Witley CofE Infant School is a four class school located a few miles
from Godalming in West Surrey.
How are the LearnPads being used for SEN?
Headteacher Richard Stanton, explains; “The school has a fair proportion of SEN pupils, so along with our LearnPad tablets, there has been considerable use of the 21” Folio 2 by SEN groups and individuals. The Folio 2 has opened up a new world of possibilities for the SEN pupils, helping them to become more engaged with the subject matter simply because it allows them a greater choice in how to learn. They enjoy a sense of achievement and the teachers are able to tailor their teaching to accommodate different learning styles.”
“The big display screen allows them to share and collaborate with other pupils. SNAs have used SEN resources to support a number of children with Statements across the Early Years and Key Stage 1; the simple yet engaging activities providing exactly the level of challenge and focus these children require to access their learning. Our SEN pupils have displayed a sound ability to operate the devices and, in doing so, have furthered their achievement and understanding.”
“The LearnPads are used in a range of styles: simple short SEN activities are used on a 1:1 basis and this provides an opportunity for supervision, encouragement and monitoring. Small groups use the Folio 2 for Guided Literacy sessions – reading, comprehension, word and sentence formation, as well as the times table and division activities for Numeracy.”
“The Folio 2 has also been used to support group work – through adult-led activities or more peer collaborative learning and allowed children to develop required skills such as letter/number recognition/formation, phonic awareness and fine-motor control. The social interaction which arises from using the devices has also been most useful in building the communication of SEN pupils who may lack confidence or not have the ability to contribute or interact in the same way as their peers.”
Richard says; “Throughout the school, LearnPads are being used in a wide variety of ways across Early Years and Key Stage 1. Our EY practitioners take photos, digitally store and collate evidence of pupil progress. Whole-class use at KS1 involves using the devices to search the internet to research various topics or independently following directions set in advance.”
The Benefits of LearnPad
Pupils have gained a wide palette of new skills and in-house assessments show that they are now capable of many actions and processes that weren’t apparent before the devices arrived. The other notable feature is their keen desire to use the devices in class — their enthusiasm and the fact that the LearnPads can be used so diversely have provided the school with an engaging and interactive method of learning.
Richard Stanton says; “The Build-a-Lesson feature is fantastic and has allowed us to deliver various content in a more exciting manner. The simplicity of the devices makes them very user-friendly and many of the skills / processes required to successfully operate the devices are picked up and retained by the pupils after only a few demonstrations.”
And What of the Future?
The curriculum content provided for free by LearnPad has ‘provided pupils and staff with such an incentive to use them and do so in an enjoyable and educational manner’. Indeed the LearnPad usage has been such a success that the school foresees greatly increasing the number of devices to match the expansion of the school. They have also been a superb asset for staff CPD in ICT. All staff now have an established skills base to allow smooth operation across all classes. In-house training has aided each adult, particularly support staff, and the development of the ICT Coordinator’s own expertise has been most noticeable and rewarding.
Richard Stanton states; “Whether it be with a small group of children or in a 1:1 context, LearnPads have benefited our all of our pupils enormously over the past 2 years and certainly been influential in aiding those children’s attainment and enthusing them towards the learning.”