Celebrating children and young people

It is important to celebrate the achievements of our CENMAC students. If you would like to nominate a CENMAC student at your school who deserves special recognition for embracing their assistive technology to assist their learning and/or communication we would love to know!

Make a nomination for Student of the Month!

To make a nomination download the form and save it. Email the completed form to us at newsandevents@cenmac.com with the Subject line: Student of the Month

Student of the Month Award

June 2024

Earlier this month we held our annual event Communication Works at the Charlton Athletic Football Club. This is a great opportunity for the children and young people that CENMAC supports to demonstrate the achievements they have made using their assistive technology and/or augmentative and alternative communication. So, this month we would like to award Khamani, Amimul, Ruth and Bella Rose as our Students of the Month for their amazing presentation skills and having the courage to get up on stage in front of our large crowd of visitors. The presence of these students really helped to make it a great day and our visitors got to see for themselves the amazing impact having access to the right technology makes to our students’ selfconfidence, independence, communication and literacy skills. We are all very proud of them! 

Student of the Month Award

Khamani 

Khamani is currently studying Film and TV at Nine Elms college and has an incredibly positive outlook to everything he does.

Khamani aspires to be a TV presenter when he leaves college. Khamani was our amazing MC for the day at Communication Works. He introduced the speakers, made all the announcements throughout the day, ran the raffle and created a warm and friendly atmosphere in the exhibition hall. We are sure that Khamani will achieve all the goals he sets for himself as he is driven, motivated and is very charismatic! Thank you MC Khamani! 

Student of the Month Award

Khamani

Amimul

Amimul is a 20-year-old student at Lewisham College. He has been receiving support from CENMAC since 2011, when he was in primary school. Throughout his journey with CENMAC, Amimul has been able to try many different types of Assistive technology and has always been honest on his preferences. Today Amimul is using an iPad Pro mounted to his wheelchair and uses it for both communication and curriculum access.

In the summer term of 2022, Amimul began weekly one-on-one sessions with Abdi Omar, CENMAC’s AAC consultant, who mentors and coaches students. These sessions have significantly boosted Amimul’s self-confidence.

During his presentation at Communication Works, Amimul shared insights into his journey with CENMAC and highlighted the positive impact of assistive technology (particularly the text-based communication app called Predictable) on his education and life. Amimul was one of the highlights of the event and received many praises after his presentation.

Student of the Month Award

Amimul

Ruth

Ruth is an amazing example of incredible talent, innovation, and courage in adversity. She has a real flair for writing having written her own poetry as well as her own book of stories and anecdotes which is wonderful and heart-warming. Many young people would have found it daunting to present to a large room of visitors. But not Ruth!

Ruth’s presentation at Communication Works went beyond her poetic talents. She also demonstrated the technology she uses, showcasing the remarkable journey she has undertaken from the age of 5 when she was given her first computer and tracker ball. This technology has been instrumental in enhancing her ability to communicate and express herself, allowing her creative voice to shine even brighter and have a transformative impact on her life and learning.

Ruth gave us all a powerful reminder of the importance of independence and the role of technology in breaking down barriers and demonstrating her limitless potential.

I felt so incredibly proud of Ruth and would like to take this opportunity also to that her amazing mum and dad for attending the event with her, and to her support staff at Pimlico Academy who helped to make it happen. I am sure we will be hearing from Ruth again. I certainly hope so!

Student of the Month Award

Ruth

Bella Rose

Bella has been using assistive technology to support the recording of her learning, and visual access to the curriculum since 2022.

At Communication Works Bella presented her views on how the use of technology has assisted her in achieving what she wants to do.

Bella is incredibly creative and she spoke about having so many ideas stuck in her head that she couldn’t get down onto paper. Since using technology, Bella has found that she can be much more creative, and also work more independently, which has given her a real confidence boost. Bella said that she has gone from never wanting to draw or write, to wanting to draw and write all the time!

Bella enjoyed presenting so much that she has requested to return to speak at other events!

Student of the Month Award

Bella Rose

May 2024

We’re are delighted to award our Student of the Month to Moritz a student at Elm Court School.

