Oakdale School is celebrating after becoming one of the first schools in the country to have been given a prestigious award.
The ‘Vision Friendly Gold Mark’ school status has been established by Positive Eye, a leading provider of educational consultancy and training for professionals working with children and young people with vision impairment.
They set up the award so special schools can be recognised and awarded for demonstrating best practice and a commitment to providing appropriate and accessible curricula and environments to children and young people with vision impairment.
The new award comes in two categories, with Oakdale recognised with the top Gold level award. It demonstrates that Oakdale is vision friendly, both at a whole school level and within the classroom environment.
Headteacher Tina Tray said: “The dedication towards a positive change and ethos within school over the last two years has been an absolute privilege to work towards. I am extremely proud of the working partnership and capacity building which this has produced between school, service, staff and other agencies.
“I’d like to thank our assistant headteacher Tracey Vincent and all the staff at Oakdale for working so hard towards this achievement. I also want to thank Hannah Burnley and Stacey Proctor of the Tameside Vision Impairment Team for their dedication to Oakdale to support improvements and development of our provision.”
Once Oakdale applied for the Gold award, the school had 12 months to collect the evidence, followed by an onsite visit from a Qualified Teach of VI and a Habilitation Specialist from Positive Eye, to assess the school’s vision friendly practices.
Oakdale passed both stages with flying colours and their Gold award was presented to Oakdale by Director of Positive Eye, Gwyn McCormick.
She said: “Congratulations to Oakdale School staff on achieving the Gold Vision Friendly Mark. This is thoroughly deserved for your dedicated work and commitment to making a difference to your children. Participating in the Vision Friendly Mark has enabled the school to think differently about how to support vision friendly approaches.
“Staff expressed an increased confidence in their own abilities to maximise children’s visual development. The vision friendly practices have been embedded across the curriculum using a holistic approach.”