moveOn 29th November 2016, Carol Francis, MOVE Consultant, spent a day at Oaklands assessing whether Oaklands should be re-awarded the MOVE Quality Mark and retain its status as MOVE Centre of Excellence. During the day, Carol spent time observing individual pupils, groups, circle time, PE, she watched a video and saw lots of photos, spoke to staff and a parent and reviewed a large quantity of documental evidence. It all showed that MOVE is totally embedded in the school curriculum and school life. At the end of her day at Oaklands, she gave verbal feedback to all staff and this was summed up in one word: “WOW”. She was overwhelmed with all that she had seen and heard and had no hesitation in awarding the Quality Mark again. It also meant that Oaklands continues to be a MOVE Centre of Excellence. A more detailed feedback report arrived last week with our Quality Mark certificate.

MOVE is an activity based programme which uses the combined knowledge of education, therapy and the family to teach children with significant mobility problems the skills of sitting, standing, walking and transferring, to the very best of their ability. As a result, the MOVE gives these children the opportunity to take greater control of their lives, leading to opportunities to make choices and increased, and highly valued, independence. At Oaklands, 25 pupils currently use the MOVE programme to develop their motor skills.

MOVE is totally embedded in school life and pupils are encouraged to practise their skills throughout the day such as using the walkers to walk to another part of the school, practising sitting on a bench or small chair during class activities or using standing frames during HE or art. Even in the pool, MOVE skills are practised: sitting on a float in the middle of the pool is a great (and very exciting) way to practise your sitting balance or practising weight bearing while standing on the step with the bubbles on.

Once a year, Oaklands participates in the annual MOVE day. The theme for these days is set by MOVE headquarters and in the past we have had some very successful MOVE days with themes such as: MOVE at the Movies, MOVE and Strictly Come Dancing, MOVE on Safari, MOVE to the Beat and many more. Who can forget our MOVE Carnicus earlier this year!

Through team work and focussing on skills that are important and motivating for the pupils, we regularly see pupils achieve skills that we didn’t think were possible. Some recent success stories: Subhaan going the local swimming pool and shops leaving his wheelchair at school and just using his K walker, Leon sitting on a bench during lunch, Rebecca using her K walker independently and enjoying exploring the hall and all the activities in it, Lachlan and Emma took their first steps in their walker. There have been many more success stories. Even the smallest success can make a huge difference in a pupil’s and their family’s life.

In 2012, Oaklands was awarded the MOVE Quality Mark and was made a MOVE Centre of Excellence. On 29th November, Carol Francis from MOVE will visit the school for a re-evaluation of these awards and, hopefully, a re-accreditation of our Centre of Excellence status. Watch this space for the outcome of this process.

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For more information about the MOVE programme, please contact Anke Baillie at Oaklands School or visit  The MOVE Programme .

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Special School, City of Edinburgh Council.

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