Advisory Teacher David Howard said “I am pleased to nominate Moritz as our Student of the Month. His remarkable qualities and dedication have truly stood out during our time working together. Despite the challenges he faces, Moritz maintains an unwavering positivity and drive to excel. When I introduced him to assistive technology, I witnessed firsthand the positive impact it had on his learning experience. Moritz’s ambition and commitment to achieving his best are truly inspiring. I have no doubt that he will continue to thrive and make significant contributions in the future.”

Moritz said “I really enjoy using my assistive technology because it is helping me engage in my lessons and other reading tasks, and making me more confident to participate in discussions as I can read and understand my work much more quickly.”

Tutor “Moritz is a very hard-working, creative and considerate student, his assistive technology supports his visual access to class materials. There has been a marked improvement both in his engagement in lessons and his work since he was given his assistive technology. I am hopeful that using this tech will continue to improve Moritz’s confidence both in school and at home.”

Student of the Month Award - May 2024

Student of the Month for May 2024 is Moritz at Elm Court School.

March 2024

We’re very happy to award our Student of the Month for March to pupil Evie at Ivydale Primary School.

Evie was nominated by Advisory Teacher Maureen De Longhi who said “When we first started supporting Evie she felt a little bit nervous and upset especially when it came to typing as she is quite sensitive to touch. In an effort to overcome this challenge, she decided to explore Dragon Voice Typing. Despite her initial apprehension, Evie approached the training with remarkable enthusiasm and determination. Evie adapted extremely quickly to the program, completing it confidently and showcasing her resilience in overcoming technology-related anxiety. This positive experience highlighted Evie’s resolve to overcome challenges associated with her sensitivities and she demonstrates real skill using her new technology. She reported that she was ‘delighted’ with her new skills!”

Congratulations Evie! We’re very proud of you!

Student of the Month Award

Student of the Month for March 2024 is Evie pictured here in the classroom.

February 2024

We’re delighted to award the February 2024 Student of the Month to Zion at student at St Thomas the Apostle College.

Zion is a dedicated Year 11 student currently preparing for his GCSE studies. Zion was finding writing very difficult and was struggling to access his curriculum due to fine and gross motor skills delay. CENMAC was contacted to support Zion and since receiving his technology in primary school, Zion has determinedly learned to use all the tools available to him in order to support his learning. He regularly receives praise from the school staff for his outstanding attitude towards his studies. Notably, his outstanding use of his technology has not gone unnoticed, with teachers commending Zion for making use of his technology in the classroom and at home.

Zion has made a genuine positive, impact within the school community. His amicable nature has earned him popularity not only among peers but also among teachers. He regularly spends time in the SEN base helping and supporting the younger students.

Zion uses his laptop in every single lesson. He says that he doesn’t know what he would do without it now. He is proficient at using a range of tools, including typing, Microsoft Dictation and Immersive Reader and has used his skills to enable him to secure a place at CTK Emmanuel College next year where he will study a Level 3 in Health and Social Care. His kind, caring and supportive nature definitely makes this an excellent choice of career path for him and we can’t wait to see where the future takes Zion!

Student of the Month Award for Februar 2024 is Zion

Student of the Month for February 2024 is Zion pictured here with some lovely flowers for his teachers!

January 2024

Happy New Year! This month we are celebrating the achievements of all the children and young people who were awarded Student of the Month in 2023.

We have been so impressed by the way they have learnt to use the assistive technology (AT) and/or augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) to help them access the curriculum and/or communicate.

We look forward to seeing what they achieve in 2024!

Congratulations to:

  • Charlie at Gordon Primary School – February 2023
  • Jade at Charlton Park Academy – March 2023
  • Shahad at Notre Dame Girls School – April 2023
  • Ruth K at Pimlico Academy – May 2023
  • Perez at Lyndhurst Primary School – June 2023
  • Gaby at St Pauls CofE Primary School – July 2023
  • Ace at Kidbrooke Park Primary – October 2023
  • Pupil ‘L’ at Reay Primary School – November 2023
  • Luke at St Mary Magdalene CofE All Through School – December 2023
Student of the Month Award

December 2023

We’re delighted to award the December Student of the Month to Luke a student at St Mary Magdalene C of E All Through School.

