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Claremont School – SMART Board for SEN Class

Joy Kelly, deputy head teacher, Claremont School, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol, explains how they have taken strides outside of the ‘norm’ to offer their children an exceptionally successful, collaborative learning environment.

We had identified that all our ICT resources at the school only supported solitary interaction that invariably demanded the presence of our support staff. The diversity of the students special needs meant that although we had a broad range of ICT tools that met their individual requirements they were prohibitive to group work. Although interactive whiteboards are having
a huge impact in schools in terms of supporting learning, the benefits appeared inaccessible to our children.

Martin Pateman of Smarter Interactive; “In our view the SMART Board and its software tools are ideal for the special educational needs environment. The whole issue is how you make it accessible to students with various needs. Our solution centred on the SMART Board™ for Flat-Panel Displays Interactive Plasma Overlay, mounted on a specially designed electronic bracket system which raises and lowers the board, depending on the height of the children interacting with the displayed information.

In my view, this requirement for smooth height adjustment is not specific to special educational needs environments. In all schools, especially in the primary sector, a height adjustment feature offers significant additional benefits.”

Joy continues; “Smarter SInteractive’s bracket design was ideal, the results have meant that we need them in every class. In general we use the technology for every school project, exercise and unit of activity. The interactive overlays are even used during wet play time so that the children can play their DVD’s or move around to their favorite CDs.

Prior to finding a way of introducing interactive whiteboards, many children were excluded from taking part in ICT supported activities. Despite the physical restrictions they also had little enthusiasm to even try to interact. Today the classrooms that have the interactive overlays are a vibrant centre of shared learning.

The technology is giving them phenomenal future life skills that
they just would not have had before. The children are alert, focused and can not wait to be involved. When using the SMART Board we do not have to identify the appropriate ICT solution, the technology is the ideal solution for everyone. No one is left out.”

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