With support from Zavarovalnica Triglav’s regional office in Kranj, a primary school of approximately 140 children and adolescents with special needs now boasts a new climbing frame. The pupils will be able to improve their gross motor skills, coordination and other physical skills. According to headmistress Marjeta Šmid, the climbing frame is an important addition that will enrich the school’s programme, through which children and adolescents with special needs have been receiving education for 75 years.
Osnovna Šola Jela Janežiča, a primary school in Škofja Loka, has educated children and adolescents with developmental disorders since 1945. In order to ensure their pupils all-round development, the programme was upgraded a few years ago. Today, the programme includes speech therapy, neurophysiotherapy, sensory integration and multi-sensory therapy, exercises to improve reading and writing skills, simple maths practice, dog therapy, and several other activities. The school also pays special attention to social inclusion and the development of the pupils’ social skills. Social skills are particularly important for children and adolescents with special needs, who generally need more time to develop and become independent in comparison with their peers. These skills later help them successfully integrate in the workplace and society.
Playtime to develop social and motor skills
The new climbing frame will help improve the social skills of the Škofja Loka primary school’s pupils. It is designed as a sensory climbing trail and helps the children and adolescents learn about the elements of both formal and non-formal play. At the same time, it is a place where the pupils can socialise and make contact with each other, in addition to developing their physical and motor skills through play.
“The new addition will greatly improve the quality and safety of our physical exercise programme and outdoor after-school time. The climbing frame was installed in the school’s outdoor area and gives the pupils the chance to practise walking on different terrains. The children can now practise and improve their motor skills and coordination skills. The sensory climbing trail also combines the elements of formal and non-formal play. It is suitable for both younger and older pupils and encourages intergenerational socialising,” said Marjeta Šmid, headmistress of the school.
Traditional end-of-year donation
Škofja Loka’s primary school for children and adolescents with special needs received the funds for the purchase of the climbing frame from Zavarovalnica Triglav. “Every year, some of the funds used to support projects, activities and events in local communities are allocated to one of the vulnerable groups. This year, the traditional end-of-year donation went to Osnovna Šola Jela Janežiča so that the pupils would get a better chance to exercise and play outdoors, which is an integral part of healthy development for all children and adolescents. Hopefully the climbing frame will bring them very many fun, playful and educational moments,” said Janka Planinc, director of Zavarovalnica Triglav’s regional office in Kranj at the handover of the donation.