learning services for learning communities
What’s happening in
Inclusion and ICT
What’s happening in Cambridgeshire Schools?
One of the key principles underpinning our SEN and Inclusion Strategies
is that inclusion is not the exclusive responsibility of a particular group
of individuals such as SEN services or school SENCOs. It is the
responsibility of all staff, governors and Councillors in schools and the
LEA. This report reflects this principle. It has been produced by the ICT
and Pupil Support Services to illustrate how ICT can be used to open up
opportunities for pupils with additional needs and promote their
participation and achievement.
Assistant Director Pupil Support
Education, Libraries and Heritage Department
Inclusion and ICT
What’s happening in Cambridgeshire Schools?
Purpose of this document
This document is an important part of the ELH ICT ‘Strategy for Schools and their
Communities’. Inclusion is an area of focus within the ICT Strategy. This document
results from an audit of schools aiming to identify and share effective practice
1. Schools use technology to allow individual pupils access to the curriculum
2. Schools use appropriate software to provide opportunities for pupils to
communicate, learn and succeed
3. Schools provide appropriate ICT resources to overcome social exclusion and
4. Support Services utilise ICT resources to good effect, both for learning and
This document is intended to be a catalyst for sharing information and ideas to
benefit all schools, as well as raising areas for development and support, both within
schools and the LEA.
What is meant by the term ‘inclusion’?
The Index for Inclusion (Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow) states that:
Inclusion ….. is concerned with minimizing all barriers to learning and
participation, whoever experiences them and wherever they are located
within the cultures, policies and practices of a school. There is an emphasis
on mobilizing under-used resources for staff, students, governors, parents
and other members of the school’s communities. The diversity of students
is stressed as a rich resource for supporting teaching and learning.
The Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education states that:
Inclusion means enabling pupils to participate in the life and work of
mainstream institutions to the best of their abilities, whatever their needs.
Their website: www.inclusion.org.uk gives more details.
The Government defines inclusion as:
how ‘schools, local education authorities and others develop their cultures,
policies and practices to include pupils’.
(Inclusive Schooling, Legislating for Inclusion page 8.)
The key principles of an inclusive education service are:
Inclusion is a process by which schools, LEAs and others develop their cultures,
policies, and practices to include all pupils.
An inclusive education service offers excellence and choice and incorporates
the views of parents and children.
The interests of all pupils must be safeguarded.
Schools, LEAs and others should actively seek to remove barriers to learning
All children should have access to an appropriate education that affords the
opportunity to achieve their personal potential.
Mainstream education will not always be right for every child all of the time.
Equally just because mainstream education may not be right at a particular
stage it does not prevent the child from being included successfully at a later
(Inclusive Schooling: Children with Special Educational Needs)
So, where does ICT fit into all this and how are schools currently using this
technology to support their inclusive policy?….
Outlined below are the key issues that have been identified from looking at current
practice across the county with regards to Inclusion and ICT. Examples have been
included showing effective practice in this area and illustrating where schools have
taken decisions on how to use ICT to meet the needs of their pupils.
Use of technology to allow individual pupils to access the curriculum.
1. The provision of ICT technology. Schools need a wide range of technology and in
sufficient quantity so that access is increased and staff can work with small groups.
access to facilities such as an ICT suite, laptops, peripherals and
maintenance and updating of equipment
ICT knowledge of all staff
All schools should be developing long-term plans for purchasing a range of ICT
equipment. It is important to have a range of hardware available so that individual
pupils have as much access as possible. This also allows for individual pupils within
school to use technology suited to their needs and which can be used to support their
Shirley Infants School: Planning for ICT access.
Planning for ICT has allowed Shirley Infants to build up a comprehensive ICT
structure across the school and they are planning to increase this in the future.
The nursery unit has a sturdy IBM Little Tikes Young Explorers computer:
The rest of the school has:
An ICT suite, which is timetabled and heavily used by classes and small
A PC in every classroom.
An Interactive whiteboard height adjustable in order to meet the needs of
different age ranges.
However, they recognise that ICT involves more than just computers and have:
Several remote control toys for Reception
6 Pixie for group work www.swallow.co.uk
Dictaphone (they are planning to purchase more of these)
Recordable Tape players
They recognise that to provide access for all, they need to develop and maintain
their technology with appropriate software to match the needs of the curriculum
and their pupils. This is built into their future ICT development plans.
