Seeing the World Differently

10 December 2014
Posted by Heidi Salmons
Insight (p10), November 2014, A level student Sibyl Beaumont of Malvern College explains how she came to win the Special Needs Initiative of the Year at the Independent Schools Awards, 2013.

When asked what led her to the specific project that she carried out, Sibyl commented: "A member of the staff at school arranged for me to visit the college in Hereford. It was immediately evident to me that there was no map the students could use to show them around the college or the roads nearby. This seemed a significant gap and it gave me a more specific idea. Wouldn’t it be great if the students could feel the countries they were studying in Geography? They had no idea, for example, as to where Paris was in relation to the rest of France. And so I set about making 3D maps of France and Spain."

"Having the right educational tools for teaching really helps a student. I suffer from severe dyslexia and tools such as flashcards and brightly coloured pens have helped me greatly at school. If a student doesn’t have the right tools to help them learn, it’s so unfair. My dyslexia was my motivation and inspiration. I wouldn’t have achieved what I have without Malvern’s level of commitment and passion for teaching and this inspired me. But I also felt a connection with the RNC students trying to learn in difficult circumstances and overcome enormous obstacles to understanding. I really wanted to make a difference she added."

"The maps are now being used by students in French and Spanish classes at the RNC and the principal there, Mrs Sheila Tallon, has said that having access to resources such as my maps generates a positive classroom experience and enables a greater academic understanding whatever the eye condition of the student."

"I feel really proud that the students at Hereford can follow and understand the maps I created. Seeing them use the maps and understanding what I was trying to show them has been unforgettable."

Read more in issue 3 of Insight (p10).