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Pendle View Primary School in Lancashire is a Local Authority special school for children aged between 2 – 11 (nursery to Y6) who have special educational needs including moderate, severe, profound and multiple learning difficulties, physical disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder, and hearing, visual and multi- sensory impairments. Its 128 pupils, some of whom have extremely complex needs and very limited capacity for movement, benefit from extensive school premises, playing facilities and specialised teaching areas. The facilities at the school include a multi-sensory room and soft play room, a library and language / communication room, a physical development room for specialist PE and physiotherapy, an ASD intensive support base and large grounds including adventure playgrounds, a bike track and nature trails.
Ensuring that the software programs used in school are accessible for all pupils is a priority at Pendle View. “Yet it’s not easy to find the software we need,” explains Jennette Greenwood, (Augmentative and Alternative Communication Leader). “There are very few software companies able to offer software programs that children can easily access using for example touch screen, switches, or the latest eye gaze technology.
“It’s important that we give all children at Pendle View the opportunity to access the curriculum in a way that is right for them, with the aid of high and low-tech devices these goals can be achieved giving our children their own unique voice without putting barriers in their way. Inclusive Stories are just one way we can achieve this goal. Each story can be adapted to meet the needs of every individual pupil in our school thus allowing children to have a voice which is right for them be it verbal, the use of high or low-tech devices, facial expression, or body language”
“Recently the school have subscribed to Inclusive Stories. It has proved a great success here,” she said. “One of the best things about it is the fun and engaging stories and resources which means that as teachers we can be very creative, coming up with activities to meet every area of the curriculum and to meet the individual needs of each and every student.”
Inclusive Stories is a real bonus for the classroom, particularly for children who benefit from sensory experiences, where we can use it all around the school and particularly well in our multi-sensory room.
Results are positive all around the school. Inclusive Stories is used regularly to deliver cause and effect activities, accompanied with sensory props outlined in the lesson ideas and delivery guidance resources to provide greater stimuli. There are also some moving personal success stories for pupils with very complex needs. “We have one little boy who finds it extremely difficult to engage, but using Inclusive Stories, he is extremely motivated. This was very satisfying,” said Jennette.