The technology required for an individual school depends on the needs of the school’s
population, (nursery, infant, junior, primary, secondary, special) which will vary over
the course of time and depend on the profile of the pupils.
Meadowgate Special School: Planning for ICT Access
The needs here are directly related to the school population which covers both
primary and secondary. To manage and plan for their needs staff are employed who
work with the teachers to maintain equipment in order to support pupils and to
locate appropriate resources.
Each class has one touch screen computer
All the primary computers are touch screen which means that pupils do not need to
use the keyboard, but can directly touch the screen. This enables those pupils who
do not have the ability to use a keyboard to obtain an instant reaction and allows
them to interact with technology.
Interactive Smartboard for primary which has a variety of switch games and touch
screen activities for the children to engage with on a regular basis.
Interactive whiteboard in secondary which is used more for direct classroom
Height adjustable computer trolleys for the infant department (more to be
Digital cameras (aiming for one in each class plus one computer dedicated to
printing, editing etc.)
A scanner in every classroom (waiting delivery at time of visit)
A colour laser printer in the office
Webcams (currently have a couple on loan)
Talking photograph albums (www.liberator.co.uk )
This level of resourcing enables work with individuals, groups or whole classes and
access for all needs.
It is not always necessary to have the range of ICT and support outlined above.
Schools need to have a co-ordinated approach and to plan over a number of years to
develop the facilities that are suitable for their pupils at any one time. It will always
pay to ask for advice and the opportunity to evaluate equipment. Schools are happy to
have visitors to view equipment before purchasing in order to inform their judgment
about appropriate resources. ICT companies are often willing to let schools trial
equipment. It is difficult and not advisable to commit yourself to something that you
have only seen in a demonstration.
There are hardware and software resources available from ELH ICT Service and Pupil
Support which can be loaned to schools. For more information contact:
All schools should be making use of ICT across the whole curriculum. In order to get
the most from ICT facilities many schools are realizing that the careful management
of resources is critical:
Ailwyn Secondary School: Planning for ICT Access
The Ailwyn School have just purchased a printer designated for printing work from
personal laptops and AlphaSmart machines. The school already use a small number
of AlphaSmart machines which are a range of dedicated word processors providing
an alternative for use in the classroom, particularly where pupils need support with
writing. These allow pupils to produce legible written work, which can be formatted
on the computer if appropriate, or just printed out for marking. Purchasing the co-
writer applet as part of the package has allowed for support with spelling.
Difficulties can arise with access to printers which has led to the decision to
purchase a designated printer.
For information on AlphaSmart technology: www.alphasmart.co.uk
Keyboards, switches and alternative mice are also something being used by an
increasing number of schools. An on-going issue has been the use of Upper Case
letters on keyboards. There are alternatives available now as lower case keyboards
can be purchased (check out the options: Lowercase Keyboard from IBM, Little
Fingers available from SEMERC, Big keys, as well as Keyboard Gloves available from
Other tools might include the use of a Quicktionary Reading pen, Phonic spellchecker
(Franklin), Literacy Word Bank and Voice Recognition Software.
www.ictadvice.org.uk/index.php?section=te has information on suitable alternatives,
as does www.AbilityNet.org.uk under the sections Adapting your PC and Factsheets.
The variety of ICT tools available reflects the growth in this area of technology and
this is reflected in the range of resources schools are beginning to acquire.
Homerton Nursery: Planning for IT access
Homerton Nursery use ICT as a learning tool through all areas of the curriculum.
ICT is used as a vehicle for learning in classes and in outdoor play, and its
importance is emphasised in the number of role play activities that include replicas
(hand made and commercial).
ICT related equipment which the children use includes:
A PC in every classroom that every child learns to operate independently
Metal detectors for use in the outdoor sandpit.
Rollerball and ordinary mice
Programmable toys: Ladybird, Cars, Roamer, Pixie
Headphones and tapes
As part of each classroom there is the facility to video conference, using webcams,
between 2 classrooms so children can see what is happening and communicate with
Role play toys are also a part of the ICT curriculum with a variety of items in the
home corner. Toy Petrol pumps in the outdoor play area and a number of items
which the children have helped to make to enhance their play and understanding of
the way ICT is part of our everyday lives.
Sharing with parents is also important and there is a Kidsmark computer which
children and parents can use together after school (in the morning or afternoon as
the children attend for a half day only). Staff also take photos with the digital
camera which, occasionally, are shared with parents through a slide show at the
end of a session.