Advisory Teacher Ber Allee said “Luke has demonstrated being very engaged with the support offered by CENMAC. He is excited about using assistive technology and sees clearly how it will have an impact on his future.
Luke wants to use Dragon and is training himself in the use of the software. Hopefully he will use Dragon when taking part in his GCSE’s exam later on this year. Each time I have visited him at St Mary Magdalene he has been a pleasure to work with and has always been extremely polite.”

Student Luke said “Education without understandable material and means to write it is not education and is pointless.”

Melissa Graham, SENCO said ” Luke embraces his learning 100% always. He has a thirst for knowledge and the use of technology has helped him to further his education”.

Congratulations Luke!

CENMAC Student of the Month Award

Luke is always a pleasure to work with and very polite. He’s excited about using assistive technology and sees clearly how it will have an impact on his future.

November 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to pupil ‘L’ at Reay Primary School.

Veronika Andraskova, Inclusion Lead at Reay Primary said “Our pupil ‘L’ is simply magnificent. She is determined, spirited and never gives up. No challenge is too big for her.”

CENMAC’s Deputy Team Leader Mary Long said “Pupil ‘L’ is an amazing student, who always tries her best, no matter what the task. She listens to advice given by staff and always tries to follow instructions so that she can improve her work. She has recently been using the Apple Pencil to write straight onto worksheets on the iPad in maths lessons and has adapted to this really quickly. She is also working really hard at perfecting her touch-typing technique, which will become an essential skill for her as she moves through Key Stage 2, and onwards to secondary school.”

Student of the Month Award

Our pupil ‘L’ is simply magnificent. She is determined, spirited and never gives up.

October 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Ace a pupil at Kidbrooke Park Primary.

CENMAC Specialist Teaching Assistant James Dewar-Hassan said that Ace has been doing excellent work using Clicker since starting in Year 4.

Emma Dale-Emberton, SENCO at Kidbrooke Park Primary said “Ace is a good speller and reader but a very reluctant writer. He struggles with letter formation and keeping his writing on the line and it can be hard to read his work. This can make him reluctant to start work and make him frustrated. Ace now understands the amount of work he is capable of producing when using his laptop and this has raised his self-esteem.”

Ace said “I am good on the computer. I like using First Keys. I am thrilled to win this award. I am looking forward to seeing my photo in the newsletter. My Mum and Dad are very proud of me for using my laptop to produce good work.

CENMAC's Student of the Month Award Ace at Kidbrooke Park Primary

Ace has been doing excellent work using Clicker since starting year 4.

July 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Gabriel (Gaby) a pupil at St Pauls CofE Primary School

“Gaby has been such a pleasure to work with! He always gives everything a try and strives to do his best. Gaby has been quick to learn how to use his laptop to support him with his learning. He is making fantastic use of Clicker 8 for his written work at school and really enjoys First Keys 3 for practising his weekly spellings. Both myself and Gaby’s Occupational Therapist were impressed with his typing speed and navigation and it is clear that Gaby has been working on this. Gaby is now developing his fine motor skills through the use of an iPad and personalised stylus.

More recently, Gaby has started attending mentoring sessions with my colleague Abdi Omar for support with his AAC device. Abdi is also an AAC user and these sessions have been brilliant for Gaby. His engagement, focus and enthusiasm have been such a pleasure to watch.” Victoria Annan, CENMAC Advisory Teacher

 

“Gaby has worked incredibly hard on using his AAC device in school and at home. He is confident to navigate the systems and is developing his fluency with using this. His LSA, class teacher, and other children in the class work alongside Gaby to communicate using his device and are developing their expertise. Gaby uses his device throughout the day, alongside other technology (his laptop) to communicate and share his thoughts and ideas. He is proud to show his device to others and takes pride when using this with his peers. Gaby has also been paired up with another AAC user and has been attending weekly mentoring sessions online, which he loves. We are all so proud of the progress he is making!” Stephanie Black, SENCO

Student of the Month Award July 2023

Gaby has worked incredibly hard on using his AAC device in school and at home.

June 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Perez a student at Lyndhurst Primary School.

“Perez moved from a low-tech AAC system, to the high-tech device CENMAC loaned, a tablet with Word Power 100. During his assessment with CENMAC Speech and Language Therapist Sarah McPoland, Perez navigated quickly to the keyboard, something his low-tech system hadn’t contained, and typed ‘Teletubbies’, one of his favourite shows. This was a real breakthrough moment, as previously Perez had not been able to communicate about his hobbies and interests outside of his low-tech system.

