In our school for young people with visual impairment and additional complex needs we aim to inspire, challenge and empower our students to live their best lives.
This means that we often use pupil premium funds to buy communication and sensory equipment. This allows our students to express their own needs and choices, and supports them to self-regulate.
We also buy-in training and resources to support the staff who work with our students. This helps develop their skills and knowledge, and improves engagement.
Barriers to learning
Our students face challenges in communicating their needs, and in their ability to self-regulate. Incidental learning does not happen as readily for students with a vision impairment, so it is important that learning is supported throughout the waking day, not just in the classroom.
Outcomes and impact
All staff are trained and confident in a range of communication strategies, and in using access technology to help meet students’ needs.
Impact: our students are able to communicate their needs and be their own advocate wherever possible.
Sensory activity equipment is in place to support students’ self-regulation, and staff are trained in supported access to resources. We have a policy that supports a wellbeing-focused approach.
Impact: student engagement is increased, and behaviour leading to incidents is decreased.
Our staff are trained in behaviour management strategies and have a good knowledge of our students’ placement plans. The PHSHE curriculum is well-resource with appropriate equipment, and we use information from observation to inform the impact of the different training and approaches used.
Impact: student engagement is increased, and behaviour leading to incidents is decreased through effective analysis and intervention by support staff.
Additional communication and learning resources are produced for us at home. We train and support families so they are able to deliver learning at home, maintain a range of communication methods, and share equipment which supports access.
Impact: improved relationship between school and home which supports continues engagement during school holidays. Increased engagement of the family in supporting the destination planning for their child.
2020-2021 Pupil Premium Plans
There are 8 pupils eligible for Pupil Premium. The total budget is £9,197.76 (meaning an average of around £1,800 received per child).
Here is how we plan to spend the allocated funds:
Symbols, talking switches and tactile elements will help students engage with a timetable designed according to their individual needs. We hope that this will also help their understanding of their day, and support transition between activities.
Our students will be able to engage more with access technology, and improve opportunities for communication with their family, peers and staff. They will be able to access sensory activities using the devices, which will help them regulate their mood and reduce their anxiety.
Positive Behaviour Support Training
We want to increase our staff knowledge of the range of approaches that can support and effectively manage behaviour. This will have the outcome of reducing incidents relating to escalating behaviours, and increase class engagement.
2019-2020 Pupil Premium Spend
In the 2019-2020 academic year spent £7,432.42 of Pupil Premium funding in the following areas, as part of improving the quality of teaching for everyone:
Improving student engagement with access technology, and improving communication opportunities
New devices allowed our students to communicate with family, peers and staff. They were able to access sensory activities using the devices which helped them regulate their mood and reduce their anxiety.
This means that they are better able to communicate with others and maintain relationships when taking the next steps into adulthood. They are now also better at using available equipment to support their needs during the day.
Students also engaged with music, videos and specific apps (to help with their vision impairment) as part of daily living. They were able to keep in touch with teachers throughout lockdown (for those who were being supported remotely).
Sensory regulation equipment (trampoline and weighted blanket)
This equipment was purchased to increase sensory regulation opportunities for students. This allows them to re-engage with the lesson and develop strategies to reduce the time they spend away from the classroom.
The impact of this is a reduction in the number and scale of behaviours and resulting incidents, and more time spent engaged in learning activities.
The weighted blanked has supported the student to regulate their own anxiety and reduce the number of incidents which escalate.
The trampoline allowed students to increase the level of physical activity (particularly during the COVID-19 lockdown, which had reduced the availability of other shared facilities) as well as helping to regulate behaviour. There has also been an increase in activity in other users not in direct receipt of Pupil Premium funding.
Developed approach to the delivery of statutory PSHE and RSE
We purchased a range of tactile resources to help our students access (and become more aware of) PSHE and RSE.
Sharing tactile equipment was not possible during the summer term of 2019 due to COVID-19 concerns around sharing equipment.