Allerton Primary School Alwoodley: ‘Magical’ new sensory hub opens for Leeds students with complex needs
and live on Freeview channel 276
On the outside, it may look like a rather ordinary wooden dome – but The Hive, as it has been named by students, is set to transform learning at Allerton Primary School in Alwoodley.
Built on the school grounds in Lingfield Approach, the hub has been designed by pastoral care experts with input from learners at the school. It is hoped the calming environment will boost focus for students.
As well as the relaxing tunes and gentle lighting, the hub has been kitted out with stimulating features like textured walls, projection lamps, “wobble cushions” and toys. And in the future, school leaders want to develop an entire sensory garden directly outside the building.
The project, including the building, resources and gardens, represents an investment of £25,000.
Headteacher Helen Stott, who recently won a National Headteacher of the Year Award, explained: “As a fully inclusive school, we couldn’t ignore the need for a dedicated sensory facility any longer.
“Like many other mainstream schools, we have high numbers of children with specific needs and those numbers are growing nationally.
“We need to offer more bespoke learning spaces and services centred around these children’s more complex needs, and we wanted it to be magical, making use of the amazing grounds we already have.”
She added: “The Hive is a significant leap forward in our provision and will be crucial in supporting our children’s social, emotional, and academic skills and development. It’s a huge asset to the school and an innovation for other schools to follow.”
Sameer is a Year 5 pupil at the school who helped come up with ideas for the project. He said: “It will make my friends feel good when they’re in it because it is a calm place with lots of great equipment. It makes me feel proud to see it come to life.”
The hub had its official opening last week with a ribbon cut by musician Nath Brooks, who played a special gig for the excited students during their assembly.