Paterson students have been working together this term to continue to add to our learning space and garden. The students and staff have been working on completing a sensory garden, a welcoming mosaic sign and a quiet relaxation room.
These projects not only bring colour, light and create safe spaces for our students, but the process of creating them has fostered a great sense of team building and has provided the students with an opportunity to build on their social interactions together.
The back garden is a huge task and remains a work in progress. Students have been focusing on filling in a portion of the garden with sand, laying astro turf and creating a colourful sensory outdoor space. Benefits of outdoor learning spaces include a decrease in anxiety and boredom and an increase in comfort and confidence.
Our front relaxation room is largely complete. The students have contributed a huge colourful artwork that they created in their art therapy sessions. Each section of the artwork has been created by an individual Paterson student, and the pieces have been joined together to create a whole. This is representative of how the students work together in the program.
The front room also features a couch, bean bags and laptop for quiet reading and working time, as well as a range of sensory items for the students to use to help keep them calm and relaxed, or to ease heighten or tense feelings.
Out the front of the building we are soon to have a pebble “Paterson Program” mosaic sign. This is not only welcoming, but helps to distinguish and guide people to our classroom, because in the grand sweeping grounds of Rivendell it is not always easy to know which building homes which program!
The Paterson staff are looking forward to finishing these projects with the students next term, alongside their academic school program and extra curricula activities.
Happy holidays from the Paterson team.