Alongside our high-quality mainstream provision, Great Binfields is a specialist resource base for Visual Impairment (VI). The provision can accommodate up to 10 children in school and we also provide outreach support for primary school children across the north of the county. Well established, our resource aims to support children with VI so that they can be included within mainstream education as much as possible. The children have access to the resource base for additional curriculum, such as Braille Literacy and concentrated learning to support their development.
We provide a wealth of IT and other resources in order to support our VI pupils. All VI pupils have access to their own personalised iPad, which provides greater opportunity for independence and peer group working. All pupils also have access to a laptop and, for children who are registered as blind, individual Perkins Braillers and cutting-edge ‘smart’ Braillers are also provided. Miss Copping manages a team of VI Learning Support Assistants (LSAs) who support teachers to prepare and provide resources for our sight impaired (partially sighted) and severely sight impaired children. We are very lucky to be able to provide a sensory curriculum for the children in "The Orchard". This is a sensory room which has a variety of stimulating resources including bubble tubes, UV lights, soft play, projectors and tactile resources to name a few!
The VI resource provision enhances every aspect of school life with our mainstream provision enriched as a result. We regularly provide VI awareness training to the staff and pupils, planned jointly with the Local Authority and local charities. This training gives all of our pupils some experience of the difficulties people with VI face and helps them to understand how they can support our sight impaired (partially sighted) and severely sight impaired children. The sessions also promote health education by encouraging the children to look after their eyes through a healthy life style and regular eye tests.
While most of our VI children are brought to school by taxi, we make regular contact with all the parents of the children in the resource base through a home-school diary. It is vital that parents feel that they are part of their child’s education. We work hard to include parents in the life of the school wherever possible and support them to attend parents’ evenings, workshops and special events. They are welcome to visit the school at other times and are invited to meet with Miss Copping and class teacher once a term to discuss their child’s progress.
Children with visual impairment need additional support to develop appropriate social and emotional skills. In support of this, each week we run a VIP club where all the children with VI in school can meet and undertake shared learning activities. Once a term, VIP club is opened up to VI children across north Hampshire. These sessions provide a great opportunity for parents to meet and make new contacts.
Our VI Resource continually seeks to link with the local community for the benefit of our children. The school works with various charities including Guide Dogs for the Blind, RNIB, Sightsavers and Open Sight and Southampton Football Club.
Our resourced provision is becoming increasingly well-known and highly regarded by parents and professionals. We feel we can offer a high level of support that enables pupils with VI to be fully included in the life of the school and to make excellent progress with their learning and development.
VIP Club takes place every Friday and we take part in lots of activities which help us to develop a variety of different skills including valuable life skills. It also allows us to meet and socialise with our friends.