Specialist Centre for the Visually Impaired
To enable access to the curriculum through appropriate modification
There has been a Specialist Centre for the Visually Impaired within Oxted School since 1988. The Specialist Centre supports both blind and visually impaired students and is one of five such bases in Surrey. We have capacity for 18 students. Students come from many neighbouring Authorities, but all students will be seeking a mainstream education and will have an EHCP with vision detailed as primary need. Students are offered a place in the Centre based on the highest need, location and the number of available places.
"The Centre excels at developing independence in its students. There is a real focus on ensuring that students are not only successful in their current setting, but also ensuring that they have the skills, knowledge, ability and resilience to be successful beyond school.” PSSS joint monitoring visit. Autumn 2014
Our students are fully included in mainstream lessons and are withdrawn from some lessons to focus on specific skills such as mobility, life skills, Braille Maths, ICT support or touch typing. Work is adapted into the appropriate format and support is tailored to the needs of each individual student.
The school encourages positive inclusion of all students with a Visual Impairment in all aspects of school life. VI students have taken part in school productions and choir tours, and have joined school trips to Europe and the USA. All go on Year 8 camp. Many of our students have gained Duke of Edinburgh Silver and Bronze awards. Two of our students have qualified for the Riding for the Disabled nationals. A number have been selected to play cricket for Surrey and one former student played for England.. Our students have weekly sailing lessons in the summer months and most are working towards the RYA Gold Award.
“The Head of Centre is passionate about providing facilities and provision that will support students with a visual impairment so that they can learn successfully alongside their peers. She is supported by a fully committed team of TAs.” PSSS joint monitoring visit. Autumn 2017
Our aim is to improve the life chances of our students. So we actively seek out opportunities for them and many different providers seek us out. Recent events have included talks from Blind in Business, and the RSLB, and touch tours to London shows such as Aladdin and The Wider Earth. The students play VI cricket at the Kia Oval, and Goalball and VI Football, as well as joining in VI sports activity days. This year our year 7 students have been receiving bespoke coding workshops run by Microsoft.
Our 2018 OFSTED report stated that “the leader of the Specialist VI provision ensures that these students are very closely supported and, as a result, they are achieving well”. Many stay on into sixth form. Recent student have progressed to York, Sheffield and Birmingham universities, as well as to local colleges.
Independence for all students is another key outcome. We work very closely with Sight for Surrey in order to develop life skills and mobility. Many of our students go away for weekends and holidays with the wider VI community.
If you would like to find out more, please contact Mrs H Leech, Head of Centre firstname.lastname@example.org.