Companies’ generous donations help self-isolating students stay in touch

By Jamie Hill - 21 October 2020

BusinessSecondary
  • Mary Jones, head of Pupil Premium and SEND Coordinators at RWB Academy

    Mary Jones, head of Pupil Premium and SEND Coordinators at RWB Academy

Students at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy who might have struggled to work at home while self-isolating have had full access to remote learning resources, thanks to the generosity of two major employers.

  • Mary Jones, head of Pupil Premium and SEND Coordinators at RWB Academy

    Mary Jones, head of Pupil Premium and SEND Coordinators at RWB Academy

When a student tests positive for Covid-19, they and the rest of their year group have to self-isolate and continue their education at home. Any student who doesn’t have access to a laptop or iPad is seriously disadvantaged, in that they are unable to make full use of the online resources and complete assignments, and are unable to maintain full contact with their teachers.

But thanks to the generosity of VINCI and Dyson, Royal Wootton Bassett Academy, which is part of the Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Trust, has been able to issue all students who lacked laptops or iPads with the equipment they needed to work effectively at home.

Royal Wootton Bassett Academy headteacher Mrs Anita Ellis said the public-spirited initiative by both VINCI and Dyson has had a hugely positive impact on the learning of the students involved.

“One of our parents who worked for VINCI kindly applied to The VINCI Foundation on our behalf, and we were delighted to receive £5,000 to provide students with iPads,” said Mrs Ellis.

“Those iPads were invaluable over the two year group self-isolations we had to impose this term, and VINCI’s work to support the public sector was a tremendous lift.  

“We have had 30 Dynabooks donated to us by Dyson, which was again incredibly generous, and once they are re-configured they will be invaluable to families who don’t have this technology at home.  Working on a laptop is so much easier than working on a mobile phone.”

Mrs Ellis said that these days students who can’t access laptops or iPads are at a very real disadvantage compared to their peers.

“Even when students are not in self-isolation or lockdown, more and more homework or classwork is being placed online to allow students to revisit the curriculum in their own time,” she said.

“Having access to this type of technology is enabling all students to take advantage of this, and we’d like to say a public thank you to these companies that have supported the efforts that schools are making to ensure all students get the access to their lessons that they are entitled to.”

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