ChooseIt Maker at Holly Grove Primary School.

Impact and Effectiveness of ChooseIt Maker at Holly Grove Primary School, Burnley, Lancashire.

Introduction: Nurturing Inclusivity at Holly Grove.

Holly Grove Primary Special School, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, is committed to inclusive education for students aged from 4 to 11 with diverse learning needs, including moderate to severe difficulties and autism. Nestled in the heart of Burnley in Lancashire, the school embodies warmth and inclusivity, creating a nurturing haven for its 120 students. Communication is at the heart of everything they do, ensuring that every child has a voice.

Introduction Nurturing Inclusivity HG

The Story of Holly Grove Primary School.

Holly Grove is more than just an educational establishment; it’s a vibrant community driven by dedication, compassion and a commitment to each child's unique journey. With 77 devoted staff members, Holly Grove offers a tailored curriculum and state-of-the-art facilities, promoting holistic development-including a hydrotherapy pool, sensory processing room, rebound therapy room, two sensory rooms and a soft play area. Communication is at the heart of Holly Grove’s mission. They develop individual communication programs through the use of 'Communication Champions' and Speech and Language Therapists. The school uses regular workshops and drop-ins throughout the year to assist parents in fostering a collaborative and supportive community. Equally impressive is the commitment to physical well-being, with the Physical Wellbeing Lead collaborating with physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other medical professionals to enhance pupils' experiences in specialised facilities. They also use motor development groups and physio/movement groups to contribute to the overall growth and development of each child. A poignant chapter in Holly Grove's journey involves the planned immersive room in 2024, dedicated to a pupil who sadly passed away, showcasing the school's deep sense of community and the lasting impact each child has on its fabric. The Georgia Fourie Butterfly Fund, established in 2009 as a registered charity, stands as a testament to Holly Grove's unwavering commitment to its students. Honouring the memory of a cherished pupil, this fund actively supports families in need, sponsors enriching trips, provides Christmas presents, funds specialised equipment and ensures that each child at Holly Grove can thrive and enjoy a wealth of opportunities.

The Story Of Holly Grove

The Challenge Before ChooseIt Maker.

Prior to ChooseIt Maker, the school lacked software that combined ease of use with the ability to meet every student’s requirement. They could only find cause-and-effect software, which didn’t serve all their needs. Staff wanted interactive, engaging and adaptable support for children with diverse learning needs. They wanted children to be able to express their wants and needs effectively through personalised activities, such as incorporating familiar photos or sounds, as an opportunity to engage students.

The Challenge Before CM

Why Holly Grove Chose ChooseIt Maker.

In the pursuit of excellence, Holly Grove enthusiastically adopted ChooseIt Maker, a tool that has proven to be instrumental in tailoring activities for all students in the school. This user-friendly software empowers staff to design engaging lessons, incorporating various modes of accessibility such as switch, touch, eye gaze, mouse and keyboard access. The program's remarkable adaptability has proven limitless, allowing staff to create activities spanning all areas of the curriculum in alignment with Holly Grove's educational objectives. The software's advantages, such as seamless activity sharing across devices without the complications of download procedures, set it apart. The software ensured consistency in educational materials, while also addressing the concern of saving valuable space on the school server. Katie Wood, Business Support Officer, emphasised the school's exclusive reliance on ChooseIt Maker, stating, "We didn't use anything else before ChooseIt Maker; we haven't come across anything as good or as easy to use." The software's unique ability to empower children to make their own choices, adapt pages to yield positive outcomes and present challenges—such as selecting correct answers for numeracy based questions, resonated positively with the staff. The flexibility to customise the number of cells on each page, ranging from a single cell to eight cells, coupled with the option to modify background and font colours, add personal images and utilise an extensive library of symbols contributed to ChooseIt Maker's appeal. Noteworthy features such as recording sounds, creating personalised rewards and prompts, and the recent addition of text-to-speech functionality, further distinguished ChooseIt Maker. Staff at Holly Grove Primary underscored the software's simplicity in creating activities for both staff and children, highlighting its inclusivity for all students. This comprehensive set of features and the program's commitment to accessibility positioned ChooseIt Maker as a standout choice, surpassing other programs in the eyes of Holly Grove Primary School staff.