Since its introduction, Perez has developed skills and competence in many areas of device use – navigation, typing and using the predictive option. He is beginning to form his own sentences about pictures in sessions, with the support of his TA, Ms Angela McKenna. Perez has recently discovered that adding punctuation changes the intonation of the voice output. After seeing a picture of a girl who had gone down the slide and landed in a muddy puddle, Perez typed ‘Oh no!’, then replayed it, giggling, which had us all falling about.

I am so proud of Ange McKenna (TA) and Perez. I am grateful for the support Ange has given and am excited for what the future holds for Perez and his family.” Olivia Walker, Speech and Language Therapist, Therapy Links UK

Student of the Month Award - June 2023

Perez working with his Teaching Assistant Ms Angela McKenna.

May 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Ruth K.

Ruth K is a year 8 student at Pimlico Academy. She never lets her disability hold her back and always has a smile on her face and never fails to make the teachers laugh. In fact, she even showcased her talent for stand-up comedy as part of a recent talent show at school, leaving everyone in stitches.

Ruth’s skills in writing poetry are exceptional too, as she not only won a poetry competition but also had two of her poems published. One of her poems even made it into a book that can be found in the school library. Although Ruth is sometimes in pain, she never lets it hold her back and always gives her best effort, always pushing herself to the limit. Ruth always makes excellent use of her CENMAC equipment, proving to be resourceful and innovative. It is truly inspiring to witness the fantastic progress she is making.

Well done Ruth!

Student of the Month Award Ruth in Year 8 at Pimlico Academy

April 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Shahad at Notre Dame Girls School.

Shahad is a bright, smiley, and chatty young girl who is determined to achieve success despite her many challenges. Shahad has a vision impairment and other undiagnosed health needs and is under health investigation and is often hospitalised for this.

Shahad was given a Connect 12 which she uses every day. Moreover, she has taught her teachers and TAs to help them to be able to support her and she has now received some more equipment to support her even further which she is very excited to receive.

At the start of each lesson, Shahad sets up her own equipment so she can see the lesson material. She always has a positive attitude towards her learning and is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Well done Shahad!

Student of the Month Award Shahad at Notre Dame Girls School

March 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Jade at Charlton Park Academy.

Jade has settled into her class with brand new staff and students, this could have been difficult for Jade, but she has settled in so well.

Jade is using her iPad with Supercore 50 a lot more in class to answer questions and join in during lessons. A really exciting skill Jade is developing is getting her message across and not giving up! If Jade doesn’t have the word or can not find it, she will use the internet to help, which is brilliant. Jade this week has initiated a conversation using her iPad which is a wonderful achievement.

It was lovely to see how proud Jade was of herself, we are really proud of her.

Student of the Month Award Jade at Charlton Park Academy

February 2023

This month we are delighted to award Student of the Month to Charlie at Gordon Primary School.

“I’m really happy of the progress Charlie is making in his reading, writing and maths using the ipad and laptop. He especially enjoys making voice notes. The equipment has really changed things for him and it is a lot easier for him to experience success. We are really proud of him!” Hannah Cuesta, SENCO/ Inclusion Manager/ Assistant Headteacher

Charlie said “Luckily, we have a touch screen. I love doing voice notes and going on explorer to choose a story when I’ve finished my other work. My favourite thing is choosing a story.”

Well done Charlie!

Student of the Month Award, Charlie at Gordon Primary School
Charlie self portrait

Charlie – Self portrait
Created on an ipad using pencil

January 2023

Happy New Year! This month we are celebrating all the students who were nominated for Student of the Month in 2022.
They were nominated for their positive attitude to learning and communication and embracing their assistive technologies. Well done to all!

