Stony Dean School (http://stonydean.bucks.sch.uk) is an Ofsted rated Outstanding and has SEN College status, with a designation for Communication and Interaction. The school follows an adapted national curriculum for pupils aged between 12-19 years old. The schools main focus is supporting pupils communication and interaction skills, independence and employability skills. The school uses a variety of strategies that’s are based upon theatrical researched based studies. These strategies are aimed at supporting pupils with Autism and communication and interaction difficulties.
Stony Dean’s ICT Coordinator, Tom kept a blog as a reflective diary throughout the project to record his thoughts about the challenges, surprises and successes he encountered.
As visual support for his pupils is important, he selected the game Kodu because the visual programming elements of Kodu and its immersive 3D environment lend themselves exceptionally well to game design;
Pupils enjoyed making their own game world, with key skills including working as a team, being patient, and communicating through expressive language.
In the following reflective diary, Tom describes how he set up the project within the one ICT session per week. How he chose the classes and his thoughts before and after sessions.
All pupils created a game, developing computer programming skills but also crucial life skills, including teamwork and taking pride in positive interactions. Individual pupils described how they felt they had learned programming skills, improved communication and developed problem solving strategies. Tom described excellent engagement from pupils taking part in the project – when recording behaviour, one case study pupil showed a dip from 7 per week to 3 per week of inappropriate interactions. Another pupil moved from an average of 12 behaviour incidents per week to 2.
He also described how rewarding it was to see communication skills employed to further learning for all, with pupils benefitting so much from collaborative learning and discussion.