You may have heard the term ‘sensory circuit’ being used in schools, but if you are unsure what a sensory circuit actually is, you are in the right place!
A sensory circuit is a fairly short (usually between 15-20 minutes long) set of activities that a child or young person can complete in order to regulate their nervous system and, in turn, be supported in becoming well-modulated and ready to learn. Sensory circuits are not one-off activities – they need to be completed regularly in order to be effective. Remember, sensory circuits must be supervised at all times and risk assessments must be completed for all children and young people taking part.
To identify where to begin with a sensory circuit, we need to understand that in order to be ‘ready to learn’, children and young people must be well modulated. Generally, sensory circuits are set up in this order:
- Alerting activities prepare the brain for learning and the demands of the school environment.
- Organising activities help to improve focus and attention.
- Calming activities help to ensure children leave the circuit calm, centred and ready to learn.
This order helps to regulate the nervous system but may need to be tailored to an individual child’s needs. For example, some children may need to begin with a calming activity rather than an alerting activity.
For more information on why sensory circuits are vital, keep your eyes peeled for our next blog post. For more in-depth explanations and training regarding sensory circuits, please see our latest training course Sensory Circuits written and delivered by Occupational Therapist Roz Roscoe.