Good news at almost the end of the school year for the Oaklynn Special School. NZCT awarded the school $8,695 to buy climbing equipment. After the installation, students will be able to climb with material that is safe, purpose-built and age-appropriate.
Oaklynn is a specialist school for students with the highest level of learning needs, aged between 5 and 21 years. All students have a learning disability, and many of them have an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Most of the students are taught in satellite classes in local mainstream schools.
Jane Burrage is Executive Officer at the Oaklynn Special School. She explains why NZCT's grant is so important. "The students at Oaklynn Base School have unique learning needs. Many of them require regular access to the outdoors to assist them with their self-regulation. This grant allows us to install a climbing frame that will be part of an outdoor environment that meets the needs of our students."
Jane says many students are experiencing benefits from the climbing sessions. "We have several students who have a real 'need' to climb. It provides them with a 'buzz' that they crave. In the absence of purpose-built climbing apparatus, these students will seek out other items to climb. That can be dangerous, for example climbing and balancing on handrails or walls. The new equipment will provide a safe outlet for these students. We anticipate that students will feel happier and more content when their sensory needs are being met."
Oaklynn Special School will prepare the area in the playground ready for the installation of the equipment over the summer holidays. "The generosity of NZCT means that students will have access to equipment that we would not be able to fund from our government funding, so we are extremely grateful for the support of this project," concludes Jane.