The Isle of Wight College’s new sensory room was officially opened by Debbie Lavin (Principal) and Andrew Briggs (Isle of Wight Council’s Commissioning Manager for 14 – 19s).

The multi-sensory approach

The multi-sensory approach is a fun and flexible way of meeting the diverse learning styles that are needed when working with students with additional needs. The sensory room offers a range of experiences, it can offer an atmosphere of relaxation that is good for the learner’s emotional health and gives a chance for the learner to explore feelings and to become interested in the immediate environment. The room can be stimulating and amongst other things can help to improve hand and eye co-ordination and develop language skills.  It can also improve levels of concentration, well- being and heightened interest of cause and effect responses.

Interactive systems

The room also contains an interactive system that projects highly visual images on to the floor and wall space.  The light beam responds to the smallest gesture or movement, those in wheelchairs can operate it via light beam from a torch, enabling students to easily interact and engage and activate a huge variety of sounds and visual effects making it a highly empowering experience. LED lights have been fitted that can be easily operated to change the colour of the surrounding walls and there are tactile wall tiles to enjoy. With 300 different programmes across 5 categories, different images and colours can be changed to give different experiences. There are fibre optic strands in changing colours, a sound bench and a vibrating platform which all add to the experience.

The bid that funded the sensory room was submitted jointly with the IW Council. We were delighted when we secured the funding, and even more so now we have the finished room. Young people now have use of this fantastic facility and a progressive, challenging and engaging curriculum to support them – they are working well and certainly enjoying it.

Debbie Lavin, College Principal

What a great room this is. When we put the bid in we recognised that there are lots of young people with needs, not just at The College and we felt that we needed to improve the resources on the Island.

Andrew Briggs, Commissioning Manager 14–19 : Isle of Wight Council

The sensory room is also  available to hire to other organisations, such as care homes and primary schools. For more information please contact Jane France, Section Leader on jane.france@iwcollege.ac.uk.


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