The Kickstart Learning Centre has all the facilities and resources needed to engage and motivate children and enable them to make the most progress possible in their sessions.
The classroom is a bright, welcoming space where children can feel relaxed and secure. It is fully equipped with all resources needed for sessions. There is a particular emphasis on using practical equipment, most of which children will be familiar with using in school.
There is a computer with child-friendly mouse and keyboard if needed and large screen for easy viewing.
Children are encouraged to work in a way that is comfortable for them, which might be lying on the floor, sitting at the table, sitting on the beanbag chair or standing at the desk.
The height of the desk can be adjusted depending on the child and the table top can be tilted at different angles if needed. There is a standard computer chair, which can be used with or without a sensory cushion promoting active sitting and a wobble stool which allows the child to move effortlessly and constantly, if needed, due to the curved base. There is also an inflatable gym ball which helps the child to improve their stability and balance while sitting on it due to the constant engagement of the core abdominal muscles.
There is a comfy area including soft cushions and a beanbag chair which is perfect for creating a relaxed atmosphere to chat in.
It is of utmost importance that each child is comfortable and this often includes the consideration of sensory stimuli. Some children don't have any sensory issues, but some need more sensory stimulation than others and some need much less and so it's a priority to establish a child's needs in this area. General sensory needs can be catered for with changeable lighting and heating and children are encouraged to express their sensory needs in any way they are able.
There is a sensory blackout tent which children can choose to work in if they wish or they can also go in there to calm down if they're feeling over-stimulated. The beanbag chair can be used inside the blackout tent and soft cushions and light up toys can be provided if required.
There is also a large colour-changing bubble tube in the classroom. This can be used at any time to help a child concentrate or as a relaxation aid.
There are some of the other sensory resources and strategies used:
weighted lap pads, shoulder pads and weighted blankets
music and white sound
There is plenty of outside space which is often used during sessions, particularly during the warmer months. There is a grassed area and a large decked area. There is a comfy outdoor seating area with large umbrella for protection from the sun and a separate table with umbrella so children can work outside if they wish.
There is a dedicated gym, including safety mats and safety padding. There is a range of exercise equipment, such as bean bags, skipping ropes, balls, speed ladder, cones, hoops, boxing gloves etc. There is also a large free-standing punch bag which is used for short exercise breaks, but it is also incorporated into learning activities where possible. Kerry is a black belt qualified, fully insured and first aid trained martial arts instructor.