We have an exciting range of activities based around ICT and Media. This includes desktop publishing, creating comic books, photography, music production, animation and film making. There is a dedicated suite of iMac computers along with several mobile trolleys of laptops and iPads that can be used in class.
There are real benefits to young people with learning disabilities and autism using the Internet to support learning and social interaction. Increasingly the Internet caters for children and young people with learning disabilities and autism through using accessible design and simplified language, as well as instantly available video clips. For children with complex needs these can provide wonderful opportunities for learning.
- Young people with autism and other communication disorders often find Internet communication easier than face to face communication.
- On the Internet peoples use of consistent and easily recognisable emoticons replaces the need to decode people’s body language, facial expressions and vocal tone that can be problematic in personal communications.
- Internet-learning provides opportunities for learning through repetition that supports children who take longer to learn new things and embeds the learning they do in the classroom by undertaking activities as many times as they need to, in order to consolidate their learning.
- Alongside the many benefits to children and young people there are also a number of risks. With access to technology comes the potential for cyber bullying, online grooming and risk of exposure to inappropriate content. This is a risk for all children and young people using the Internet but the risk can be more profound for young people with a learning disability as a result of increased vulnerability, tendencies towards obsessive compulsive behaviour and social naivety. One example of this is that pupils with Special Educational Needs are 16% more likely to be persistently cyber bullied over a prolonged period of time.
Teaching and learning
Why Internet and digital communications are important
- The Internet is an essential element in 21st century life for education, business and social interaction. The school has a duty to provide students with quality Internet access as part of their learning experience.
- Internet use is a part of the statutory curriculum and a necessary tool for staff and pupils.
- The internet allows pupils to search and locate information relative to their own interests and those related to the school curriculum
- For some pupils on the autistic spectrum this includes using familiar website to reduce anxiety as part of coping strategies.
- The school Internet access is provided by Babcock 4S and LGfL and includes filtering appropriate to the age of pupils.
- Pupils will be taught what Internet use is acceptable and what is not and given clear objectives for Internet use (See attached guidance notes).
- Pupils will be educated in the effective use of the Internet in research, including the skills of knowledge location, retrieval and evaluation (See attached guidance notes).
- Pupils will be shown how to publish and present information appropriately to a wider audience.