plan to develop into a permanent Zen garden for the children and staff and as an appropriate extension to the Studio.

In the Sensory Studio we have a suspended wooden ceiling grid on which to attach and hang things, a purpose built cupboard containing a CD & DVD system, a laptop and external CD/DVD player, a Wii, an iPad doc, Universal transmitters and low profile switches. The Studio contains a Vibro-Acoustic Sound Box – raised off the floor to accommodate a mobile hoist – which allows the user to experience music through vibration, a short throw projector which projects any image, DVD, Powerpoint, visulisation , Wii and in fact anything that a laptop or a disc can produce. This is the most fantastic resource and allows us to transform the space into anything we want, from a flight deck to an aquarium, from Buckingham Palace to a sandy shore. This alone has an amazing impact on the students (and staff!). There is an LED Colourwash wall which infuses the wall and the whole room with colour and has recently been used on the rainbow setting for The Rainbow Fish sensory story and flooded the room with red for Little Red Rap, a story for the older students with profound and complex needs.

There is a large bubble tube in the corner with removable cushioning on the floor and mirrors on the surrounding walls. We have a projector which uses themed projection wheels, our most recently purchased being the Olympics, a mirror ball and pinspot light with colour wheel and an aroma mouse to infuse the air with a wonderful smell, if appropriate.

A truly atmospheric piece of equipment is a Galaxy projector which fills the entire space into an amazing night sky with thousands of stars, a cloud nebulae and shooting stars! There is also the option of using the ceiling UV blacklight to make the area reactive when using fluorescent materials. Using the Universal transmitter and switch, a student can operate any piece of equipment selected and pre-set to be latched, momentary, step, timed, etc. In addition to this we have LED fibre optic lights and a wide range of items which can be used in the sensory room. We also have a sensory trolley which can be used in classrooms, most of which have black out blinds.

The Sensory Studio is a much used learning environment and can be as high or low-tech as it needs to be. The Learning Objectives, ‘To Experience, To Explore, To Imagine’, ensure that it is suitable for every student. We absolutely LOVE our truly amazing Sensory Studio.

Thoughts from the Artist in Residence

Take a closer look
We have been creating multi-sensory environments over the past five years. They are designed to tackle learning and understanding of a subject on every level in an artistic, playful and creative way. They have been so successful, bringing the whole school together in celebration of a topic. Some of the environments created.

Working with students and staff, our artist in residence is currently fund raising to create a mobile geodesic dome that will allow our environments to travel from Larkrise enabling the rest of Wiltshire and beyond to benefit from our creations.

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