Outwood Primary Academy Park Hill staff row their way to a sensory room

Outwood Primary Academy is busy fundraising for a new multi-purpose sensory room to help the school support some of its most vulnerable children.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 3:03 pm
The event saw Luke McNamara, Vice Principal at OPA Park Hill, and Chris Rigby, Primary SEND Director, row on two rowing machines simultaneously for the length of the River Calder, a whopping 72 kilometres.

As part of the fundraising efforts of Outwood Primary Academy Park Hill, two members of staff from the Irwin-Crescent-based primary school took part in a sponsored ‘row’ on May 27.

The event saw Luke McNamara, Vice Principal at OPA Park Hill, and Chris Rigby, Primary SEND Director, row on two rowing machines simultaneously for the length of the River Calder, a whopping 72 kilometres.

The pair managed to complete the challenge in a very respectable time, finishing the row just three hours after starting and are currently just short of their fundraising target of £5,500, but there is still time to donate.

Speaking after completing the challenge, Luke said: “We know how important it is to our school to raise enough money to fund a new sensory room and that is what kept us motivated during the task.

“We understand now more than ever that the classroom can create many sensory triggers for certain pupils which can lead to overload, dysregulation and ultimately manifest into meltdown or shutdown.

"Subsequently, for some of our children this can have a huge impact on their ability to learn whilst also disrupting and affecting the learning rights of their peers.”

Chris said: “A dedicated sensory room would be an invaluable resource for many children attending OPA Park Hill, especially for our high need pupils with ASD and ADHD, but also for a number of children with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs.

“To be able to access a therapeutic space to regulate throughout their day, would be of great benefit and we just want to say thank you to all those who have donated.”