Unique Learning and Sensory Environment Created for Treloar's Disabled School & College

On Tuesday 12 September, Wendy Parmley, the Lady Mayoress of the City of London, visited Treloar’s disabled school and college in Alton, Hampshire to open the ‘Forte Forest’ - an outdoor musical and sensory area for students.

This unique area will enhance Treloar’s outdoor space. The musical instruments have been carefully selected to encourage interaction, bringing benefits for both motor skills and physiotherapy programmes. Mainstream schools will be encouraged to stop by when they visit to make music alongside Treloar’s students and learn more about disability and inclusion.

Jocelyn Watkins, Head of School Music, summed up the instruments’ impact: “We are delighted to have our new outdoor musical instrument area and Treloar’s students will benefit from the opportunities that these bring, both in exploring the world and expressing their emotions though such an immediate form of communication. We are truly grateful to all those who made this possible. The students have already been having a great time playing the instruments and, most importantly, having fun!”

This accessible outdoor musical and sensory area for Treloar’s students, who all have complex physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties, will provide a unique learning and sensory environment that will enable the young people to engage, progress and achieve in their learning, enhance their social development, address physical, emotional and intellectual needs and most importantly it will provide them with a space to have fun!

The babel drum, colossus chimes, congas, tutti and papilio offer therapeutic experiences for all. They will allow students to create music, develop skills and, for those who have no verbal communication, they will be able to express themselves in ways that they haven’t done before. It’s vital that students have as many opportunities as possible to be outside in the fresh air, as much of their day is spent receiving essential medical attention, therapy and care and it’s hoped that the instruments will encourage the students and visiting pupils to venture outside to play on them.

Treloar Trust provides education, care, therapy, medical support and independence training to young people with physical disabilities from all over the UK and overseas. Their aim is to prepare these young people for adult life, giving them the confidence and skills to achieve their full potential.