Brand new extension at Crookhey Hall School – The Woodlands

Three specialist outdoor classrooms called the ‘Woodlands’ have been developed at Crookhey Hall School in response to growing demand for individualised learning and specialist support.

The newly remodelled timber-clad outdoor classrooms, nestled amongst the woods on the school’s 15-acre site provide a calm environment to reduce anxiety, help build self-esteem and inspire pupils to fulfil their potential, both for their personal and vocational development.

The rooms have been designed to promote the tranquil sensory environment many pupils with autism or MLD require including low ceilings and soundproofing to reduce echoes; tinted windows to dim any glare from sunlight; a dual heating and cooling system to control the room temperature, and interactive screens can be adjusted to suit the pupils using them. The walls have been painted in ASD-friendly pale grey and equipment such as weighted blankets and bean bags can be used by the pupils to support their ‘sensory regulation’ and optimise wellbeing.

Pupils are grouped in maximum class sizes of six and supported by staff who have completed Level 3 training in autism and are skilled in delivering therapeutic led learning.

Commenting on the Woodlands, Headteacher Samantha Lea said, “At Crookhey Hall School we pride ourselves on helping young people to re-engage in the life and the routines of school by creating personalised learning programmes to enable them to thrive and lead productive, purposeful lives.

“We are thrilled to be able to share our nurturing learning environment with even more pupils who are highly capable of achieving but do not have the emotional resilience to cope in a mainstream setting. We help them to flourish and grow as individuals by giving them the time, therapeutic support and understanding they need to grow in self-esteem, self-control, direction and motivation.”

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Appeared in print:

  • Lancashire Evening Post – print