However, even with just using PCs pupils can be supported throughout the curriculum
and can access activities they might otherwise ‘fail’ to engage with successfully.
Steeple Morden Primary: Planning for ICT access
Over the last 3 years Steeple Morden have identified SEN pupils who have been
motivated by access to PCs. This has become part of their normal means of writing,
allowing these particular pupils to achieve a SATS level that reflects their ability, rather
than the level that their handwriting skills would otherwise allow.
With PCs in the classroom and laptops with a dual role for both teachers and children ICT
has become part of most lessons. For certain pupils it was decided they needed more
access than others and they completed much of their written work through the use of
technology. In the first instance this was by means of a laptop provided by home. The
success of this led to the school’s own resources being brought into play.
In 2002 one pupil completed his SATS using the laptop. This was followed this year by 2
pupils completing the written tasks using PCs in the classroom. In all 3 instances not only
was the computer a motivating factor for these pupils across the curriculum, but it also
allowed them to achieve a level in English SATS that reflected their ability.
Steeple Morden are exploring the use of ICT further as they recognise how potent
technology can be in supporting pupils and motivating them. The use of the computers has
gone some way towards managing the difficult behaviour of one of these pupils.
Inclusion involves the whole spectrum of ability and ICT can be used to support all
Gifted and Talented children can benefit from having their knowledge stretched, and
opportunities to use ICT for a variety of purposes.
Great Wilbraham Primary School: Planning for ICT access
As an integral part of the weekly challenge club pupils are asked to create a presentation at
the end of a project highlighting their investigations. The Challenge Club has been running
for a year, and is composed of pupils from both KS1 and KS2. The KS2 pupils are asked to
present their findings in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. They allot jobs among
themselves and although their first ‘show’ was only 3 slides long it has provided some
pointers for the future.
The laptops in the school are networked so the presentation can be saved centrally, allowing
children to work on it at the same time. It also ensures a copy remains in school so that the
CD is not essential if left at home.
ICT skills in using PowerPoint need stretching with this group. The music accompaniment was
only possible by running 2 CDs at the same time. The ideas were good and these will be
stretched in future years.
The success of any club like this relies on children returning and wanting to take part on a
weekly basis. It is proving popular among the children and provides the ideal opportunity for
challenging and extending their skills.
2. The ability of staff to use the technology in school.
A growing number of schools are ensuring that all classroom-based staff have the
skills to utilise ICT with individual pupils, small groups and whole classes across the
Alderman Jacobs: Using Technology in school
As part of their provision for SEN Alderman Jacobs invested in Clicker 4 as a
piece of software to support children in all areas of the curriculum.
Training staff was a priority and, initially, all the LSAs were trained as part of a
series of INSET sessions which covered several of the software programs in
school. This was seen as crucial to the LSAs being able to work successfully with
children on the computer.
Following on from this the teaching staff have now been identified as needing the
training, and this is being planned into their professional days. The importance of
all staff being able to successfully use a program is seen as a major investment
alongside the purchasing of software. Unless staff know how to use the software it
will not be used to its full potential.
With the growing reliance on technology the issue of the ICT skills of supply staff, as
well as support staff, is also needing to be addressed. With children becoming used
to the multimedia approach to teaching, and staff preparing lessons for use on the
Whiteboard, Supply staff would be at a disadvantage if they were unable to work in
the same style.
Brampton Junior: Using technology in school
Brampton Junior have invested in Mimio technology to transform their existing
whiteboards into interactive whiteboards in every classroom. They recognised that
it was important staff felt confident about using this technology in order for
maximum use across the curriculum and school and to utilize the full potential for
supporting individual needs.
Lessons can be developed on computer and projected on to the screen via the
Mimio. As the lesson progresses diagrams and ideas can be saved as they are
created, allowing children to watch the process again on the computer. Teachers
are beginning to store their day’s work on the computer ready for access at the
Individuals and groups are having curriculum skills reinforced by being able to
revisit the lesson on the laptop attached to the board. This shows the steps
through which the activity was built up and allows them to repeat the process
Initially focus was on the classroom teachers to develop their knowledge of the
technology. The school are now looking to train their regular supply teachers. In
this way class teachers can leave all the work for the day stored on the Mimio and
supply teachers access and use the interactive lessons and the variety of resources
they have available. www.mimio.com
It is important that staff are able to use the technology available, otherwise pupils
will not get the best from the ICT they access. ELHICT service organise courses for
Supply teachers and support staff focused on presentation, teaching and other
Pupil Support Services provide some ICT hardware to support pupils with Statements
of Special Educational Need. For this to be effective strategies need to be in place
to make sure children and staff acquire the necessary expertise. The addition of ICT
to a lesson needs planning for and support in order to ensure maximum effectiveness
and use, remembering to check that ICT is appropriate for that activity.
