Special place for students

THE ingenious multi-sensory path and soft-fall area opened at Havenlee School on Tuesday was incredibly bright and colourful but it was outshone by the joy on the faces of children.

The area offers various textures, sights, sounds and smells. A calming place for students during difficult times.

It is also a place they connect with. 

Throughout the building process the children were invited to add special mementos to the sensory path. They can be seen dotted throughout, such as favourite toys, colourful trinkets, shells and musical CDs.

Moments after the official ribbon cutting the students couldn’t resist the area’s many tangible play things and multi-sensory bush garden.

About nine months of work went into the project and Havenlee teacher Karen Wilson was the driving force behind it.

She kicked off the hunt for funding with a successful application to the Veolia Mulwaree Trust, and in the months that followed managed to obtain about $20,000 in funding from various organisations.

Mrs Wilson also co-ordinated the work of teachers, parents and the wider school community.

“We needed this space and before this it was just dirt. There was nothing here for the children, they didn’t use the area,” she said.

“Now the kids love it and there are different parts of it targeted at different students.

“A special thanks to the tradesmen who helped, Anthony, Darren, James and Dave, they really got into the project.

“The whole experience has been good for the school to go through. Everyone in the school did their own little bit toward it.”

The facility will also be available to the local community to be used for holiday programs, neighbouring schools, early intervention centres, occupational therapists and others.

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