In September 2016, a Cool Room was set up in the school. It is a safe space where autistic children or students with other behavioural or emotional difficulties can access when they are in a distressed state or are perceived to be a threat to themselves or other students. Some children will independently ask for a break to access the room while others may need a visual prompt to show them they need a break.
In the Cool Room, children have the opportunity to self-regulate in a secure, quiet and calm environment. Children can access therabands for deep pressure activities, a sand tray, a beanbag and other objects and each child has their own individual shelf containing a collection of objects of special interest for themselves. Gymnasium mats have been pasted to the walls in order to avoid injury and to ensure the safety of the child.
The Cool Room has been fitted with special blinds and a dimmer lighting system which helps create a low arousal environment that is conducive for self-regulation. There is an observation window on the door of the room and a child is always accompanied by a teacher and/or SNA on their journey both to and from the room. The Cool Room is generally used for a short period of time, and children are encouraged to return to class as soon as the room is no longer necessary. Its use is in line with a clear, staged approach to the management of pupils’ behaviour where emphasis is placed on preventative measures to stop a situation from escalating.