Prior’s Court’s use of Virtual Reality to allow our young people to enjoy new experiences and accustom themselves to real world situations without leaving the comfort of their classroom has been shortlisted for an award.

Prior’s Court has been named as a finalist in the Innovator of the Year category in the 2021 Bett Awards for work being done across site with Virtual Reality over the past 18 months.

This work, led by Computing Teacher Nuno Guerreiro, has involved collaboration between Education, Residential and multi-disciplinary teams to use Virtual Reality headsets as a complimentary resource to existing approaches.

The technology has been used to provide our young people with access to relaxing sensory experiences, desensitisation around scenarios such as being on a bus or medical environments, and enjoying new experiences such as skiing.

One success, at the start of 2020, involved supporting one young person to board a plane to go on an overseas family holiday for the first time in nine years, while the technology has also been used to complement the work of our on-site therapy team with phobia treatment (particularly around animals) and desensitisation around medical settings.

Other finalists in the category include a project run by BBC Learning and LEGO’s education arm.

The winners of each category in the 2021 Bett Awards will be announced in June.