Parent group prepare for next charity challenge

A parent group that helped raise £250,000 for Highbury School, Rastrick, is setting out on its latest fund raising challenge.

Friends of Highbury are already moving ahead with their quest to improve the facilities in the Lower Edge school’s sensory room.

Donna Waterhouse, chairman of the group, said: “Our next project at the moment is to raise funds to refurbish the invaluable sensory room because it is another area of the school that needs some modification and improvement to suit the needs of the children using it.

“We are also hoping to try link it to the new sensory garden which is nearing completion this summer and possibly the soft play room all of which are unique and invaluable to the school and the children who use them.

Teacher Sarah Nelson is co-ordinating the refurbishment of the sensory room and new equipment is needed to help the pupils.

“The current sensory room has been up and running since 2003 and has been enjoyed and used by a large number of pupils. The room comprises of coloured bubble tubes, projectors which project wonderful rotating images onto the wall, a UV light area, a wind machine, a fibre optic curtain and a vibrating water bed.

“However, the equipment and resources available are now starting to show their age and are falling far behind in the ever-changing world of technology. We have used the room to its full potential and as a school we have learnt a lot from that process and are now ready to take the school forward it terms of sensory provision, providing the most update technology for our children.

“Children are encouraged to show their likes and dislikes in the room, consistent responses to the different equipment for example sitting in a darkened room and then the bubble tube comes on and the child begins to smile.

“As well as encouraging independence - with the support of our ICT technician we can enable children to uses switches to turn equipment on and off. These developments are hugely important to our children and allow staff to see progress which we might not see in a generic classroom.

Friends of Highbury were instrumental in helping the school refurbish their hydrotherapy pool and it was a great moment for everyone concerned when it was officially opened.

“The pool opening was very exciting it was inspirational to see the children enjoying the pool. There was a real buzz going around between the school, parents and the members of the community who attended and it made us all feel so proud to see the children enjoying the pool.”

“We felt proud and it brought it home that we have really made a difference to our childrens’ lives,” added Donna. “It makes all the hard work worth while and we are extremely proud of everyone involved in raising the money needed.

The school caters for over 60 children with special educational needs.

For more information about fund raising contact, Donna Waterhouse, on admin@highbury.calderdale.sch.uk or 01484 716319