It has been three years since the coronavirus pandemic brought life in the UK to a standstill and closed down schools for good. We never expected it to get to that point, but the economy was badly damaged and the government were desperate to save money in any way they could, so unfortunately schools took the hit. Every child in every corner of the UK is now receiving their education from home, no matter their age or ability.
Here at BEAM we provide support for children with additional learning needs, to help make their journey through education smoother. BEAM was first formed in 2021 by a small group of parents whose children fell into this category. They noticed that their children were struggling with the lack of normal routine and found it hard to learn without an adult constantly by their side. Over the past three years BEAM has developed two items to help children overcome these problems: ‘SAL’ the home learning companion, and the ‘Learning Identity Badge’ for transforming your everyday clothes into a home uniform.
SAL (Supportive Assisted Learning) was first created in 2021, when one of our founding parents realised that they could hack their smart home device and use it as a tool for communicating with others. Now in 2023, SAL is a learning companion for pupils that provides support that would otherwise come from a parent or teacher. Pupils often needed parents to interpret instructions for them and keep them focused, however teachers can now upload their own voice recording of instructions to SAL for pupils to access at home. The pupils can follow SAL’s guidance, rather than being fully dependent on parents. SAL can also be used for pupils to communicate with their classmates. SAL is fully customisable and arrives with a sticker pack to kickstart children’s imaginations, however it can be decorated in any way to reflect the pupils’ identities.
The Learning Identity Badge provides routine for children with additional learning needs. Lack of routine resulted in increased anxiety levels for many pupils within this group that prevented them from settling into home learning. The Learning Identity Badge can be added onto any item of clothing to transform it into a ‘home uniform’. Putting the badge on at the same time each day allows pupils to create their own routine for learning at home. The badge comes disassembled, meaning pupils can customise it with any design they feel will best express their individual learning identity.
Thank you for expressing interest in the future of education for children with additional learning needs, we hope to see you again soon!