Student of the Month
December 2022 – Elirone at Haberdasher’s Borough Academy
November 2022 – Sabarin at Lambeth College
October 2022 – Maxwell at Macaulay Church of England Primary School
June 2022 – Audrey at Bishop Thomas Grant School
March 2022 – Hashir at Ashcroft Technology Academy
February 2022 – Omar who takes part in weekly AAC chat sessions with Abdi Omar
January 2022 – Danny at Charlton Park Academy

Student of the Month Award

December 2022

This month we would like to nominate Elirone a Year 7 student at Haberdashers’ Borough Academy in Southwark. Elirone always tries his best with his learning and has embraced the use of technology to support his vision.

Elirone’s favourite subjects are History and Science, where he gets to use his CENMAC iPad, but also enjoys Maths. At the start of each lesson, he links his tablet to the digital whiteboard so he can see the day’s material up close without having to strain his eyes. It also allows him to magnify small items on the screen that might be difficult to see.

“It makes everything clearer and easier to see. It’s just bigger and better”, Elirone says with a smile.

He’s the comedian in the classroom and very popular with the rest of his peers in the playground.

Well done Elirone!

November 2022

This month we would like to nominate Sabarin, a student at Lambeth College.

Sabarin came to the UK when she was very young and taught herself English using CBBC and Tracy Beaker! She now speaks English fluently. Her level of vocabulary is accomplished and very mature. Sabarin has faced a great deal of adversity and through sheer tenacity, she has overcome many hurdles.

Sabarin has now been with CENMAC for a year. Prior to that, she was doing her very best to complete her college work by using free apps on her phone.  Now that she has her own laptop with read aloud and dictation software, we are sure that she is going to do incredibly well. Well done Sabarin! Reach for the Stars!

Student of the Month - Sabarin

Student of the Month
Sabarin

October 2022

This month we would like to nominate Maxwell a student at Macaulay Church Of England Primary School.

Mary Long Advisory Teacher at CENMAC said “Maxwell has been a CENMAC student for four years. He always has such a can-do attitude towards his learning and is an absolute joy to work with. Maxwell only needs to be shown something once and then he has the skills and confidence to carry on using his technology by himself. He is always keen to learn and make progress.”

Maxwell said “My name is Maxwell and at school I use a laptop and an iPad. It helps me when I’m doing English because it makes me a lot faster so I can do the class work better. Every day I practice touch typing to get faster. There are games on my iPad are for cutting and drawing which I enjoy. If I need to remind myself what I need to do from the whiteboard, we use my iPad to take a photo of the board. My laptop and iPad help me every day. Mary comes and helps me and shows me new things on the laptop.”

Well done Maxwell!

June 2022

This month we would like to nominate Audrey at Bishop Thomas Grant School.

Wayne McCullough Advisory Teacher at CENMAC said “Audrey has made great improvements in her reading and writing and has such a positive attitude towards her learning and embraces the technology to support her. I am so impressed with her progress.”

Audrey said “I find my computer extremely helpful for loads of reasons. It is great for homework and in class helps me improve my reading and writing skills. It is also amazing for when I am really struggling at something and I can use it as a helping tool. All the apps and systems that are installed are so helpful in insuring that my work is as good as it can be.”

Well done Audrey!

March 2022

 

This month we would like to nominate Student Hashir from Ashcroft Technology Academy.

Hashir has shown an amazing transformation in his attitude towards and desire to use a range of assistive technology to enhance his access to learning. He has been a CENMAC student for just over a year, and in that time has demonstrated a willingness to dismiss any initial uncertainty he had around the use of his equipment. He is now using his devices in any lessons where he needs to write longer answers and is developing his understanding of how he can use particular tools to make his learning materials more accessible. Well done, Hashir!

Hashir’s key worker in school had this to say:

“I am really proud of how far Hashir has come in regards to using his iPad. Hashir is excellent at both navigating his technology and utilising it to ensure that he gets the most out of every lesson. It is worth mentioning that Hashir never wastes lesson time by spending too long formatting his work (changing fonts, colours etc) – it truly serves as an aid to his learning and is never a distraction to him. I can see a real difference in the amount of work produced by hand vs on his device and it is very clear to me as a staff member supporting Hashir that it makes a world of difference to him. He can now take notes at the same speed as his peers and produces extended pieces of writing in lessons where previously he may have struggled to do so when writing by hand. Hashir is also learning to take on more responsibility for himself and his equipment by carrying his device around and ensuring that it is sufficiently charged for when he needs it. It is wonderful to see Hashir flourishing and I’m sure he would agree that CENMAC has made a hugely positive difference to his learning.”

