This month The Endeavour School opened its new sensory room to its pupils and invited them in to experience a new kind of learning.
By using the latest technology, the room stimulates all of the pupil's sense, including smell, touch and sight. It makes use of touch-sensitive displays, projectors and fibre-optic cables to create sounds, aromas and even vibrations in response to students' behaviour.
The Brentwood Gazette reported that the room has been a long time in development; at the cost of £20,000, it took more than two years of fundraising. It also took experts time to get the right approach for the room, which was designed to cater to the needs of students with mild to moderate learning difficulties.
At the centre of the experience is an Omni-projector. This device, which is one of many options in terms of suitable education projectors, makes it possible to transform the entire room into any number of different immersive environments.
Anthony Hattam, deputy head teacher at The Endeavour School, explained: “We can turn the room into a beach complete with sand and water that will ripple when you touch it. There will be the sound of waves and seagulls in the background.
“This term we have a class studying Robinson Crusoe, so we can transport them to their own desert island, which is just brilliant.”
Speaking to the local paper, Mr Hattam added that the room has created quite a buzz at the school. He explained that the pupils are having a great deal of fun and are learning at the same time.
For the teachers, it's proving to be a valuable teaching tool. After receiving training at the start of the term, they are now “really enjoying using the room”, both in and out of lessons.