Abbotswood Junior School sits at the heart of Totton community in Hampshire. They provide education for over 600 pupils aged 7-11 years and strive to provide a happy, secure and rich learning environment. The school have been using an AV1 to support one of their year 6 students since April 2021.
Abby Ralph, year 6 teacher, describes the impact of being away from school for a pupil in her class.
“Due to an immunodeficiency disorder the student has been off school since February 2020. He could not return to school at the end of summer term to say goodbye to his year 5 teacher nor could he rejoin his friends in September. He received some schooling whilst in hospital but has missed out on the opportunity to build up friendships the way other children have in school”
Abby explains how the AV1 has given the student the ability to reconnect with his friends, progress in lessons and receive the support he needs.
“The biggest impact for our pupil has been the social interaction. He goes out at break time on the AV1 at least three times a week and chats away with his friends. In the class he also works collaboratively with the students on his row.
He is lower attaining and not that communicative yet and AV1 has really helped him to connect and engage in lessons. He now has speech and language therapy through the AV1 as well."
The school were conscious that AV1 be introduced carefully to the other students in the class before the pupil at home connected for the first time. Information letters were also sent home to the parents of the class. Abby explains:
“I did a class assembly the day before the student was due to log on. I showed them the robot and their faces lit up. The next day the student logged on. As soon as they heard the student’s voice coming through they stopped seeing it as a piece of tech and quickly accepted it as the student.”
In comparison to other video conferencing software AV1 allows the student to feel integrated within the classroom experience as Abby comments:
“AV1 is much more personal. The student has the ability to control the movement of the robot and change it’s emotions, which is something you wouldn’t get on a laptop. The student has the autonomy to rotate his view and he doesn’t have to rely on anyone else. It provides him with a level of independence that he wouldn’t get if he was just watching the lesson on another form of video call."
Abby feels that AV1 could help children with a variety of conditions:
– Abby Ralph, year 6 teacher at Abbotswood Junior School
I can imagine it working just as well, if not better, with other types of students.
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