Richmond School and Sixth Form College have won a national award for their work in developing inclusive assistive technology provision for students within their locality.  The award was presented at a ceremony hosted by the Edufuturists, a group of educators who provide training, keynote talks and consultancy for educators and change leaders who want to improve their organisation with cloud-based technology.

Dan Fitzpatrick, a Director of Edufuturists, said: “It was our pleasure to present the Edufuturist Award for Secondary School of the Year to the amazing staff at Richmond School. They are making a huge impact in the education sector with their innovative use of technology. Richmond are a beacon in the UK of how to implement meaningful technology that will help equip their students with the skills to thrive in the world in which they will live and work.”

Assistive technology has been at the heart of the inclusive support provided by the specialist team since Richmond School became an Enhanced Mainstream Provision for Cognition and Learning in 2010. The team of Kath Lawson and Steffy Cappleman have championed how effective use of ‘technology for all’ can improve motivation, encourage independence and result in improved skills and progress.  Through the development of YES@RichmondSchool, the team have been able to provide high-quality training so that the use of a range of technology is modelled, reflected on and good practice is shared.

Kath Lawson said: “When technology is matched to individual needs and used in an inclusive way, it can make a significant impact on a pupil’s motivation and progress. All students can benefit. The staff and pupils in our school, and schools within our locality, have been very receptive to the technologies we have introduced. We have also been supported by a number of professionals who are leading the field in this work.

“Our next project is developing the use of Read and Write, a piece of literacy software in Richmond School, Stokesley School and Northallerton School: the three schools within the Areté Learning Trust.  By Christmas, all students who attend these schools will have access to this programme at home and school.”

Jenna Potter, Headteacher at Richmond School and Sixth Form College, said: “Overall, Richmond School use assistive technology as one of the key mechanisms to help students to become independent, resilient and successful learners. The school focuses on student strengths and have a belief that a learning difference is not necessarily a barrier, rather something that students with the right approach can manage themselves.”

The prestigious award was presented to the team by the award sponsor, Jamie E Smith Executive Chairman of  C-Learning a Tedx speaker, author and entrepreneur. Jamie said “I am thrilled for all of the staff and pupils at Richmond School whose exemplary work for applying technology that has positive impact on personal learning needs has been recognised with an Edufuturists award for Secondary School of the Year. From everyone at C-Learning we send our congratulations to the whole Richmond School learning community”.

Details of the comprehensive offer of training and support available from Yes@RichmondSchool can be found at www.yes@richmondschool.net