New technology helps deliver Wooden Spoon Vision

AT Wooden Spoon we love to revisit projects that our supporters have funded.  It really helps us to get a feel for how they are being used and to make sure that the money that you donate really does make a difference to children and young people who need extra support to develop and grow.

At the end of March we were warmly welcomed by the lovely pupils and staff at St. John’s C of E Primary school, Dorking in Surrey, who received a £25,000 grant from Wooden Spoon Surrey in 2018 to fund a new type of sensory room, which opened in October.

St Johns Dorking sensory room

Over the past 35 years we have funded many sensory rooms in schools for children with special needs. They provide a safe space for those who need extra help to overcome their barriers to learning, whatever they are. The discovery room at St. John’s though is a new generation of sensory room, with the ability to project interactive scenes on the walls, accompanied by a moving floor, smoke and sound. Pupils have been transported to World War 2, space, under the sea and many cities around the world that they would never normally get the chance to see. Teachers find that the immersive experience helps the children develop their language skills and the interactive games give them the confidence to learn.

One pupil overcame his fear of travelling by train for a school trip when the teachers projected a train carriage into the room, complete with sound and movement.

What’s especially great about this project is that it’s being enjoyed, not just by the 220 pupils at St. John’s (55% of whom receive pupil premium and 35% of who have special needs), but it has been opened up to other local schools in the area, to bring their pupils who can benefit from this enhanced learning environment.

We hope that this will be the first of many discovery rooms to be funded by Wooden Spoon because it’s so clear that they deliver on our vision that through the power of rugby every child and young person no matter what their background has access to the same opportunities.

St Johns Dorking sensory room

Interested in finding out more about projects Near You and how you can get involved, contact your regional committee on