Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


St Therese of Lisieux is an inclusive, thriving, primary school. We are over-subscribed, with 437 pupils, and an average class size of 32.

We are situated on a small site off the busy Antrim Road in Belfast and consequently have very limited outdoor and play space. We know that some children find the busyness of our classrooms and playground overwhelming.

Currently, 24% of our children have special educational needs, many of whom are on the autism spectrum. The National Autistic Society states: “Many people on the autism spectrum have difficulty processing everyday sensory information. Too much information can cause stress, anxiety and possibly physical pain. This can result in withdrawal, challenging behaviour or meltdown.”

Research indicates that a simple change in environment can counteract these feelings and behaviours. At St Therese of Lisieux, we pride ourselves in applying innovative solutions to help our pupils learn.

Evidence shows that having a special, dedicated and quiet space with a range of stimulating play equipment - a Multi-Sensory Space - has benefits for ALL primary school age children. It is especially impactful for those with sensory impairment (such as autism and ADHD), younger children who find it difficult to settle into school life and those experiencing stress in their lives.

There are significant positive impacts for children using a sensory space, including:

Learning– it engages different areas of the brain and help children absorb and retain more information.

Physical – it helps develop users’ hand/eye coordination and gross/fine motor skills, improving balance, movement and spatial orientation.

Social Interaction - by encouraging children to engage and explore the environment then it can have positive effects on their ability to react and interact with the larger world around them.

Tackle Problems With Behaviour - Sensory environments provide comfort and calm for overactive and distressed children, and help inactive individuals to feel better engaged. This improves focus and prevents users from getting the urge to ‘act up’ (Experia – multisensory for all).

£5000 would enable St Therese of Lisieux to kit out a designated space with tried and tested equipment - bubble tubes, fibre optic lights, cuddle cushions, sensory balls, relaxing music etc. This equipment is low-maintenance and durable and once in place, will last for many years and will be of benefit to many children.

We have already identified and prepared the space – if successful, we will actively promote it to both children and their parents. We anticipate it will be used every school day by 10 children and will be both supervised and unsupervised, based on the child’s needs and age.

Please vote for a multi-sensory space for the pupils of St Therese of Lisieux!

Project Video

St Therese of Lisieux PTA

Moment of Pride

This is another great example of how St Therese of Lisieux goes above and beyond to ensure all their pupils thrive. A sensory room will so beneficial to the many children who just need that little extra support.

Location: Belfast