Safespace in schools

safespace schools 2

Safespaces have proved invaluable in special and mainstream schools all over the country. They provide a calm, low stimulation environment much needed in busy classrooms. Safespaces can help where there is a demand on space and a wide range in the needs of students. See the Film of a Safespace being used in a School in Burnley.

 

Uses

‘Chill out’ room

A Safespace provides a low stimulation area for pupils to calm down, or have quiet time in a hectic classroom.  Pupils can use the Safespace as a means of managing their own behaviour, by requesting time in it when they recognise their stress levels are rising. This can dramatically reduce the incidence of crisis situations.

 

The Safespace provides a truly safe space…

“Safespaces cut out many sensory impressions that otherwise overwhelm and arouse our pupils. Being in a Safespace helps the child to relax, reduce their anxiety and promotes a feeling of safety.

For one of our pupils the Safespace is one of the few places he is actually safe at night. The Safespace means that he is unable to access any plugs, radiators or other objects that he might use inappropriately. This has meant that he now sleeps between 8 to 9 hours a night and no longer engages in risky daytime behaviour.

For some of our pupils who engage in Self Injurious Behaviour the Safespace provides a truly safe space. The Safespace limits any sensory feedback as well as preventing any harm to the pupil so this quickly promotes a de-escalation, and keeps both the pupil and staff safe.

We have had our staff as well as members of my family sleep in Safespaces and all have enjoyed it saying that it provides a lovely cosy sleeping environment.”

Margaret Snellgrove, Ochil Tower School, Perthshire

Crisis management

When a crisis situation occurs, the Safespace can reduce the extent and frequency of physical intervention and reduce the risk of injury to all. It can mean that relationships with staff members are less likely to be damaged by more restrictive practices.

In a classroom, a Safespace can facilitate a rapid response to incidents, and can remove the chaos and disruption involved in evacuating the classroom. Many schools are offering parents the option to include the use of a Safespace in their child's Individual Behaviour Support Plan.

A chill out area for sensory breaks

We are a large open-plan mainstream school. Our Safespace is used for both a chill out area for sensory breaks with lights and toys and as a calming down area. It is primarily used for one individual with severe autism. It is detailed in the behaviour protocol as the most suitable place for the child to go when they are getting physical and needing a safe soft area to calm down. It has helped to keep both the child and staff safe. The child understands that it is their place to work out frustration. This also ensures that the other youngsters are not disturbed while working in class. It has been a real asset to our school.

Duncan Mackay, Head of Craighill Primary School, Inverness

Therapy and sensory space

Safespaces are used as one to one therapy spaces and as safe areas in which to enjoy sensory equipment. Time in a sensory room Safespace can be offered as part of a reward system. The netting roof, viewing panels and optional white wall allow for the use of projectors and sensory lighting. We can provide sensory lighting, soft play shapes and furniture, in order to create a beautiful and safe, sensory environment.

safespace schools

Versatility

A Safespace can be dismantled and moved to where it is most needed, for example, when a pupil or class moves to a new classroom. This is a key reason why many schools have chosen a Safespace instead of room padding. Training in installation is available upon request.

They are extremely flexible spaces…

We use the Safespaces for a number of purposes, it very much depends on the needs of the children. Some children have used them for child initiated time out which helps them to regulate their own behaviours, some for a sensory experience with resources added to meet needs, some as a calming space which can offer a private space if upset/cooling down and some as a space to undertake one to one work.

The Safespaces have been extremely helpful in supporting individual needs in a private way and help meet all of the needs highlighted above. The children enjoy the spaces, view them positively and will frequently use our Safespace symbol to indicate that they would like to access one of the spaces.

They are extremely flexible spaces and will always be well used as they can be so many different things to different children.

 

Eleanor Sheppard, Head of Mile End Primary School, Aberdeen

Practicality

A Safespace can be installed with minimal disruption to the classroom. It avoids the need for structural building work and so, reduces costs.

A Safespace can be made to measure to fit a small classroom, or placed in the corner of a larger classroom or hall.

Most schools choose a 200cm x 200cm (79” x 79”) Safespace in the classroom as they find this adequate for their needs, however, a Safespace can be made up to 300cm x 300cm (118" x 118") if required. Window blinds can be supplied to provide privacy or to create a low stimulation environment.

We can provide a design and quote based on some basic information about your classroom. Go to our Downloads page for a quote request form.

 

Options

Roll up wall – this can be added if access is required through the Safespace to reach fitted wardrobes.

Viewing panels – these can be added to enable the person using the Safespace to watch television or enjoy sensory equipment situated outside the Safespace. These can vary in size as appropriate. If a very low stimulation environment is required, we would not recommend the addition of viewing panels.

Projection screen - an internal white wall can be included in the design of the Safespace. This can be used as a projection screen.

Accessories

Standard mattress - most customers also purchase a Safespace mattress

75mm floor mat - recommended for clients who are particularly inclined to head bang on the floor

Water resistant lycra-covered memory foam top mattress

Water resistant PVC-covered memory foam top mattress

Soft play and soft furniture

Blinds 

Water resistant floor seams

Projector set/Fibre optics kit

For more details see Accessories.