Rowan Tree Primary School (SEN)
Rowan Tree Primary is a special educational needs primary school in Greater Manchester that cares for and educates over 100 pupils between the ages of 2 and 11. All of the children on roll have an EHCP (Education Health Care Plan) or a Statement of SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disability). The school prides itself on being a ‘total communication’ environment, so finding different and innovative ways to help prospective pupils and parents to familiarise themselves with the school was important.
What our client needed:
The team at Rowan Tree were keen to find ways of presenting and sharing information to prospective pupils as they made the transition to their school. They felt that allowing such pupils to access a virtual tour would help with the transition by helping to settle any nerves, and that such a resource would be equally reassuring for parents. They wanted to help prepare new pupils to start at their school by familiarising them with the layout of the site and the locations of their classrooms and activity spaces.
Whilst it was initially hoped that the virtual tour resource would be of use and benefit to those with anxiety or concerns over starting at a new school, it would also go on to serve as a functional resource for all families, owing to the fact that the Pandemic took away the school’s opportunity to host open days. The resource also helped prior to lockdown, however, as the staff team realised that a lot of families had busy and hectic work schedules, and therefore may not always be able to attend traditional parent visitation sessions.
What we did to help:
We worked with the school staff to create a virtual tour showing all areas of the school, taking time to make the tour attractive as well as functional, as it’s a really beautiful school. With children who have sensory needs – and even just young children in general – hygiene stations such as hand dryers can cause a lot of anxiety thanks to the sudden noise and motion they present. So, being able to show such a scenario on a virtual tour did a lot to take away the surprise and upset, giving children time to get used to the sound.
In addition to our remit, we filmed a secondary linear video to accompany the tour, which introduces the school and shows what life is like from the perspective of pupils who are already happily thriving in their classes and enjoying their environment.