At Mill Water we recognise the significant impact the ICT can have on our pupils lives, their ability to access learning and develop independence in ways that otherwise may not be possible. All classrooms have a Smartboard which allows the pupils to engage in lessons via an interactive screen, and access to iPads to support learning. Technology enables our pupils to communicate, make choices, develop interests and record their learning in a range of ways.

We have specifically adapted resources that ensure that technology is accessible to everyone, including a variety of switches and keyboards, mice and touch screen computers.

ICT is taught in discrete lessons where pupils have increased access to devices, but is also used regularly in cross curricula contexts in order for the ICT skills to be applied in other subjects. We recognise that for some pupils ICT and devices can be incredibly motivating, but also take steps to ensure that pupils do not become reliant on technology and cause them to become disengaged with the world around them.

Nurture and Engagement

Pupils are learning to understand that they are able to control technology through cause and effect activities. They use simple hardware such as switches to learn to turn things on and off, scan and select and communicate choices. Where possible, ICT is used to support Daily Living Skills, and pupils learn how they are able to access ICT independently to control their environment (shown on planning as ECT – Environmental Control Technology).

Practical Living and Life Skills

Pupils will learn how to engage in and control their environment through the use of technology in order to support their daily lives and develop independence. They access laptops and iPads to learn how to find information, develop interests and support their learning through interactive games and other programmes. 

Pupils will access programmable devices as an extension of the cause and effect programmes, so that they begin to understand on a more complex level that their input into a device will have a desired outcome.

Independent Living and Learning

Pupils are developing their ability to engage in the world using technology. Using laptops they will begin to understand how to use different programmes, including Word to record their work and communicate e.g. through writing a letter, if appropriate to their literacy level. They will be taught how to open, read, compose and send emails. Pupils will access the internet to research and navigate their way through browsers and websites in order to find information and access safe sites as part of the leisure time and developing hobbies and interests.

Additional Approaches

Throughout their time at Mill Water, all pupils will be taught Online Safety in order for them to understand the risks that technology and online communication may present at a level appropriate to their cognitive ability. With technology and devices being increasingly more present in our daily lives, it is essential that pupils leave Mill Water with an understanding of how to access technology safely. Online safety is taught as part of the ICT curriculum and through cross curricula links in lower and middle school. In upper school it is closely linked to the PSHE curriculum and covered throughout the year.