Garden designer creates sensory space at St Albans school
- Credit: Fleetville Junior School
A new sensory garden offering a peaceful place for children to relax and learn has been opened at a St Albans junior school.
The garden was designed and project managed by Sarah Brown, a former parent at Fleetville Junior and a professional garden designer. It is located in the central courtyard and will soon be home to the school's guinea pigs and, hopefully, other wildlife.
Headteacher Gareth Linwood explained the purpose of the garden: “Sometimes children, especially those with special educational needs can feel overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of school life, and we are hugely grateful to Sarah and her team of volunteers for creating this beautiful space where children can go to be quiet and calm.”
Sarah added: “When the school asked for help to create a sensory garden, I thought it was a great opportunity to give something back to the school where my children went.
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"I also know many children who would benefit from a space like this so it’s an issue close to the heart.
"I’m a firm believer in gardens as therapeutic spaces, there is growing evidence that re-connecting with nature has positive effects on children’s mental health, helping them to relax and de-stress.
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"The brief was to create a garden where students could have some calm and quiet time, but which would appeal to children with varying sensory needs. I wanted to create a journey through the garden, with secluded areas to sit and enjoy being surrounded by nature, and a special emphasis on the senses, with scented plants, grass circles and soft leaves to touch and gentle sounds from the bottle top screen and grasses.
"It’s been a labour of love taking over two years to complete, but I’ve had a great team helping me and support from local businesses has been amazing.”
The school would like to thank Lawsons, Tesco, Rochfords nursery, Ayletts Garden Centre and Burstons Garden Centre for their generous support.