The GO Platform project is funded by Creative Partnerships with Great Oaks School and can best be described as an interactive communication system in the school, which will take advantage of new web 2.0 technologies such as; social-networking sites, blogs, wikis, video-sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, etc... This will give the school community a platform to share and exchange creative teaching ideas and opportunities and to extend these to a wider audience. It will also be a place to promote the school's new theatre and sports facilities to a wider community. For this the school will need to engage a practitioner with the appropriate skills and experience.
The second element is to investigate new ways of pupils to access existing and new technologies. For example; our SLD pupils and some MLD pupils have little or no way of accessing the internet without support. Through assistive technologies and universal accessibility, our pupils can have a greater independence and means of communication both at school and and home. Through the use of augmentative and alternative communication, pupils on the autistic spectrum could develop a means of communication with their peers and adults. We envisage this could be done through the use of iPads that will be given to members of staff and students working in pairs.
The third element to the project would be more specific and would test the first element. We will create and video, performances and animated social stories across the whole school delivered through subject areas. Special Needs pupils have a wide range of learning difficulties and these social stories will address some of these needs, from a short story about respecting people's body space, to preparing an autistic pupil for buying new shoes. We will employ a creative practitioner with drama, film, art, poetry, music and animation skills who also has an understanding of special needs.
Through this project pupils, staff, families and community will develop new skills which will be sustained through a programme of CPD and training. Our Change school question is shaping up to be 'How can we work with teachers and pupils in their curriculum areas to create the Go Platform?' This will then transcend in to 'How can we test the Platform so that it can become sustainable?'