University of Edinburgh

Multi-sensory rooms (MSRs)

Presented on Wednesday 29 February 2012


This course considered how a Multi-Sensory Room (MSR) can be used in the assessment process for children and young people with a single sensory loss or dual sensory impairment. Richard Hirstwood's extensive experience is based upon practical knowledge - giving him the insight into what works, and more importantly, what doesn't, in multi-sensory practice. Regular 'hands on' sessions with children and adults in a variety of multi sensory rooms enables Richard to maintain this level of excellent practice.

Target Audience: Specialist teachers working with sensory impaired children, classroom teachers and support staff working in special schools, other professionals and parents. This course may be more suitable for people who are already familiar with MSRs although others who are considering how to make use of equipment that they have already purchased may find it useful, too.

Presenter: Richard Hirstwood, Hirstwood Training and Florich Productions.


    10.20 am Introduction, Janis Sugden

  • 10.30 am Working with the senses (Richard's Learning Styles podcast)
  • How we can best work with individuals to 'engineer' the environment for sense development. Matching the experience with the pupils' 'sense ability' is the key to success. We will also take a look at sensory 'learning styles' to develop this idea.

  • 11.15 am Being a sensory detective (Link to Richard's sensory tools)
  • Where do we start? With assessments! So this session will look at varied assessment formats and useful pathway guides to ensure a coherent developmental approach. We will look at using sensory tools to assess, identify and work towards appropriate goals.

  • 12.00 pm Goal setting using the Great Goal Setting System (GGSS)
  • Using the GGSS – an easy, time efficient way of writing a concise, measurable target. We look at how the multi disciplinary team can easily identify and prioritise goals and targets within the GGSS. The GGSS also allows the goal setter to scale the steps towards a goal into achievable targets – which also produces a simple 'at a glance' monitoring sheet.

    1.30 pm Goal setting using the GGSS continued

  • 2.15 pm A multi-sensory room (Link to Richard's notes)
  • This session will look at how you can easily change the 'theme' or 'tools' within your sensory room to engage the learner’s curiosity and will also link with the 'sensory classroom' session as extending these themes into
  • individualised sensory environments is essential (link to Richard's Sensory Environment Design podcast).
  • 2.45 pm A sensory classroom!
    This session will show how to create appropriate sensory stimulation activities within the classroom using portable sensory equipment/how cost resources.

  • 3.30 pm Course Evaluation and close