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Fountain Head pupils experience the benefits of climbing

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

Climbing wall

Pupils at Fountain Head House School, a co-educational school for children with special education needs based in Saltash, have been experiencing the benefits of learning to climb at The Climbing Hangar in Plymouth.

Climbing is a very tactile activity, and can benefit anyone with physical, cognitive, communication, or sensory processing needs, particularly those with Autism. Those with motor skill difficulties may finding that climbing helps to make them more aware of their body and movement in relation to their joints. Climbing also involves problem-solving and decision-making, as individuals need to think about where to place their hands and feet as they ascend the wall.

Communication skills are also a huge part of climbing, from listening to someone suggest a hand colour hold to reach for, to more formal climbing commands such as left, right, up or down etc. Action concepts such as these can help children to understand these words as they experience them verbally as well as physically.

It is important to note that these learning and benefits are not exclusive to people with autism and, therefore, might apply to a range of pupils in different ways.

Headteacher Thereza de Lucca said: “To successfully climb a wall, our pupils must first identify, assess and plan the most effective way to reach the top. They have demonstrated resilience and determination when things start to get tough – very useful skills to carry with them into later life, and very rewarding. The external stimuli that surround a climbing wall can be overwhelming for those with sensory processing differences, so that is something that we take into consideration at each session”.

For more information about Fountain Head House School, please visit, email or call 01752 853891.

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