Swimming Gala

February 28th, 2012

The National Swimming Gala for young people with a visual impairment will be held at Sansome Walk Pool, Worcester, on Wednesday, 14th March, at 12:30pm.

Your child has been selected to represent the school at this event!

Please complete the permission slip and return it to the office or Mr Gillon in the PE Department as soon as possible.

We leave St Vincent’s by coach at 9:00 am prompt and will return by 8:00 pm, approx. (school will be informed of the estimated time of arrival on the way home). Parents of Day pupils will need to make arrangements for the late collection of their child.

Packed lunch and tea will be provided but individuals may require a small amount of money to buy drinks / snacks at the pool vending machines or Motorway Services.

Please contact Mr Gillon if you have any questions concerning this event.

Lent and Giving

February 28th, 2012

We are now in the Christian season of Lent. In our RE lessons we have been learning about the traditional Lenten practices of prayer, fasting and giving money to the poor (almsgiving). We have also asked our young people to think about what they can do for other people, at this time and they have volunteered many suggestions.

As a school we are supporting a Lenten initiative, related to almsgiving, for the Nugent Care charity. Nugent Care is based in the North Westand serves the needs of vulnerable and marginalised people in our region including people with disabilities, the homeless, the elderly and children in care.

We are asking everyone in our St. Vincent’s community to send in a used, good quality item of clothing that is no longer needed, that could be recycled and sold in the Nugent Care charity shop inLiverpool.

We would be grateful if the items of clothing could be sent into school, week beginning March 5th and they could then be picked up en masse and delivered to the shop the following week.

Thank you very much in anticipation of your support for our initiative.

Could we also remind you that we are in Fair Trade fortnight and we will be talking about this in school as well. If you wish to know any thing more about this proposal, please contact Mrs P Gallagher at the school.l

The Trekker Breeze

February 8th, 2012

The Trekker Breeze is a new orientation aid that pupils of St Vincent’s have been utilising as part of their Individual Mobility Programmes.  It is a similar technology to that of satellite navigation used in cars, in that the geographic position of the Trekker device is located and announced to the user audibly. However, the Trekker differs in that it doesn’t in itself direct or navigate – when used on an outdoor route, it informs of significant features in the immediate vicinity of the user.  This is beneficial in terms of mobility and orientation training as it still demands a certain proficiency from the user, requiring a pre-established level of route memory and ‘mental-mapping’.

For the user, the Trekker adds understanding and interest to a journey – by pressing the ‘explore’ or ‘info’ buttons, the device will provide details on the current position, such as a house number nearby, the road name, or multiple road names at a junction/intersection.  A former teacher at St Vincent’s, himself visually impaired and a user of the Trekker, remarked on the benefits of this function, in that he had recently been surprised to learn of the existence of a road that he passed everyday on his way to work for thirty years, and had been totally unaware of it until recently when the Trekker had informed him so.

Another feature of it, and of great value to mobility lessons, is the facility it has for creating personalised/customised routes.  A ‘record’ function on the Trekker allows the user to place a marker at where they are stood (becoming an announced ‘land-mark’ for subsequent journeys on the same route), and to leave a message/direction for themselves e.g. “turn left onto Grange Avenue and locate second lamp-post”.  This process can be repeated at multiple points on the route, and is then stored internally on an SD card for future journeys, and announced audibly when the user nears that point.  This can greatly assist in achieving an independent and successful completion of a journey.

The Trekker is small and relatively light and can be carried by hand, clipped to clothing or worn by an adjustable lanyard to keep hands free for long cane/symbol cane use.

Robert, one of our post-16 pupils, has greatly enjoyed the use of the Trekker and is currently undertaking the process of recording his own ‘land-marks’ and directions.  Robert said of the Trekker  “It adds to my independence because I can record my own directions and choose my own landmarks.  I liked being able to keep my hands free so I can still use my long cane as well.  I liked it so much I am actually going to get one for myself as a combined Christmas and birthday present”.