Geraldton school students give tick of approval to new sensory cubbies

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Waggrakine Primary School Year 5 students Luke Ostaszewskyj and Mason Hughes in the cubby houses.
Camera IconWaggrakine Primary School Year 5 students Luke Ostaszewskyj and Mason Hughes in the cubby houses.

Geraldton students who are often overwhelmed by the noise of the classroom now have a quiet space to retreat and reset.

Waggrakine Primary School has partnered with disability service provider Rocky Bay to give students access to cubby houses designed to regulate over-stimulation by noise and lights.

Designed by Rocky Bay equipment manager Eamon O’Brien, the cubbies are lined with foam and black acoustic felt, with the exterior upholstered with brightly coloured tarpaulin.

Teacher Anouka Barnes said the equipment was a welcome relief to her students with autism or sensory processing difficulties.

“The cubby provides them with a safe place to be able to de-escalate, and regulate their emotions, while maintaining their dignity, before returning back to learning,” she said. “These students have socially and emotionally developed ten-fold using the cosy cubby.

“They have been able to teach themselves how to regulate their emotions safely and responsibly.”

Children of all ages are able to access the cubbies, with Kindy teacher Jacqui Baker said many students were “happy to snuggle” in the cosy houses.

“The cubbies are accessed by all students needing a break but do provide a great place for those on the autism spectrum to take a break from the busy sensory aspects of the classrooms,” she said.

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