Although it is quite common to assume we have 5 senses, we actually have 8! As well as touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight we also have vestibular, proprioception and interoception. In order to support children with these 8 senses we need to allow them to take part in different activities to help them to regulate, this process is called sensory integration.
When different parts of our body receive sensory information from our environment, it sends this information to our brain. Some of us struggle to process this information and we need some extra support through sensory integration. If a pupil seems quite unsettled and displays different challenging behaviours, this could be because they need to take part in different sensory activities to help them feel more grounded.
Here at Wood Bank, we have a range of equipment to support our pupils with their sensory needs to ensure they are grounded, focused and ready to learn. Some of our classes have sensory equipment in permanently so it is easily accessible if pupils require it frequently. Classes also have access to the sensory circuit in the hall to allow them the time to regulate.
Children with sensory processing difficulties may be oversensitive or under-sensitive to the world around them. When the brain receives information, it gives meaning to even the smallest bits of information. Keeping all that information organised, and responding appropriately can be challenging for them. It is important that we provide the correct activities to support pupils to self-regulate.