Visually Impaired Unit
Our specialist Resource Base for pupils with a visual impairment was established at Edward Wilson Primary School in September 2005. The rationale behind the unit is to offer full inclusion of visually impaired children into mainstream primary education. Over the years the numbers of pupils supported by the unit have fluctuated, but all have left primary school with the additional skills and confidence needed for transition to KS3 and further education.
The Resource Base is staffed by two experienced QTVIs (qualified teachers of Visually Impaired) and offers specialist provision and support for pupils with recognised sight loss. Past pupils have moved on to the mainstream secondary school of their choice or opted for a specialist secondary school placement.
Our QTVIs work alongside main class teachers to plan and adapt class teaching and learning. Modified learning materials such as braille books and large print worksheets are created to suit individual need and ability. As well as this, the QTVIs deliver one to one teaching for braille and/or accessible IT skills. Pupils with a visual impairment have full access to the curriculum, educational visits and afterschool clubs. We have high expectations for all our pupils and believe all have the ability to achieve, provided that they are given access to the right resources, stimulus and support.
Our QTVIs recognise the additional needs and concerns of visually impaired students and their families at different times throughout their time with us. We regularly work alongside other support professionals and will signpost to external support organisations when needed. We have long established links to RNIB, Guide Dogs and Westminster Council Sensory Support outreach team.
As a dedicated Resource Base for pupils with visual impairment we strive to offer the following:
Experienced and supportive QTVIs, teaching staff and Learning Assistants
Modified teaching and learning resources such as Large Print texts, Braille books, audio files, tactile graphs, maps and play equipment
Modified SATs papers and exam procedures are overseen, allowing VI pupils additional time and a conducive environment to work in
Teaching of pre-Braille skills and UEB Braille from Nursery to Y6
Teaching of tactile awareness and additional listening skills
Use of Braille technology (BrailleNote, Perkins)
Use of access technology - Laptops with talking software and magnification
One-to-one mobility and Habilitation sessions delivered by a Habilitation Specialist (linked to the pupil’s individual assessment and EHC plan targets)
Supported access to after school clubs
Bespoke small group trips e.g. audio described theatre performances, horse riding, rock climbing, project-focussed school based workshops with visiting artists/musicians
Liaison with parents and other supportive adults to ensure self-help strategies are used at home and school
Visually impaired member of staff as role model for VI pupils
Emotional support for pupils and parents at times of transition or change (e.g. new diagnosis or prognosis of eye condition)