MDVI Euronet Week at the Royal Blind School Edinburgh

Posted: 03/11/2011 |

The Royal Blind School in Edinburgh Scotland has been a member of MDVI Euronet since its inception ten years ago. Membership of MDVI Euronet has provided many wonderful opportunities for networking with other professionals who work with children and young people with MDVI, opportunities for staff and pupil exchanges, and cooperative participation in several European projects. In the week of 10 to 14 October 2011, we celebrated MDVI Euronet Week.

 

How we celebrated:

 

  • Our school operates on two campuses. On each campus, we had a display of resources representing our MDVI Euronet activities over the past 10 years.

  • We hosted the MDVI Euronet PE Workshop

  • We were visited by Eberhard Fuchs, formerly of the Blindeninstitut in Wurzburg, Germany

 

The MDVI Euronet PE Workshop

For three days, our PE and Physiotherapy staff were joined by three colleagues, two from Ireland and one from Glasgow in Scotland. Throughout the three days, these practitioners shared their expertise, ideas, problems and solutions relating to the development of physical skills for our pupils. Our visitors were able to ‘shadow’ our PE teachers and Physiotherapists, observing and participating in Rebound Therapy, PE classes and Hydrotherapy. All staff enjoyed the opportunity to share professional practice and problem-solve together. Schools and services for people with MDVI are often quite small, meaning that practitioners might miss the opportunity to work in a collegiate atmosphere. That is where membership of MDVI Euronet provides excellent opportunities for building networks to extend knowledge and share good practice in MDVI.

All of the participants of the MDVI Euronet PE Workshop agreed that it was a very valuable opportunity and they will keep in touch via email. They are keen to repeat this sort of workshop in the future, and hopefully extend the opportunity to participate with more colleagues from throughout Europe.

 

Visit by Eberhard Fuchs

Eberhard Fuchs was one of the founding members of MDVI Euronet and has recently retired from his post as Director of the Blindeninstitut in Wurzburg. Despite being officially retired, Eberhard very willingly gave of his time to visit Edinburgh for a few days, during which time he visited the Royal Blind School, met with staff and presented a talk on both the Blindeninstitut and the work of MDVI Euronet.

Eberhard’s presentation was well received, and a number of staff are now keen to visit Wurzburg to see the work being done there. Also welcomed was Eberhard’s feedback and ideas about practices he observed when visiting our classrooms.

 

The Future

While we thoroughly enjoyed planning for and participating in MDVI Euronet Week, we have not stopped there but rather are looking forward to several more European initiatives. In November, our Drama Teacher is visiting Osimo in Italy for a preparatory visit to formulate a proposal for a Comenius European Project on Drama and transition from school to work.

In March 2012, we are planning a series of exchange visits for the music staff of the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh and St Joseph’s in Dublin. They plan to work on a joint project exploring some aspects of Scottish and Irish history and how these link to music. Both Music Teachers, and Music Therapists will be involved.

Then in April 2012, we will be hosting the next meeting of the MDVI Euronet Steering Group in Edinburgh. We look forward to welcoming our colleagues to the school to reflect on the past work of MDVI Euronet and to plan for the future.

 

Conclusion:

MDVI Euronet is committed to improving knowledge, understanding and good practice in the education of children and young people with a severe visual impairment and additional disabilities by:

  • Raising awareness of the needs of children and young people with MDVI.

  • Developing and building a knowledge base of good practice in MDVI education.

  • Maintaining a communication network for MDVI practitioners to share good practice.

We encourage your involvement in this very valuable network.

 

Julie Fardell

Principal

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