Funding is a key issue for many schools when looking to support those pupils who are
underachieving due to communication difficulties – either writing or speaking.
St. Anne’s C of E Primary School: Using technology in school
Through the Communication Aids Project funding is available for pupils with
communication difficulties. Schools are beginning to be aware of this and use the
project as a source of funding for ICT supporting Inclusion. At St. Anne’s they
have begun the procedure of looking for ICT resources for a pupil with SEN.
CAP is a government funded project where schools and individuals can submit
evidence as part of a request for ICT resources to support communication. If
successful, resources are allocated to the pupil for use in school. School is
responsible for managing these resources, with the support of CAP assessors.
Use of appropriate software to provide opportunities for pupils to
communicate, learn and succeed.
There is a vast range of software available for schools, and sometimes it can be
difficult to decide what is appropriate for a particular pupil or group of pupils.
Obviously the needs of any one pupil, or group of pupils, will vary over time as they
progress through their school career.
A key issue here is the fact that technology is still changing, and it can be hard to
keep pace with what is available. There are an increasing number of online resource
packages which some schools subscribe to, paying per pupil per year. There are many
good rich media resources available, and schools are increasingly looking to maintain
their level of ICT resource and keep abreast of what is newly available.
The needs of pupils vary, and this is reflected across those we are considering here
under the term Inclusion. Pupils may need access to ICT support for a number of
reasons, and all will have different issues which need to be addressed.
Guyhirn Primary: Use of appropriate software
At Guyhirn an ICT assistant has been trained up and works together with the
SENCO in order to ensure that targets on IEPs are matched with suitable
software where appropriate. The ICT assistant then supports these children on a
weekly basis, which is followed up by LSAs at other occasions.
Software has been installed on the 3 laptops which are designated for use with
children. However, this is reviewed alongside the IEPs so that software is matched
to the appropriate program to suit their individual needs. Their software is
numbered and listed so that all staff can locate these when needed.
One recent drawback is that many of these programs are not compatible with XP
and will need to be replaced. To resolve this problem they are maintaining Windows
2000 on one machine in order to be able to run the software.
The ICT assistant has been able to design templates and activities for Class
Teachers for use in class.
Alongside this the ICT assistant supports all the children once a week to develop
their ICT skills. LSAs then reinforce these skills at other times. There is a
detailed ICT self-assessment record book for each pupil which is updated at the
end of every term.
Familiarity with a regularly used piece of software is crucial. It is most effective
when staff know and use it to its full potential.
Software also needs to be matched to the needs of individual pupils as this can be a
vital part of inclusion. Young children need to learn that technology works, and that
they get a response if they press a key or switch or mouse button.
Brunswick Nursery: Use of appropriate Software:
Staff at Brunswick evaluate software very carefully prior to purchase, and take
advice from a range of sources. They recognise the need for all staff to be very
familiar with any piece of software so it can be changed quickly, or strategies
developed, to meet the needs of mainstream or SEN pupils.
Their range of ICT includes a ball pool with a coloured disc and lights, to which all
children have access. This supports individual’s physical and sensory development,
language and social skills.
Some pupils require the use of switches in order to operate the computer and also
to begin to develop the concept of technology and communication.
The SwitchIt range of programs developed by Inclusive Technology
(www.inclusive.co.uk) is one set of software they use regularly. This provides a
range of simple activities where the pressing of a switch activates an action on
screen. This could be a pattern or other stimulus designed to increase motivation,
develop language or visual concepts.
Brunswick Nursery also use the Bigmack Talking Switch where a short phrase can
be recorded onto the switch
When the switch is pressed the message is ‘spoken’.
Recognising that Inclusion involves all children a range of switches is available that
anyone can use and care is taken that the layout of the computer station
encourages children to work together and learn to turn-take, no matter how they
Choice of software could also be said to include the range of resources available over
the internet. This is a growing area and schools are beginning to tap into this
resource to enhance the curriculum.
