Resourced Provision for Pupils with a Visual Impairment

Reculver C.E.Primary School has had a Specialist Resource Base for the Visually Impaired since the 1990s. The provision is currently funded for 5 pupils and currently we have 4 pupils with a Statement of Visual Impairment, whom are registered either blind or partially sighted. For a child to be supported by the provision, they must have a Statement of Special Education Need with Visual Impairment as their Primary Need.

 


Our Braille Club on Monday lunchtimes is open to all pupils. If you would like to take part please contact Claire Roberts.

 

We work closely with the Local Authority and parents to ensure that our provision is the most appropriate for children with a visual impairment. A Resource Base differs from a Unit or Department within a School in that pupils are not withdrawn for specialist input in a separate designated area although specialist teaching in for example Braille and Mobility are, by necessity, taught alongside the National Curriculum wherever possible in the classroom alongside their peers. As one of a few such bases in Kent, pupils travel from beyond the local catchment area of the School and transport can be arranged with the Local Authority if parents wish.

The provision is overseen by Ms. Claire Roberts who is a qualified Teacher of the Visually Impaired with many years of experience supporting pupils with visual impairments in Primary, Secondary and Special Education. There are currently five Teaching Assistants who have a variety of experience and expertise in supporting the visually impaired including knowledge of Braille and use of technology to support the pupils. The Teacher in charge of the V.I. base, Class Teachers and Teaching Assistants meet weekly to review and plan the curriculum and ensure that all materials and resources are appropriately adapted to meet the pupils’ needs.

Our Resource Base contains all the resources, technology and specialist equipment to enable the team of Teaching Assistants to adapt and provide resources for the students they support. The level of adaptation can depend on whether the resources are required in large print or in a tactile version such as Braille. We have a small library which contains a variety of fiction and non-fiction books in Braille and enlarged print including the Oxford Reading Tree scheme. We are members of the RNIB lending library and Clear Vision books based at Linden Lodge School in Wimbledon. Should children need to learn Braille, we have both Perkins and Mountbatten braillers but we also have adaptive software ‘Supernova’ on designated computers which reads text. We also provide a laptop for children’s use if appropriate. Recently, we have applied successfully for electronic braillers, ‘Braillenotes’ for pupils who are becoming proficient braillists. Other technology used includes handheld electronic magnifiers as well as portable CCTV devices which can be used in the classroom and enable accessibility for children alongside their peers. Pupils, who require Mobility tuition, including the use of long cane, are supporting by Kent Association for the Blind who visit on a regular basis.

The Teacher in Charge also has close links with Schools and Units for the Visually Impaired including the Royal London Society for the Blind and Oxted School V.I. Unit in addition to local Secondary Schools with resourced provision such as the Archbishop’s School in Canterbury and The Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs where many of our children move onto for the next stage in their education. Transition to Secondary School is carefully co-ordinated with the support from the Local Authority Specialist Teacher in Charge of Sensory Needs, Schools concerned and, of course, the families and carers.

The School encourages positive inclusion of students with a Visual Impairment in all aspects of School life and we feel strongly that the whole school community benefits from having the provision on site and epitomises the work we do as a Church of England School. VI pupils routinely take part in the school productions, become members of the School Council and have joined school trips to activity centres. Our pupils with a visual impairment are fully included and make many friends amongst their sighted peers.