Wellbeing and pastoral support
A lot of our young people are more vulnerable as they miss out on incidental learning opportunities.
Some of the things we teach in PSHE or pastoral 1:1 sessions which are relevant to visual impairment are:
Familiar and unfamiliar people
Asking for assistance is a big part of increasing confidence and self esteem for a person with a visual impairment. A lot of people who we do not know can assist us throughout our lives, including police, paramedics, doctors, nurses and shop assistants. This means that instead of teaching about “stranger danger” we support our young people to understand how familiar and unfamiliar people fit into their world.
Personal safety in the community
We encourage our young people to think about their personal safety whilst out in the community by teaching them techniques such as emergency contacts, safe money handling, safe places to use bathroom facilities and apps to support them on their phone. These all help to increase confidence whilst they are out in the community and to be able to demonstrate safe decision making when faced with unexpected circumstances.
Safe and unsafe touch
A lot of our young people learn by touch, but not all touch is a positive experience. Peoples acceptance of touch differs and some can become desensitized and may allow touch without the knowledge of being allowed to say no. We teach different types of touch and encourage our young people to state what is or isn’t acceptable to them.
As we are a residential school and college, a lot of our young people rely on social media to keep in touch with one another. They can feel isolated when they return home for a weekend or holiday so although we encourage contact between the students we must also be aware and teach them of the dangers associated with this.
Growing up, getting to know your own identity and increasing your confidence and self-esteem is highly promoted. Through PSHE and 1:1 sessions everyone is encouraged to challenge their thoughts and feelings and understand that at times it is ok to not be ok.
Other visits and opportunities
We also have outside visits including police and independent advocates. There is also a keyworker system in place, and the support of a Clinical Psychologist is available as appropriate.