Swaffham Bulbeck PrimarySchool: Choice of online resources
Swaffham Bulbeck run a lunchtime maths challenge club which makes use of the
Internet as a valuable resource. The reasons for using ICT to challenge this group
of more able pupils include:
It extends and broadens skills
Multimedia makes it more interesting and fun
The children are able to work independently
The main site used is nrich www.nrich.maths.org.uk as links were being made with
classroom Numeracy activities. By getting to know the site the children were then
able to peer tutor within their own classrooms. Follow-up work has been given in
the form of alternative websites or paper copies of the puzzles, particularly for
those children who do not have Internet access at home.
Other sites used have included the Cadbury’s site www.cadburylearningzone.co.uk
and Ambleside www.ambleside.schoolzone.co.uk .
One important part of this use of the Internet has been ensuring the site is open
before the club starts and that a back-up copy of the challenge has been printed
off beforehand in case there are difficulties with Internet connections.
Another issue for all schools is the continuity of software throughout the school.
Children often get used to certain programs in one class and then may have to learn
new ones the following year when they have a new class teacher.
It is important to have appropriate software alongside the hardware in place. Staff
need to be familiar with the software and it is important that the use of this
software develops throughout the school.
Samuel Pepys: Use of appropriate software:
At Samuel Pepys the ICT suite (available to all classes) and the class computers (at least one up to date
computer in each class) all have licences for MS Word, Writing with Symbols, Clicker 4, Infant Video
Toolkit, Dazzle and First Logo alongside a range of other suitable software which includes switch and touch
Student software is also loaded onto the teachers’ own laptops, which are supplied by the school, in order
to facilitate planning.
All the PCs are loaded with the agreed Samuel Pepys Symbol word list (from Writing with Symbols) to
ensure consistency throughout the school. This includes photographs of all pupils and staff.
A digital camera in each class
Access to laser printer and one of two A3 colour printers
Some large screens for VI users
2 interactive whiteboards with plans for more to be installed
scanners, laser and A3 printers available in the ICT suite.
Internet access from all classrooms as well as the ICT suite, with broadband connection to be in
[place by Christmas 2003.
The Post-16 group are based at Ernulf and have a smaller suite of 6 PCs, again with suitable
software and switch access. They also have access to the Ernulf sixth form computer system.
Following a series of visits (including staff INSET) by a consultant with particular expertise in and
knowledge of teaching ICT to PLMD pupils, individual work stations are being set up for PLMD students
with their own switches, adjustable tables, etc so that staff do not have to spend time setting up and
adjusting switch positions etc.
Other access devices include:
An extensive range of switches
An Eye Toy set up on a trolley with activities suitable for all abilities
Touch monitor, in preference to Touch screen
Headphones and microphones
Switch interfaces for controlling mains operated devices
There are three pupils who use communication devices funded by CAP and one who uses a Go-Talker, with
Big Macs also in use.
Training has been an integral part of this provision with an extensive programme of INSET from outside
providers and the part-time technician, in order to familiarizes staff with their laptops, digital cameras
and pupils’ software.
Samuel Pepys also supports inclusion in local mainstream schools with advice and training on suitable
Many applications can be customised:
Alongside knowledge of software it can also be important to customise the software
to meet the needs of individual pupils as well as the class as a whole.
Ensuring the application is user friendly: remove toolbars or buttons that are
not needed for the activity.
Alter the speed that the pointer moves across the screen.
Alter the settings for the time the computer responds to the double click
Adapt font colour and size
Alter the screen resolution and size of icons
Alter the background colour
Set up templates which pupils can use for a variety of activities e.g. a science
Ensure the words in the word bank match the activity, particularly if there are
topic specific words.
Edit and create activities within the software (if possible) that match the
needs of the pupils.
Download extra templates and activities for particular software from the
Internet. Textease, Clicker 4, WordBar and ClozePro are some examples of
software with additional resources available on the Internet.
ELHICT organise inclusion courses to cover these skills and to provide the
opportunity to explore what is available.
Software can also be used to create resources for use in school
The advent of computers has opened up the possibilities of teachers creating a range
of resources they can use with their pupils. These can be matched to the needs of
the class, individual or groups. This allows for the development a range of material
that can support inclusion in a number of ways.
