Visual Impairment Provision
Chantry Primary Academy has the only primary Visual Impairment Provision in Luton. The provision is entirely inclusive and is extremely popular with parents, due to the high levels of specialist resources and support children access, to enhance their educational experience.
There are 16 allocated places for pupils to be supported by the team. All provision places are allocated by the Local Authority through review of application by the Special Provision Allocation Group (SPAG). Children require a visual acuity level of 6/12 or worse and they require an active Educational Health Care Plan.
All pupils are taught in mainstream classes alongside their peers and are supported in lessons by Specialist Support Assistants or a Qualified Teacher of Visual Impairment.
What is Visual Impairment? - Click here to read all about what it can mean to have a visual impairment and how adults can help children who are visually impaired access learning in school. I hope you find this informative and interesting.
Meet the VI Team
The VI staff team have a vast range of experience within the field of visual impairment. Specialist staff include:
Mrs Collings – VI Provision Manager, Braille Tutor, Qualified Teacher of Visually Impaired (QTVI) & Manager of VI Outreach Services, supporting visually impaired children from birth to 11 years old in Luton
- Miss Allan - VI Outreach Assistant for the Under 4's
In addition, we have 8 class-based experienced VI teaching assistants supporting the children each day to learn touch typing, work on EHCP targets and use VI specific adaptations to the work set in class.
The provision has a wide range of specialist equipment and resources as well as experienced teaching support for your child.
Our experienced team use a range of technology to ensure that children’s learning needs are met. This may include use of personal equipment such as ‘Braille Note’, audio recording devices and iPads, or specialist resource making tools such as a ‘hot-spot’ which can make flat images into raised 3D images, or a braille printer to create printed work from children’s computer work.
Some of the children use large tabletop magnifiers that allow them access to texts and the teacher's board simultaneously. The photos demonstrate a tabletop magnifier in use with one of our VI pupils.
We have a book based curriculum in school, so the VI specialist staff enlarge texts, convert to braille or verbally share work with pupils to make it accessible in class. Younger children may also make use hot-spot images to make sense of a text.
During their time at Chantry, pupils have the opportunity to participate in life skills sessions and mobility training to ensure that they have all the knowledge and skills needed to be as independent as possible. Staff work closely with parents to ensure we know as much as possible about a child’s circumstances and particular needs. We also liaise with medical professionals and can join parents in attending medical appointments, to ensure that the school are best placed to meet your child’s needs.
Special Events and Activities
We make every effort to arrange transport and staffing so that children within the VI Provision can attend trips, visits, clubs and activities alongside their mainstream classmates. In addition, we lookout for special opportunities specifically designed for visually impaired children, in the past these have included gardening, additional swimming sessions, theatre trips, tactile educational visits and sports activities in conjunction with external sports providers. We currently offer horse riding to some of our VI children and are looking forward to more adventures this year.
Please see links below to other VI News articles
- VI Tinkerbell 'Annie' Braille Machine - January 2020
- VI 'Annie' Team Visit - January 2020
- VI Lockdown News - March 2021
- Mobility Cane Work - October 2021
- Christmas WOW Factor - December 2021
- Horse Riding - January 2022
- Horseshoes & Mechanical Horses - February 2022
- VI News - March 2022
- VI - Braille and Tactile Books - June 2022
- VI - Lego House - June 2022
- VI - Mozart - July 2022
- VI - Splashtastic Day - July 2022
- VI - VR - July 2022
- VI - Welcoming Alexa to our VI Provision - September 2022
- VI - Horse Riding Superstars! - September 2022
- VI - Trip to the Circus Starr - November 2022
- VI - Orbital Trampoline Park & McDonalds - November 2022
- VI - Trip to Visual Impairment Provision at Cardinal Newman High School - December 2022
- VI - Christmas Tactile Morning - December 2022
- VI - A Trip to the Post Office - January 2023
- VI - Goalball - January 2023
Feedback & Reviews
Here is some feedback from the families of our VI provision pupils when asked would you recommend the VI provision to other parents who have children who are visually impaired?
Yes, because my children made progress with VI support. My son was shy, he was scared to ask anything from an adult but with support, he became confident and is independent now.
Definitely. This is now our second child going through this provision and I couldn’t thank the team enough for their support both academically and emotionally with them both.
I would 100% recommend this VI provision. My child feels loved and wanted. He has a sense of belonging while he is at school. This is the most assuring thing to know that while he is away from me he is being looked after.
Yes definitely. The VI support is absolutely vital for all children with visual impairment as it gives them the much-needed support and tools to manage daily tasks in a challenging environment. The emotional and personal support is priceless and must continue.
Absolutely yes. Such a person is indispensable for taking the first steps with our children in school. They give support and the presence that the child is not alone. The parent can also be calm because they know that the child is in the best hands. I can't imagine my child not having support from VI Provision.
Yes definitely. We feel the provision has really helped her progress, we have seen a big improvement in her in the last year and can’t wait to see her develop more. Thank you
Useful sites for home use
Youtube Video - Import Accessible Books, with the EasyReader AppYoutube Video - Meet EasyReader for WindowsDolphin EasyReader App (Apple App store and Google Play Store download links)Kindle App (Apple App Store, Google Play Store and, PC & Mac download links)Visual Impairment and Computing - Factsheet & GuideRNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) - Official WebsiteA selection of apps for VI Children