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Educating young people who are blind or vision impaired

Virtual NCW and COVID-19

During the COVID-19 outbreak, NCW is committed to keeping students and staff safe, whilst continuing to provide top quality accessible learning. 

During the first lockdown in 2019, NCW ran a full remote timetable and support programme via Google Meet. Here are some great examples of how we are continued to teach and care for the young people in our school community during the national lockdown.

For full details of how we adapted teaching and learning during the pandemic, visit our Virtual NCW page.

If you are the parent of a young VI learner in a mainstream setting and would like your child to be able to access this learning get in touch as we  may be able to provide resources, tips or even include your child in some our lessons. Contact us via our Contact Us page.

Students were able to access their full timetable of lessons each day which were held using Google Hangouts and Google Meet. 

We were also able to offer additional one to one lessons for any students who needed a little extra support.

I just wanted to pass on my thanks and total respect for all of your interaction with the kids over these difficult times. It has been extra difficult for [daughter] as she is worrying that she might never go back given this was her last term. You and your staff have kept her going, engaged and motivated - thank you. I have been really impressed with the provision and remote support. Thank you to everyone.​

Parent - May 2020

Virtual Assemblies and Form Groups

Google Meets has been really effective for everyone coming together for assemblies and form time. There is no limit to the number of people who can join and after a a couple of times most people have become competent users. It is accessible for those who are vision impaired and participants are able to join with or without video. Anyone not speaking needs to disable their microphone to cut out background noise.

These gatherings have facilitated a routine feel to the virtual school day, with staff and students joining for assembly and form time first thing in the morning – ready for the day!

Assembly - 100 attendees

Clubs and Activities

At NCW we have found during these difficult times that by reacting quickly and being flexible is a key to success in running a virtual school. On lockdown, we ran a full virtual programme of lessons but over the first few weeks it emerged that students were becoming exhausted, as were parents and staff! The students were missing the down time with their peers, House Parents and Key Workers.

We reacted to this situation and instigated a bi-weekly timetable, which freed up afternoons for a series of well-being clubs that students could sign up to. From sing-a-longs to fitness, arts & crafts to App club – there was something for everyone.

Care Staff and Key Workers have also been running activities outside of school time, in the evenings and at weekends, including Quiz Nights, Open Mic Evenings and even a Saturday Afternoon Baking Club.

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