Royal Blind School

43 Canaan Lane


EH10 4SG

Tel: 0131 446 3120

Fax: 0131 447 9266



International Engagement

As part of the Royal Blind School’s commitment to improving the education of visually impaired pupils, we have engaged with a number of international projects that allow us to share our knowledge with and learn from our partners in Europe and the rest of the world.

SMILE Project

The Erasmus+ funded project 'SMILE too' (social skills make inclusive life easier too) is a research study about improving the development of social skills of children and young people with a vision impairment.

A smile is a positive piece of information we receive through nonverbal communication, but for a person with a vision impairment it represents a lost piece of information in human interactions.

Professionals in six partner organisations from different parts of Europe, all working in the field of education for children and young people with a vision impairment, believe that social skills represent the key competences which have an important impact on the prospects and acceptance in society.

  • Centre IRIS - Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • The Royal Blind School – Edinburgh
  • Jordanstown School - Northern Ireland
  • Lega del Filo d'Oro Onlus - Osimo, Italy
  • Gymnazium pro zrakove postizene a Stredni odborna skola pro zrakove postizene – Prague, Czech Republic
  • Visio - Netherlands

The process of developing social competences for children and young people with a vision impairment deserves special attention. Due to loss of sight it differs considerably from the one their sighted peers undergo. The most important feature is that they cannot learn through imitation. The focus of the project is therefore about empowering the whole system with and around the child.

We aim to raise awareness about the importance of developing social competences and design training materials with effective strategies for teachers, parents and carers which will help to develop pupil’s social skills.

The main outputs of the three-year project will be two specifically designed training programmes, one for the parents/carer and the other for teachers and other professionals in inclusive education settings.

Materials with guidelines and videos with practical advice to support our presentations will be produced. It is hoped that these two training programmes will become part of the improved service partner organisations offer to support inclusive forms of education.

Our first project meeting was in Slovenia in October 2019 and over the next three years we will be researching and collaborating to progress the project. We were due to meet at Jordanstown School in Northern Ireland during June 2020, but the world pandemic has meant that this hasn’t been possible, however we have been meeting online to progress our project and we will continue to post updates.



A report funded by Erasmus+ and contributed to by the Royal Blind School is published. Parents, carers, family support organisations and professionals from across Europe have collaborated to create the report, The Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis and Education Project (2014 - 2017) - Aspects of Learning for Individuals with the Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) or the CLN 3 Disease, also known as Batten’s disease. Download the report here.



Hosted meeting of the Erasmus JNCL and Education project, June 2016

A one-year joint project with the Center for Research on Creativity (CRoC) in California will examine visually impaired students’ emotional development, intrapersonal awareness, capacity for empathy and creative thinking skills

Angela Russell, Depute Head Teacher attends meetings of TEACH CVI




Erasmus Project, Teach CVI (Teaching Children with Visual Impairment and Multiple Impairment) 



Grundtvig Project - IMAGINE MDVI Theatre Project

Comenius Project - STEP UP Habilitation Project

Action Research Project on VI, Autism and Behaviour. Several members of MDVI Euronet including Royal Visio (The Netherlands) and the RNIB Pears Centre (Coventry) are engaged in Action Research, led by the Royal Blind School

The Royal Blind School is involved in the Outcomes Framework Pilot that was developed by Educating through Care Scotland (ETCS) and which is being evaluated by CELCIS (the Centre for Excellence in Looked After Children)



Our three Music teachers take part in a staff exchange between Edinburgh, Dublin and Belfast 

The Royal Blind School hosts the annual Coordinators’ meeting for MDVI Euronet over two days in April