The NAS Thames Valley School in Reading, which focuses on helping students with autism build on their strengths, learning, confidence and enjoyment, will join our education partnership, gaining access to state-of-the-art IT equipment and services support.
We believe that equipping people of all ages and abilities with the digital skills to drive us towards a Digital First Britain in vitally important, and the scheme focuses on providing the right equipment to aid the learning requirements of students. In turn, this helps boost their enthusiasm and capabilities in the classroom.
“The students are incredibly excited about the opportunity to use the new technology in their learning,” said Gary Simm, NAS Thames Valley School Principal.
“It has been amazing to see how quickly they have engaged with the equipment. They have not hesitated to simply start using the equipment and they have found it very intuitive to use.
“Students at our school face very real challenges in engaging in face to face conversations, particularly with people who are unfamiliar to them.”
“Using this technology provides us with a unique opportunity to explore how we can start to further prepare students to develop their communication skills using the technology as an interface to the real world.”
On top of this, teacher training forms a key part of the initiative. Teachers will be able to go on professional development sessions with Intel, up-skilling them in digital while also helping them on the way to being a special needs trainer.
We’ve supplied a total of 10 devices to the school – in the form of laptops, tablets and 2-in-1 devices, and it means they will be able to support a full class of children at any one time.
Gary added: “The technology will enable staff to explore exciting ways to provide tailored learning experiences focusing on communication and social engagement, which will help to break down barriers for students and help them to prepare for higher education and future employment.”
Up to 50 pupils at the school will have direct access to the technology, and it will also be made available to hundreds more as the hub will be open to all schools that are part of the National Autistic Society (NAS). The NAS has a total of eight schools in the UK, serving 500 children between the ages of four and 21.
The ambassador partners are designed to help improve students’ digital skills as well as teach educators. As part of the initiative, Fujitsu is setting up Innovation Hubs at ambassador institutions around the UK using Fujitsu and Intel technology.
We are also aiming to act as a bridge between our ambassador institutions and bodies such as the Department for Education (DfE), the Education Technology Action Group (ETAG) and the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to help build new relationships.