Friday Bridge Primary : developing specific resources
In conjunction with the Team for Traveller Education several initiatives have
specifically focused on the inclusion of all pupils within the school.
In Yr2/3 the pupils compiled a picture book alphabet featuring Romany words as
part of the Literacy for All project. It exists as a printable version
(MSPublisher) , a self running computer program and as web pages available on the
educational portal. This project focused on alphabetical order, use of dictionaries
and definitions. It also included a visit from a member of the Traveller community
who talked to pupils about the Romany language and its use today.
A slideshow sequence of images of traditional wagon art has also been used to
stimulate art work.
A computer program has been developed by the Team for Traveller Education
which was used with Y5/6 to provide pupils with accessible information for
researching a ‘historically accurate’ story. The program shows images of Traveller
life from 1930 to the present day.
Schools provide appropriate ICT resources to overcome social
exclusion and underachievement including liaison with support services
The growth of ICT continues to open out the possibilities of access to all pupils, but
also opportunities to address Inclusion issues. Cambridgeshire is part of a regional
broadband consortium initiative called E2BN which includes 11 LEAs across the
region. E2BN is developing a wide range of resources and they can be used to meet a
wide range of needs. There are many projects being developed on the site, offering a
wide-ranging resource for schools.
The St Ives Learning Community: Promoting ICT as a tool to communicate, share
and raise awareness of the use of ICT.
The St Ives Learning Community comprises of the following schools:
Eastfield Infant; Hemingford Primary; Holywell Primary; St. Ivo Secondary School;
Thorndown Infant; Thorndown Junior; Westfield Junior; Wheatfields Infant;
All the schools are contributing to this site in order to develop collaborative on-line
themed community projects. In linking teaching staff, parents, families and the
wider community to children’s learning there is a forum for schools to involve a
range of pupils.
The consortium is encouraging the development of creating multimedia content for
teaching and learning, with the benefits of broadband connectivity between the
The project ‘aims to build the framework for participation, contribution and
presentation of a living community archive online.’
Another key issue raised by this is the link between ICT and Inclusion. When
considering inclusion ICT is a key issue, and the use of ICT raises immediate issues
Ernulf: Providing appropriate ICT resources
Ernulf are in the early stages of a pilot with the National Extension College. The
National Extension College was set up as a charity to help people of all ages fit
learning into their lives.
Their key issues are:
What does technology offer?
How do we make effective use of ICT?
How can we develop a view for the future and then develop further access?
They are part of a Network Learning community sharing ideas and transforming
There are a variety of initiatives happening in Cambridgeshire schools.
Witchford Village College: Providing appropriate ICT resources
Staff here have used video conferencing with a group of traveller children. This
was very successful in that the children engaged with travellers from another area
of the country and were enthusiastic about the opportunity to share and
communicate with their peers.
They communicated with a group of Travellers at the John Kelly School in London.
They are looking to repeat the experience although it takes time to set up the
A member of the Team for Traveller Education is working with Witchford Village
College on a Community Learning Project providing information about Travellers.
This will offer schools the online facility to explore the history and culture of
Schools also work closely with the support services and this is also enhancing the
resources available to schools to promote Inclusion.
Supporting pupils who are experiencing social exclusion may include them attending
alternative provision. ICT for these pupils can be a key issue particularly as they will
benefit from having ICT skills in order to increase their future job prospects.
The Amber Centre, Huntingdon: Providing appropriate ICT resources
The Amber Centre is one of the County’s Pupil Referral Units catering for those
pupils who are school refusers, as well as those who for whatever reason, have
been excluded from mainstream schooling. In order to meet the needs of their
pupils they are worked closely with the AQA awards scheme to develop an ICT
strand which will enable their pupils to work towards an accreditation.
Recognizing that GCSE course work and alternative computer qualifications did not
fit the profile of their pupils; they have now developed AQA awards which provide
pupils with a relevant and worthwhile qualification
The provision of resources can sometimes mean improving ICT access for pupils in
terms of using a PC and the Internet.
Cottenham Village College: Providing appropriate ICT resources
Cottenham Village College currently runs after school clubs for students on two
evenings a week. In the ICT room students can continue any coursework or
homework that they might have, and it also enables students without a PC or
internet access at home to complete ICT work. If the students live outside
Cottenham they can sign up for a bus that will take them home after the sessions.
