At the Redway School we see ICT as an important skill to support all other areas of the curriculum. Our pupils are encouraged to explore and respond to activities with all of their senses and to engage in activities as fully as possible. All resources are accessible to all pupils, all abilities and all ages. ICT enables pupils to have some independence to access their own thinking and learning skills. ICT can help to enhance communication skills through a range of different media, providing them with independence both personally and educationally. It also enables all pupils to take part in mixed ability lessons, through resource differentiation.
ICT is not taught as an explicit subject around school, instead it is incorporated into everything we do, for example using a Big Mack switch to say hello and goodbye for communication, using buttons to access cause and effect computer games in Mathematics or using the iPad to support learning in music. There are a wide variety of age appropriate toys available to pupils which encourage development of ICT skills, such as using toys with musical rewards when a button is pressed, to telephones for using in role play games. Older pupils begin to use ICT as an aid to more real life situations such as creating shopping lists for trips out to the local shops. Pupils are also able to practice their ICT skills by visiting a variety of places such as supermarkets, local shops and businesses. They also become involved in day-to-day tasks such as organising and understanding timetables. Within the Transitions Department, pupils run a café where they are able buy items to sell, and run it by taking orders from customers. Here they can develop an understanding of sorting information by using technology to assist them as well as using it to help communicate with their customers.
We also use many high tech specialist resources in school ranging from rooms such as our MiLE (Multisensory Interactive Learning Environment) room which is very versatile for example it can be used developing cause and effect with lights and sounds or it can be used as a support tool to enhance pupils visual, auditory and kinaesthetic experiences. The MiLE equipment is also incorporated into our hydrotherapy pool.
We have also invested heavily in the use of iPads within school that are accessible to all pupils and are used to support all areas of the Curriculum. They are also used as communication devices for some pupils replacing large heavier machines. The iPads are also crucial in supporting staff in their planning assessment of pupil levels and feedback to parents.