A PRIMARY school held celebrations to mark a birthday for a dedicated staff member and the opening of a sensory room.

Thameside Primary School, Manor Road, Grays enjoyed celebrating the 80th birthday of Malcom Wilson, the full time attendance officer, and also marked the opening of the school’s new sensory room.

The school has transformed a little-used office space into a high tech sensory room, costing about £25,000.

It has plenty of exciting equipment for pupils including bubble tubes, mirrors, vibrating beanbags, musical wall mats, lights and tactile toys.

School leaders say the incredible equipment will provide a unique and stimulating learning environment that will enable the children to thrive.

The school has a high number of special needs children and the room will especially enhance the provision for them.

However, they will not be the only children to benefit from this fantastic space.

It will provide a haven of calm for children who need it while providing a stimulating, exciting environment for others in which they can explore all of their senses.

The room was officially opened by Mr Wilson and Paul Griffiths the chief executive of St Cleres Multi-Academy Trust, the school’s parent trust.

Staff and school leaders said it was great to enjoy celebrations for the two milestone events.

Mr Wilson thanked the school for the occasion.

Joanna Bray, the headteacher of Thameside Primary said, “The opening of the sensory room is the culmination of a great deal of hard work.

“We now have a fantastic new space for our pupils, which is helping them to develop their communication and social skills and tolerance to sensory stimuli.”