Celebrating Young People
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.