Katie Wood
We didn't use anything else before ChooseIt Maker; we haven't come across anything as good or as easy to use.
Katie Wood
Katie Wood
Business Support Officer

The Impact has Been Big.

ChooseIt Maker has become an integral part of enhancing the learning experience at Holly Grove School, making education more accessible across all aspects of the curriculum. The unique features of ChooseIt Maker have played a crucial role in transforming teaching methods and positively impacting students' lives. Courtney Fourie, a year 3 teacher, shared a magical moment when one of her students, who had previously struggled to engage with classroom activities, experienced a transformative breakthrough. During a registration activity created with ChooseIt Maker, the student was drawn to her photo on the screen. Inspired by watching her friend select her picture on the interactive screen, this little girl followed suit, locating her photo, touching the screen and expressing delight at the rewarding music. This marked one of the first instances the class team witnessed her interacting in such a manner. The software acted as a doorway, opening up more opportunities for this young lady to actively participate in a variety of activities. Aisling Carruthers, EYFS Lead, highlighted its adaptability to the foundation stage, where topics are central to the learning experience. With ChooseIt Maker, teachers can effortlessly create activities tailored to specific themes, such as a jungle topic, incorporating engaging elements like animal pictures and sounds. This flexibility not only enhances the learning experience but also captivates students' attention, making education a more immersive and enjoyable process. ChooseIt Maker has been seamlessly integrated into various lessons, including registration. This allows students to actively participate by making choices between photos, and between names. Class Teacher, Laura Byrne expressed that the product's accessibility ensures that it accommodates a wide range of students, making it a valuable investment for schools aiming to enhance their educational practices.

Helping Teachers to Adapt, Engage and Track.

The tool's adaptability to various subjects, such as phonic activities and emotional regulation allows educators to create customised content that resonates with students, making learning a more engaging and interactive experience. Phonics Intervention Lead, Michelle Grimshaw praised its effectiveness in adapting activities for individual needs during phonic activities. The tool facilitates the creation of activities tailored to specific sounds or provides additional support as needed. Michelle shared a heartening example of a young man progressing through phonic sounds, matching pictures to words. The interactive feedback, where correct selections triggered reward music, not only engaged the student but also contributed to a meaningful learning experience. Michelle emphasised that ChooseIt Maker played a crucial role in guiding children through phonic sounds without imposing undue pressure, fostering independence in their decision-making. Year 1 Teacher, Katie Walker emphasised the product's impact on tracking and assessing student progress. By incorporating ChooseIt Maker into daily activities, Katie observed improvements in both gross and fine motor skills, as students interacted with the interactive board. The tool also helped in monitoring the progression of students' understanding of symbols, an essential aspect of communication. Notably, the ability to create activities with positive outcomes contributed to enhanced confidence and independence among students using ChooseIt Maker. The consistent theme from both Michelle and Katie's experiences is that ChooseIt Maker goes beyond being a mere educational tool—it becomes a catalyst for personalised learning experiences and skill development and, most importantly, boosts students' confidence and independence. The positive impact is not only academic but extends to physical and cognitive development, creating a holistic and enriching environment for both educators and students.

Libby Fitton (1)
A valuable tool to support emotional regulation among students. Pupils have the option to choose between activities such as drawing, running, or building, providing them with a means of communicating their preferences for emotional regulation. This approach allows children to regulate their emotions without feeling pressured, fostering a sense of engagement and motivation. Observing these children actively selecting and enjoying their chosen activities, with evident delight on their faces, is a truly touching and moving experience.
Libby Fitton (1)
Libby Fitton
Class Teacher

Experience the Transformative Power of Choice.

For schools considering the adoption of ChooseIt Maker, the transformative impact on both teaching and learning at Holly Grove serves as a compelling example. The ability to seamlessly integrate technology into various aspects of the curriculum, coupled with the adaptability to adapt to diverse learning needs, makes ChooseIt Maker a powerful tool for educational success.

Experience The Tranformative Power Of Choice

If you’d like to see what ChooseIt Maker can do in your school, why not sign-up for a FREE trial.

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