Gogarth is a day and residential Special School currently catering for approximately 210 pupils between the ages of 3 and 19 who have a wide spectrum of additional learning needs. This includes more than 50 pupils with Autism or Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
The school has extensive experience of implementing Autism Specific Strategies such as TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autism and Related Communication Handicapped Children), SPELL (Structure, Positive, Empathy, Low Arousal, Links), ABA (Applied Behavioural Analysis) as well as the use of Alternative and Augmentative communication strategies such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) to support pupils’ learning and development. In addition the school provides an outreach service in collaboration with the Local Authority for local mainstream schools.
In January 2014 Gogarth moved from its existing school into a purpose built facility. Following a tender during 2013, Gaia were selected as the preferred bidder and they worked with Wilmott Dixon to ensure that the new ICT was fully integrated into the school.
The project involved setting up a sample room. Wilmott Dixon, the builder, provided Gaia with a secure area to take deliveries and start our onsite work. Gaia followed Wilmott Dixon’s construction timetable and as each area was made ready by Wilmott Dixon, the Gaia team followed fitting the ICT. As the build was not ready to be handed over to the school until the same week as full occupation, the Gaia team worked over the Christmas holidays and at weekends ensuring that the school’s ICT was ready for the first day of operation.
The solution includes Cisco active networking, HP servers, Acer PC’s, Acer Laptops, iPads, Smartboards, 3D projector, iBoard Touch Screens on height adjustable trolleys, Digital Signage, adaptive and special needs peripherals and software.
Gaia were also awarded the ICT support contract and provide full time on site and remote support; and training. Gaia continue to provide CPD when needed, using SEN specialists such as Ian Bean.
Gaia also worked with Gogarth to create apps and 3D creative packages matched to the schools SEN curriculum needs. This included developing an app to teach Makaton signing and an avatar to aid pupil communication with teachers. During 2015 one of the Gogarth autistic students started a work placement at Gaia allowing him to develop his artistic and computer design skills within the Gaia Creative Media team.
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