Getting back to nature

How’s this for an idea? A multi-sensory learning and play space, built for outdoor exploration, play and learning. Backed by the token votes from Grill’d Browns Plains the multi-sensory playground at Calamvale’s Special School isn’t just TBC, it’s IRL.

In Sunny Queensland the community spirit lives strong in local legends Sue and Rebekah. They’re teachers at Calamvale Special School, a learning environment dedicated to students with an intellectual disability, autistic spectrum disorder and sensory or multiple impairments from age five to seventeen.

The teachers and support staff, people like Sue and Rebekah, provide each student highly individualised programs. That means that each kid is offered a way to learn that works for them, and this goes beyond the classroom. As Sue told us:

“This includes everything from communication, making sense of the world, forming meaningful relations and developing their physical and mobility capabilities. Our school is growing and our student cohort is constantly changing. Our challenge is to continue to provide the facilities and learning environments that maximise each learner’s educational experience, enabling them to successfully connect and communicate with others in socially authentic experiences.”

Calamvale Special School had their first Local Matters jar in 2019, with the money received going towards a new, all-abilities playground. Jar number two had another specific purpose, to bring to life their idea of a multi-sensory learning environment. In Rebekah’s words “this space will cater to our students’ senses and create an enriching and engaging area to access the curriculum and safely explore the environment.”

Today the multi-sensory playground isn’t just an idea. It’s complete with a wheelchair trampoline, sand tables and pit, sensory exploration pergola’s, vibrating musical chimes, a herb garden and a hanging chair. The Playground is themed in all the colours of the rainbow.

And your token votes were the ticket, with Rebekah explaining:

“the Local Matters program has given us the opportunity to have wider engagement with our local community. It’s great to see not only our school community but also those who might not know us and what we do, rally together to show their support.”

Are you part of a local community group, or do you know a group we should get behind?