Yateley School is the largest secondary school in North East Hampshire catering to over 1,500 students aged 11-16. They pride themselves on being an inclusive and compassionate community. Therefore, when given the opportunity, they were keen to trial AV1 with one of their students unable to attend school.
Caroline Uttley, Head of House, explains how the AV1 has allowed one of their pupils to feel part of the school community again:
This particular student experiences anxiety and finds it difficult to be separated from home and her parents. She stopped coming to school altogether. Whilst she did engage with work set online it did not provide her with the differentiation or social contact she needed. AV1 has helped her to feel part of the class again.
Before receiving the AV1 the school attended a short training session with No Isolation and, from there, started planning the best way to introduce the AV1 to school.
Caroline describes the reaction from both staff and students:
"We sent an email round to all teachers. There was initially some concern over who could access the AV1 but after discussing the privacy features and guidelines for use all teachers said they were happy to have it in lessons. The AV1 didn’t create any extra workload and was easy to use, so it was generally well accepted.
"The first time we actually used it was during a lunchtime with some of the student’s friends. They hadn’t seen her much until that point and the reconnection was instant. Her friends loved transporting the AV1 between lessons."
AV1 provides a feeling of control for students who may find it intimidating to be physically present in the classroom. Caroline explains how the student has slowly gained more confidence whilst using the AV1:
“The student has now been attending lessons with the AV1 on a regular basis. She has started to build up the confidence to answer questions in some lessons and interact with her friends. I think the AV1 has helped her to see how life is still moving on at school and this has done a lot to stop her feeling so isolated.
Mum has said she laughs and smiles again since the robot, and also says that her daughter’s engagement with AV1 has allowed her (Mum) to return to working.”
The school are now hoping that the AV1 will support the student to come into school more regularly. Caroline describes how the student has already made positive steps to begin a phased return to school:
Caroline Uttley, Head of House at Yateley School, July 2021
The student has now met us in the library for lunch on site and then went with her friends to her form room. This was something that looked unachievable before we had the robot. It’s really early days but we will use the robot now to try and integrate her back into classes.
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