Well done Hashir!

February 2022

 

This month we would like to nominate another Student Omar who takes part in the weekly chat sessions with Abdi. Omar has made such significant progress with using his AAC device and does a great job of getting everyone laughing and having fun during these sessions. Well done Omar!

January 2022

 

This month we would like to nominate Danny here at Charlton Park Academy.
He has joined the chat group with Abdi with real enthusiasm. During the first few weeks of sessions, we have had to extend his vocabulary to keep up with his participation. Danny is becoming a fantastic role model for others in this group. Well done Danny!

December 2021

 

For December, we have two students who have been nominated for the Student of the Month award. This month the award goes to Matthew and Graham (both in Year 6) from a primary school based in Richmond. 

Here is what they had to say about how using their equipment helps support their learning: 

Matthew – “It has made my life so much easier in English and I can type quite fast so I get a lot more done.”
Graham – “My writing is more efficient and it has ensured that I finish my work in time. It means my hands don’t get tired. I like having the drop-down box to spellcheck words.”

We are really proud of all your achievements, keep up the great work.

Special Mention: Not linked to his use of technology (which is none-the-less fantastic) we have a special mention this month for one of our students who completed an amazing personal challenge over the summer this year. Click here to read Toby’s story of determination and resilience and find out what the donations from his fundraising were used for! 

November 2021

 

This month we have two student ambassadors who we wish to highlight and to thank for their great efforts in using their equipment and in sharing their expertise with others in their schools and beyond. Kamal and Khamani love to talk to others about how technology has helped them, and CENMAC invited them both to help at our stand at the TES SEN Show in October. Kamal and Khamani did a great job on the stand, showing attendees how to use various items of assistive technology and talking about their own journeys using technology to support their learning. 

October 2021

 

Lamari and Jelani who are students at a secondary school in Lambeth, have been awarded Student of the Month for supporting fellow students with their equipment in school and acting as ambassadors for CENMAC. 

Ms D Robinson, a Specialist Speech and Language Assistant had this to say: 

‘Two of our Year 11 students Lamari and Jelani, led an information session to help encourage and advise a group of seven Year 9 students who have or are awaiting CENMAC technology.   We aim for our Year 9 CENMAC students to begin to use this technology more consistently in their English and History lessons.  

These students used their equipment to demonstrate how CENMAC can be used in lessons.  They showed the group their equipment including accessories and a carry case. They explained how it has enhanced their learning and enabled them to improve the quality and content of their written work as well as being able to access information quickly in the lesson to organise and support their learning. 

The group of Year 9’s listened intently whilst both boys spoke about the benefits of using this in their lessons.  They were able to explain how to get around charging the device in lessons, how to organise their subjects in their Google Drive, and how to use the brainstorming software to organise and plan their written work. 

Year 9 were given the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the talk.  Some of the questions were very practical and some more personal: for example, ‘how do other students respond when you first start using the equipment in class’. 

It was so helpful to have these questions answered directly by students who have actually used Assisted Technology for some time and experienced how others may react in the learning setting.  One response was ” Oh, I just tell them I use it as I have dyslexia and it helps me to do my work” 

The other students replied,  ‘no one really asks’.   

The students were able to discuss how to respond to others asking to use their equipment, how to look after it, and storing it safely during PE or playtime. 

Along with helping to support the Year 9 and showing them how Assisted Technology can aid their learning, this was a valuable session for our two Year 11 students, who both have Speech, Language and Communication needs.  This was an opportunity to help them feel confident and comfortable talking to others who may be unfamiliar to them: which is excellent practice for upcoming interviews for their Further Education.  Our Year 11 boys came out of that session feeling proud and confident that although they were nervous about talking to others and answering questions, they managed it really well and did an amazing job.  

They both have mentioned they will be happy to do this again to other students who may be using Assisted Technology in the future.  They also offered to help with problem solving and finding solutions if anyone needed help. 

I am extremely proud of the boys and their achievements.  

Thank you to the CENMAC Team for making this possible for our students and enabling them to meet their full potential throughout their education.’

The whole CENMAC team are very proud of Lamari and Jelani. Well done on this great achievement.  

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