Lawrie McMenemy opens new sensory room at Rosewood Free School
Former Southampton manager Lawrie McMenemey joined pupils at Rosewood Free School in Southampton last week (19 July) to open 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.
The school is the latest to benefit from a partnership between the Lord’s Taverners and BT, who have invested hundreds of thousands of pounds to create 27 special multi-sensory rooms across the UK over the last six years.
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.
Rosewood Free School is a day school for pupils aged 2-19 years with profound and multiple learning difficulties and caters for pupils from Southampton and many other areas in Hampshire.
Speaking at the opening, McMenemy said: “I visited the school many years ago when it first opened and it’s really humbling to be back again and it brings your feet back on the ground. The work that is done at Rosewood School is fantastic.
“The Lord’s Taverners have a long history of this kind of work and they should be congratulated and thanked. It’s fantastic to come to places like this and see where the money goes and the difference it is making.”
Rosewood Head Teacher, Zoe Evans, added: “The majority of children who come to Rosewood have profound and multiple learning difficulties and life limiting conditions so they require a whole range of support around them.
“The sensory room will allow us to continue the research we’ve been doing with the children to improve their visual pathways and make better use of their vision and in particular, the bubble wall will have an immediate impact for children with severe visual impairment. On behalf of Rosewood we’d like to say a huge thank you to BT and the Lord’s Taverners for this sensory room that will make a significant impact.”
BT’s partnership with the Lord’s Taverners will see multi-sensory equipment – such as lighting, sound effects, mirrors, bubble tubes, fibre optic multi-coloured strands, soft mattresses, music and aromatic oils – installed in schools throughout the UK, supporting more than 18,000 young people with severe disabilities and communication difficulties across the UK.