Prior’s Court students are being given the opportunity to enjoy new experiences and accustom themselves to real world situations, without leaving the comfort of their classroom.

Thanks to a generous donation, our education department has purchased four Virtual Reality (VR) headsets for use by our young people.

Currently, the headsets are being used:

  • To accustom students to scenarios they are likely to encounter outside of school which, due to being affected by autism, they may find stressful or anxiety-inducing – such as being on a bus or at an airport.
  • To provide relaxation for students via sensory experiences.
  • To give our students experiences they may not be able to otherwise access, such as skiing.

A 360° camera has also been purchased which allows our staff members to record environments inside and outside of the school ground to provide a wider range of scenarios with which our students can familiarise themselves.

Students began using the headsets at the beginning of the school year in September.

Nuno Guerreiro, computing teacher at Prior’s Court School, said: “A key part of our computing curriculum is about working with other departments across Prior’s Court to use technology to facilitate our young people’s wider learning and developing their independence.

“VR headsets provide a valuable contribution to this approach – from preparing our young people for ‘everyday’ scenarios they may encounter outside of school and familiarisation with locations they may visit on work placements, to using the sensory experiences to complement the work of our occupational therapists.

“We are consistently looking to enhance our IT provision – such as our use of Steve the robot, our digital teaching assistant - and so are hugely grateful for the donation made to allow us to purchase the VR headsets

“We are very excited by the opportunities VR can provide for our students.”

The items were purchased from Inclusive Technology, a multiple Queen’s Award for Enterprise winner which supplies hardware and software for people with special needs.