The College hopes to be able to offer more of these sessions in the near future.
Funding from NOF contributes to the associated costs of this provision. This
funding is aimed at out of schools provision for pupils with SEN, behaviour and
other difficulties in order to allow pupils to develop independence and study skills.
Contact Ursula Sullivan, The NOF Project Accountant for Cambridgeshire County
Council on 10223 717056 for more information.
Use of ICT by the County’s support teams
Here are some examples of how Pupil Support Services are beginning to use ICT.
The Visual Impaired Service uses ICT extensively ad in many different ways
depending on the age, ability and individual access needs of particular children. From
its budget it will provide visually impaired children with specialist equipment, including
ICT equipment such as laptop computers, screen readers, talking word processors,
Intellikeys keyboard www.intellitools.com and supporting software. Pupils who need
to use laptops are taught to touch type and to use keyboard shortcuts.
Some websites and multimedia software are inaccessible to severely VI users
because they are picture based and it is impossible to access them. There are
accessibility standards for websites and support for designing an accessible website
can be found at:
CCTV magnification devices are also loaned by the service to pupils who, because of
having very limited near vision, need to have all their written materials enlarged. A
Portable CCTV may be used to supplement enlarged material to enable maximum
access to text and pictures.
VI pupils also benefit from larger screens, pointers and toolbars.
In the ICT suite at St Ivo Secondary School they have a large monitor for a pupil
who works in 100% view, and is encouraged to use an enlarged toolbar, and
Talking Word processors and Screen readers are also used to support visual access.
At Elsworth Primary the VI service have provided support for a pupil. They have
provided talking books – from published material – which can be enjoyed by the
pupil. They have also provided support with the various technologies the pupil has
access to – which includes message switches.
Message switches are simple recording devices which can hold a number of simple
. messages. By pressing the button (of varying sizes depending on the needs of the
individual) the message is repeated. This allows children to communicate simple
www.inclusive.co.uk have a range of switches available (see other websites below).
This service works with children who are excluded or not attending through medical
problems, and within schools. For those children who have medical problems some ICT
equipment can be loaned. They are also exploring the Internet as a source of
supporting these pupils.
Members of the Secondary Support Service have been working with a partnership
called Nasai-Iris, along with other counties. They are developing a website aimed at
online learning for Medical Needs Students to start in September ‘03. It will be a
closed site for these pupils only, although it may be possible to include other
groups in the future. The service (OLLE) will include materials prepared by tutors,
as well as looking at the student’s local school to help resource the system.
Race Equality and Diversity Service
This service covers Traveller Support as well as English as an additional language.
They are working on several projects from using broadband to making CDs, such as
the Midsummer Fair CD Rom for use at Key Stage 2. They are also investing in
training their staff in ICT.
Access is a key issue for the Race Equality and Diversity service and they are looking
to support parents/carers as well as pupils. Home/school liaison can be crucial and
here the added dimension of language diversity can potentially form barriers.
A member of the Team organized a 6 week course on introductory computer
studies for Asian Women in Huntingdon last year. The Team are now looking to
repeat this course at the Barnabas Suite on the Oxmoor Estate.
Information about different cultures is another key issue and technology can be used
as a resource base. The Internet allows for linking with a range of communities and
the advent of broadband technology is beginning to improve access in this area.
The Race Equality and Diversity service are developing a project on E2BN called
‘Celebrating Languages in the East of England’. One of the aims is to provide a
database of common words from many languages, accessible through ICT tools.
The project also aims to raise the self-esteem of those pupils whose first language
is a minority language in this region. The project uses ‘broadband multimedia
technology to bring together the breadth of the written and spoken forms of
languages within the Eastern region to raise awareness of the diversity of peoples
within this region and within society as a whole; and to enhance and encourage the
development of and interest in language by pupils.’
This can be found on the Cambridgeshire Portal at www.celebratinglanguage.net .
