The children were amazed as they entered this atmospheric environment and the ‘strangeness’ was enhanced by the soundscape I had put together which drifted in and out. Interestingly the children responded in different ways…one or two were hesitant; following their natural instincts to be wary of something unusual and different, but this was soon overcome by their curiosity and eagerness to explore and manipulate the sensory elements they discovered, many of which had been created by themselves in our previous workshop session.
Maddy, however seemed enthralled by the diversity and resonance of the sounds, becoming very calm and focussed, and indicating by her responses that she was excited and enjoying the experience. Though she has little or no vision it was incredible to watch her attention clearly focus on a tealight as it was moved around in front of her. It was wonderful that Maddy was completely happy to remain in the space for such a significant length of time, a whole hour!
The children were delighted with the colour and shape effects they could create on the lightboards, learning from eachother’s innovations and ideas, and moving things around to learn about ways they could transform the space.
It has been a huge effort to create this temporary experience for Milne Class and very exciting to consider what active learning opportunities this new space can offer them over the coming months. I have recommended a few simple but key structural additions which will give a more flexible but robust way to support any installations, and allow transformations to be more permanent and secure for the desired duration. The teachers and support staff were also inspired and excited by the different sensory elements I had created to include in the space, and it gave them lots of ideas for things they could introduce themselves to sustain engagement and to extend their own creative experimentation.