Creating a sensory meadow from a patch of grass wasteland at Fairfield School was a great project to take on 7 years ago and we can now boast an amazing range of features and benefits for the students and the school environment. Here’s an outline of the features and benefits it currently offers:
1. Developing diversity of plant life: The sensory meadow features a range of plant species, including flowers, herbs, and grasses which aim to engage multiple senses and create a visually stimulating environment.
2. Pathways and seating areas: These are strategically placed seating offering students and staff the opportunity to explore and relax within the meadow environment and is easily accessible for our wheelchair students and those with less mobility.
3. Sensory elements: Incorporating elements such as wind chimes and bespoke musical area, textured materials, and fragrant plants which enhance the sensory experience and provide opportunities for interactive learning. Interactive switches around the pathway encourage exploration and for students to develop understanding of cause and effect. The interactive soundboard is updated regularly in line with the creative curriculum and topical themes.
4. Wildlife habitats: The meadow and pond area are able to attract and support local wildlife, providing educational opportunities to observe and learn about the natural ecosystem alongside the bespoke external classroom. The redesign of the pond area also makes it accessible to all learners.
1. Educational opportunities: The sensory meadow can now serve as an outdoor classroom, an extension to classroom learning and facilitates hands-on learning experiences across the curriculum at Fairfield.
2. Well-being and mental health: Spending time in a natural environment has been linked to improved mental health and well-being. The sensory meadow provides students and staff a fantastic space for relaxation and stress relief.
3. Physical activity: The meadow is used and accessed regularly for outdoor activities such as nature walks, yoga, and environmental studies, which encourage physical movement and exercise.
4. Environmental awareness: By interacting with the meadow, students can now develop a greater appreciation for nature and a deeper understanding of environmental conservation and sustainability.
5. Community engagement: The meadow can now serve as a focal point for community involvement, providing opportunities for local residents to participate in its maintenance and enjoy its benefits.
6. Aesthetic enhancement: The addition of a sensory meadow has improved the aesthetic appeal of the school grounds and created an inviting and beautiful space for students, staff, and visitors.
By incorporating these features and realising these benefits, the sensory meadow at Fairfield School is now a feature which enriches the educational experience and contributes to the overall well-being of the school community.