Generally schools are accessing the Internet to support all pupils, but also to locate
information on Inclusion issues and how to support pupils. There are a variety of
websites which offer information on how to use ICT with a range of pupils:
Websites for Inclusion:
inclusion.ngfl.gov.uk - the Inclusion site is an online catalogue of resources which
support individual learning. The site has a range of advice services for everyone
involved in inclusive education. You can ask for advice from others or share your own
expertise. You can also ask experts questions on specific themes - recent ones
include Down's syndrome, autism, dyslexia and challenging behaviour.
www.ictadvice.org.uk Search for inclusion on the homepage of this BECTA site. The
information sheets provide a range of ideas and include topics on a wide range of
special needs, gifted and talented, and English as a second language.
www.ace-centre.org.uk - have a range of suggestions on appropriate ICT resources
www.abilitynet.co.uk have a list of fact sheets and skill sheets which can be very
www.inclusive.co.uk although a software company also have some articles on their
website about supporting pupils with SEN.
www.sfe.co.uk - their linkbank has a section for SEN which links to a number of other
sites. Each has been checked out and reviewed by a member of the company.
www.mape.org.uk is a general site supporting the effective use of ICT in primary
Education. There is a Kids Mape section which has several activities.
Websites for English as an additional language:
www.becta.org.uk/inclusion/inclusion_lang/esol has links to other sites which support
http://iteslj.org has articles and lesson plans for teachers, and quizzes and other
learning activities for students.
www.sfe.co.uk - linkbank – SEN – ESL – has a range of links to other sites, graded
according to usefulness.
Websites featuring information about Travellers, Gypsies and Romany peoples:
www.romani.org providing a range of information on Romani people.
www.gypsyloresociety.org is another site with a range of articles and information
about gypsy and traveler culture.
www.kented.org.uk/ngfl/literacy/traveller/main.html has a range of resources to
support the use of traveler culture in the Literacy Hour. This is part of Kent’s NGFL
www.gypsy-traveller-cyberpilots.org is aimed at children and has a variety of
activities as well as being a message board for gypsy, traveler, barge and showmen
More sites can be found on the portal at www.ict.ccceducation.net under the title:
Websites for the More Able Pupil:
www.nc.uk.net/gt/ict/index.htm offers a range of guidance across all curriculum
areas for gifted and talented pupils.
www.nrich.maths.org.uk is an online maths club with a variety of problems and other
What else can be done to support inclusion through ICT?
One aim of this audit is to raise awareness of the many issues around inclusion and
ICT and how these are currently being addressed within Cambridgeshire. Any other
examples of how schools are using ICT to support inclusion are welcomed and can be
shared via the portal.
What can we do?
Cambridgeshire can support schools in this area through:
Offering professional development opportunities
Offering advice on hardware and software
Investigating the feasibility of creating a resource bank so that schools can
trial hardware and software for effectiveness
Providing advice and support for online learning
Supporting schools in developing ICT partnerships
Offering appropriate technical support
Keeping schools awareness high as to resources and strategies that are proving
Schools can support the development of ICT and inclusion by:
Submitting examples of areas where ICT has been used to support Inclusion
Engaging in dialogue with ELH Services regarding issues that arise
Continuing to work with support services in the area of ICT provision for
Sharing websites that are useful
Sharing ideas for resources
Attending professional development opportunities and accessing information
provided via the portal
Using ICT to support inclusion: Starting Points
The use of ICT needs to be considered for any individual or group of pupils under the
umbrella of inclusion. Points to consider include the following:
Does the use of ICT fit seamlessly into the pattern of the way the school works
allowing equal access?
Will the use of ICT allow the pupil/s to better access the curriculum?
Will the use of ICT motivate the pupil/s to engage with the curriculum?
Is there any way ICT could be adapted or enhanced to allow the pupil/s better
Do the software / applications need to be customised to meet the pupil/s needs?
Would the use of a word prediction tool, word bank or similar resource support the
pupil/s access to the curriculum?
Is there a need for focusing on developing ICT skills in order that ICT can be used
for particular pupil/s?
What is preventing a pupil from using ICT to support access to the curriculum?
Is the range of ICT resources in school allowing for maximum development and access
to ICT across all age ranges?
Is the range of ICT resources within school being utilized to its full extent, and if
not, what is preventing this from happening?
Are staff able to change and modify the computers in order to make them more
accessible using the accessibility, keyboard and mouse options?
What are the key issues which staff are raising concerning ICT provision and its
potential for supporting a range of pupils?
Which support services are currently involved in school and how can they be used to
develop the use of ICT with regards to inclusion?
Are staff aware of the potential of the resources for use with individuals and groups.
Does the content of ICT resources reflect gender and race and is it accessible to all?
Do staff know where they can go for advice?
Are the resources utilized outside of school hours e.g. lunch time and after-school