CALL Scotland (Communication Aids for Language and Learning) at Edinburgh University has been working with The Hub (Sandersons Wynd Primary School) and Ross High ASN Provision to develop resources, approaches and strategies to give children with complex ASN a voice. Consulting with children and young people can be a real challenge particularly if there’s no spoken language. Finding innovative solutions was the basis of this project.
We met on Friday 16th January to ‘showcase’ the results – what an inspiring afternoon!
Talking Mats were the first resource where pupils used Boardmaker symbols and Signalong to indicate ‘I like’ or ‘I don’t like’ A very simple but effective approach to enable children to express their opinion.
Eating Programmes have been revamped to a much more visual format which were so easy to read for everyone from the teachers and support staff to the dinner ladies who no longer puzzled over ‘scoop bowls’ but could see from the photo exactly what was meant.
The move from Meadow Park to The Hub was the perfect opportunity to develop Transition mats – the children selected their own photos of both venues for their own personal mats. Boardmaker symbols for ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Hello’ as well as directional arrows gave the children a real sense of what was happening and parents could use the mat to talk about the move with their children.
PowerPoint was used to develop learning stories and coupled with Switch technology the children were enjoying seeing themselves on screen. These Learning Stories could be sent home on DVDs for families to shars
With the power of technology we were able to set up a folder right then and there so we can share resources. The ‘Communication Toolkit’ folder is located within the Support for Learners area on Education Exchange (this can be found in your ‘favourites’) – anonymised exemplars are located here and the report from the meeting will soon follow. Watch this space!