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Educating young people who are blind or vision impaired

Virtual NCW is back (for a limited time only)!

NCW with computer

The health and safety of our students and staff is the number one priority for us at NCW.
Unfortunately there is now more than one member of our wider community who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and the decision has been made to close the school campus for two weeks, from Monday 16th November to Sunday 29th November inclusive.
The full NCW experience, including lessons, pastoral support, clubs and activities, will be running remotely for the duration of the time that the campus is closed and all staff members and departments can still be reached by email. The senior leadership team would like to thank all students, parents and staff for their unwavering flexibility and support during this difficult time and we look forward to getting back to campus at the end of the month. 

Learning from home...

Nic Ross, Principal of NCW, gives us an insight into how we have been dealing with a temporary closure and virtually educating our students.

Principal, Nic Ross
Nic Ross, Principal

How are we ensuring that students are still able to learn whilst school is closed?

Whilst the College is closed and lessons are being delivered remotely, the staff of NCW have provided a full timetable of lessons. This means the school day starts at 8.30am every day and goes right through to 4pm. All subjects are delivering online and face to face. Although it’s not the same as being in the classroom, it does mean that our students are not missing their learning.

How are we keeping spirits high amongst our school community?

To ensure the students (and staff) are kept in good spirits, we are trying to keep in touch as much as possible. We are still having three assemblies every week and are making sure there are lots of activities, clubs and fun events to be involved in. We’ve had quizzes, colouring club, music rehearsals and tech club to name just a few. 

Key workers and house staff have also made contact with their students.

Are there things that are working really well?

Each student finds that different elements of the provision works for them. Some students thrive with the online learning and have flourished, gaining independence with each lesson. For others, the 1-1 contact made by staff and their peers helps support their feeling of wellbeing and connectedness. 

Have there been any challenges?

The main challenge is trying to learn/teach/communicate on the end of a computer screen. It is just not the same as being face to face with peers or colleagues. Some students and staff find the isolation difficult and keeping morale going is quite challenging.   

The whole process also relies on the technology being effective!…

How are we keeping a strong level of communication between school and parents?

During this period at home, the Parents’ Forum has been able to meet on line and some parents are keeping in close contact with staff. The parents have been kept informed of changes to the risk assessment and plans for our return.
We are really looking forward to being back in College shortly!

What do our students say?

"I've found it ok learning at home, an I am able to access all of my lessons quite easily. I've been able to take part in Musical Theatre and Guitar club virtually through Google Meet and have enjoyed being able to still participate in these. I am missing actual interaction with other students and staff, as I feel communicating and maintaining relationships are easier when face to face. I'm keeping in touch with my friends both in lessons and outside of lessons through messages and calls."
Student Amy
Amy
Sixth Form Student
"I've kept in touch with my friends and I'm looking forward to going back to NCW. It's been good to attend some of the virtual clubs - I've joined in with the Sixth Form Quiz and it was really fun!"
Student Seb
Seb
Sixth Form Student
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