Baytree School – Weston-super-Mare

| September 10, 2007 | 5 Comments 

I paid a visit to the incredible Baytree Special school today, to lead a staff meeting on, among other things, the idea of using the immersive worlds of Myst as a stimulus with their students.

What a school. There are currently just over 60 pupils on roll, arranged over 8 classes. All pupils have a Statement of Special Educational Needs and a proportion have exceptional needs which include physical and sensory.

I have been really keen to try out some of the immersive world ideas in a special school setting so feel very fortunate to have one of the best just down the road from me. Baytree has had new premises for about three years, and what a site! It includes a hydrotherapy pool, and a range of airy and futuristic classrooms, set within a modern, curving design of building.

They share “The Campus” (an award winning site) with Herons’ Moor Community Primary School, who also joined us at the staff meeting as the two schools work closely together, sharing rooms in the building and encouraging the children to share activities. The site also features a community library, meeting rooms, sports hall, dining room and kitchen facilities.

The design is different from many of the buildings I have been in recently. Here, for example, is class one:

Each class has a framed sign outside representing the class number and some are very imaginative.

I particularly liked a light I spotted above a door, and the way that it has been disguised as a bird:

I was invited by Evelyn Varma, one of the school’s IT technicians, who had come to one of the talks I did at Bath Spa University. (Evelyn was kind enough to leave a lovely comment on the blog ,even when she had been overlooked by The Hat to take part in the Doors of Doom challenge. The Hat made up for it this time though! Well, I cheated a bit!)

I have previously been lucky enough to work with The Bristol Sensory Support Service working mainly with auditory impairments. We have wandered through the Myst worlds, using them as a stimulus for discussion.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable meeting as the group have a superb sense of humour.

It was also good to meet head teacher Carol Penney who won this year’s Ted Wragg Award for Lifetime Achievement, at the Teaching Awards. Carol is due to retire in December but I am sure she will find other ways to use her natural tendency for creative ideas. 🙂

I was glad that some of the ideas we covered in the meeting today, from Myst to Crazy appealed to many of the staff and I look forward to returning and working with them, and their pupils at some stage this year. We have already started to plan some lessons, and maybe even filming, so … “watch this space.”

Thankyou to the staff at Baytree and Heron’s Moor for a fun session.

Category: 1) Events and Training days

Comments (5)

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  1. Andrew Knight says:

    Thanks, Tim – loved Mr Walker (eat your heart out James Galway!). Lots of thought provokes and info bombardment. Will take time to assimilate but what else is time for?

  2. rachel holmes says:

    Thanks Tim! That was a really inspiring hour – worth every minute! Hope you can come again…

  3. Claire Burgess says:

    So pleased you liked the school and it will be fantastic to do some work with you to help the develop the children’s creativity and communication. Thanks for giving us the best staff meeting in ages. I must discover how you did some of your Powerpoint tricks !!

  4. Claire Golding says:

    I was so inspired by your use of Myst for creativity that I had to go out and get the box set. Having spent time walking through the games I can see how it would help in the classroom. I can’t wait to try it! Thank you

  5. It truly is an amazing school, I know 2 pupils from the school and their families and can honestly say the praise they give the staff and support network there is AMAZING, as it seems you have seen from your report ..!


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