Sense Centre Knapwell, Cambridgeshire (Cambridge Resource Centre)

Cambridge Resource CentreSense Centre Knapwell, Cambridgeshire (Cambridge Resource Centre) is part of Sense College and an education and day service for people with sensory impairments, communication difficulties and additional physical and learning disabilities.

The centre is situated on the outskirts of Cambridge, in the village of Knapwell.

Facilities and equipment

The centre is approached through an avenue of mature trees and is surrounded by farm land, with its own garden area.

The building has a reception area, kitchen, and three classrooms. We also have accessible toilets and specialist changing facilities that include overhead hoists.

Our specialist educational equipment includes:

  • An interactive whiteboard, and a tilt and height-adjustable interactive plasma touchscreen, with a varied range of specialist software.
  • Various iPads, cameras and camcorders that can be adapted for use by those with access difficulties, including a GoPro camera and camera glasses.  
  • An extensive range of switches that enable individuals to access and use technology and communicate with others

Our specialist multi-sensory equipment includes:

  • A wide range of sensory devices that are designed to engage and stimulate the senses. For example: lighting: such as bubble tubes, colour changing lamps, projectors, LED and UV lights
  • Auditory stimuli: such as interactive musical instruments, Sound Beam, Skoogs, vibrating hand held speakers, haptic vibrating vest, and resonance boards.
  • Varied items to encourage tactual exploration, and therapeutic equipment to support relaxation and provide a positive holistic experience.


Sense Centre Knapwell offers a wide range of education activities that use a person centred approach tailored to learner needs and interests. Programmes focus on developing communication and independent living skills, using the Sense Curriculum Framework to plan individualised targets and objectives that result in achievement and significant outcomes.

Specialist trained teaching staff support individuals on their learner journey, inspiring individual progress by encouraging confidence and celebrating success, enabling them to reach their full potential.

The centre also offers ASDAN formal accreditation. Where suitable we can support work placements, employability schemes, and enterprise and community participation.

We use a total communication approach which includes a variety of methods such as:
BSL / sign supported english / on body signing / intensive interaction /Pictorial Symbols and Symbol Systems (PECS) / hand under hand exploration / objects of reference / voice output communication aids / vocalisation, facial expression and body language.

Lesson activities

All lessons incorporate core skills used in functional contexts, along with opportunities to work on learners' own personal aims and targets, their communication strategies and independent living skills. We are constantly reviewing and updating our timetabled activities to ensure the interests of the individual can be explored and used to motivate while encouraging learning opportunities. We celebrate and promote the diverse nature of our learners, embracing fundamental British values, whilst encouraging a culture of mutual respect and tolerance.


Communication is at the heart of all we do at the college; individual learners' communication strategies are supported and development of new skills encouraged through the use of a varied range of low or high technology methods and equipment.

Intensive Interaction techniques allow learner-led interactions which support coactive experiences that can develop communication skills.

Creative arts

We offer art and craft sessions using varied materials and mediums that provide opportunities for self-expression and creative exploration. We support enterprise schemes and provide learner made craft items to the local Sense charity shop in Cambridge.

Drama lessons support emotional expression and develop knowledge through games, storytelling and performance based on a range of materials, including Shakespeare plays, traditional pantomimes and popular modern classics.

Music lessons allow learners to explore and enjoy a wide range of modern and traditional styles of music from all parts of the world, playing instruments and expressing themselves creatively.

Therapies and physical activities

Explore Sports is an exciting range of accessible sport activities that take place both in the centre and at a local sport centre. We have a large range of sport equipment that enables learners to experience boccia, wheelchair football, bowling, and new age kurling, as well as table top sports such as table cricket. In addition to promoting physical activity these sports also support turn taking and participation in group games.

We currently access two local hydrotherapy pools, both of which also offer sensory stimulation using lights, colours and music. This provides an opportunity to relax and fosters physical and emotional wellbeing.

The majority of the staff team is trained in rebound therapy, and are able to support learners to benefit from the physical and emotional wellbeing experienced in this enjoyable activity. We access two local facilities each week for rebound therapy sessions, following elements of the Winstrada programme.

Lessons specifically designed to support the emotional wellbeing, awareness of self and relaxation of learners include Sensology and Sensory Yoga, which are complementary sessions. Sensology uses lights, sounds, smells, textures and flavours to stimulate the senses, and Sensory Yoga enables those with physical disabilities to enjoy the benefits of traditional yoga in a relaxing environment by adapting standard yoga positions.

Soundbath is a total immersion experience in pure sound using gongs, bells, drums and other instruments that allow the listener to not only ‘hear’ but also to ‘feel' the music.


Making and baking are always hugely enjoyable for learners. Learners prepare and cook meals on timetabled days of the week, which are enjoyed with their peers during social lunchtimes. Cooking provides an excellent opportunity to touch, smell and taste ingredients, while developing awareness of mathematical concepts and language, and health and safety along with the practical skills needed in the kitchen.

Community Access

Our regular community-based sessions offer opportunities to discover and explore the culture and history of our local environment, including trips to National Trust venues, parks, and local historical market towns.

We work with the local VoiceAbility group and our learners actively campaign and attend meetings to promote the rights and issues faced by individuals with disabilities.

We also offer a wonderful range of enrichment activities such as visits to the cinema, the annual pantomime, PMLD theatre trips, museum ‘touch tours’ and river trips on a barge specifically adapted to suit those with disabilities.

Contact us

Sense Centre Knapwell
The Cornfield Suite
Glebe Farm
CB23 4GG
Tel: 01954 267056

For further details please contact Jo or Lisa.
Tel: 01733 425 053

Alternatively please contact Jane Ackrill, Education Services Manager on 01954 267 056 or by email at

First published: Monday 5 August 2013
Updated: Tuesday 7 November 2017