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Enfield school latest to benefit from BT initiative to help young people with disabilities

Sensory room

A new BT-funded multi-sensory room which will give young people with disabilities the chance to dramatically enhance their learning experience in a stimulating new environment.

Oaktree School caters for more than 90 students aged between 7 to 19 who have a range of learning and physical disabilities and associated difficulties, such as autism, communication problems and sensory impairment.

Multi-sensory rooms feature a relaxing and stimulating variety of lights, sounds and textures, which help children with physical and learning disabilities to engage in a learning environment that suits their educational needs. The equipment helps children to develop communication and physical skills, build friendships and boost confidence. It can also improve children’s physical and mental health, help them develop emotional responses and improve basic numeracy and literacy skills.

Oaktree School’s sensory room equipment will be wirelessly controlled and will include a soft play area to develop gross motor skills, a dark room for those with visual impairment and an interactive floor system.

Richard Yarwood, Head Teacher at Oaktree School, said: “Many of our students are simply overloaded by the hustle and bustle of the world around them. Making sense of all that is happening is sometime overwhelming and distressing. Using modern technology to calm and order the information they receive is a marvellous step forward. Thanks to the support of BT, the Lord’s Taverners and the help of tradesmen from a residential development next to the school, this sensory room will make a difference not just to the lives of our students, but also students from across the borough who may access this resource as part of our growing outreach programme.”

BT’s partnership with the Lord’s Taverners will see multi-sensory equipment installed in at least 26 schools in the UK, supporting more than 18,000 young people with severe disabilities and communication difficulties across the UK. BT has invested £25,000 in the development of the new sensory room at Oaktree School.

Prabhjot Basra, BT’s regional partnership director for London, said: “I am delighted that our partnership with the Lord’s Taverners continues to flourish, with today’s BT sensory room at Oaktree School in Enfield opening another step on our journey to improving the lives of thousands of young people with disabilities.”

Paul Robin, chief executive of the Lord’s Taverners, added: “The Lord’s Taverners is dedicated to giving young people a sporting chance so we are delighted to work with BT to try and reach our goal of helping over 18,000 young people with disabilities across the UK by 2020. This new sensory room will benefit the teachers, carers and families of Oaktree School’s students and enhance the learning experience and future development of its pupils."