Church Lawton School staff and students at the opening event for their sensory fieldCredit: Stoke Sentinel

Our Church Lawton School in Cheshire unveiled its new Sports and Sensory Field at a special ceremony for parents and students last week (27 September) - ahead of its annual autumn fayre.

The school, which is purpose-built for local children on the autism spectrum, received generous funding from the Denise Coates Foundation to develop and kit out the space. The event started with a tour by school principal Paul Scales and was followed by a ceremony, where Denise Coates unveiled a plaque. Next up was a tree planting, refreshments and the school’s autumn fayre.

Church Lawton School staff and students at the opening event for their sensory fieldStaff and students at the opening of the sensory field

The new field includes a multi-use games area, a life skills unit, an outside classroom and a sensory garden. This will make a huge difference to the students, encouraging more sport and physical exercise, helping them learn about nature and the environment, and develop their life skills.

The field also has a sensory garden, which is a calm space for students to relax if they’re feeling overwhelmed. It includes sensory musical instruments, a scented garden and wildflowers and fruit trees.

Our Church Lawton School opened in 2015 and provides tailored education for 64 children on the autism spectrum, aged 4-19. With small class sizes, teachers focus on developing students’ personal, social and life skills, so they’re prepared for adulthood, further education or employment.

Church Lawton School students at the opening event for their sensory fieldStudents explore the new sensory garden

Paul Scales, Principal of the National Autistic Society's Church Lawton School, said: “We are delighted to open our new sport and sensory field – and grateful to the Denise Coates Foundation for making this happen.

“The sport and sensory field will give students a calm space to engage in sensory play as well as the opportunity to participate in physical education lessons, which will help social skills and self-esteem. There are so many benefits to this and we can’t wait to see our students thrive outside the classroom.

We’re immensely proud of our students and what we’ve achieved as a school so far. We have high expectations for each of them and hope that our new sports field and garden will help them to achieve even more.

Find out more about Church Lawton School on our website.