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Hyped about Skype – Ivy House School wins MOVE Day

Nigel Carter, Director of Education and Business Development, MOVE Europe

When MOVE Europe was seeking prizes earlier this year for our annual National MOVE Day, we were delighted to receive the support of Skype and the contribution of Skype gadgets for the winning school.

The MOVE Programme – run by MOVE Europe, a small UK based charity – is an activity-based program that teaches the skills of sitting, standing, walking and transferring to the very best of each child’s ability. National MOVE Day celebrates the achievements made by children improving their functional mobility on the MOVE Program over the last year. Each child works towards their own and their family’s goals, whether it be to lift their head independently for 30 seconds, or to walk a short distance with only their hand held for support, for example.

This past Friday I took a trip to Ivy House Special School in Derby, winners of National MOVE Day, in order to present them with their prizes. It promised to be a fun day out of the office and it sure was – children love getting prizes and the trophy went down especially well.

But it was the FREETALK Buddy Cams and headsets, which had been kindly donated by Skype that went down best with the teachers. The Headteacher told me the webcams will allow the school to video call other schools that use MOVE in the UK and Europe. For the teachers it will mean they can share resources, experiences and problems with other teachers. The pupils will be able to speak to other SEN kids and share their achievement – kind of like modern day pen pals. She also told me that using Skype and the webcams in this way would help with Ofsted inspections – as they are always looking for evidence that a school has increased its community and social cohesion.

Schools up and down the UK took part in MOVE Day and the theme this year was Pirates. Ivy House School fought off tough competition to win – its day of celebration saw pupils and staff dressed-up as Pirates and included the best Pirate Ship cake ever seen by the judges. Their day also featured sword fighting, walk-the-plank and treasure hunt activities. The day ended with a Pirate themed Café attended by parents.

Huge congratulations to Ivy House School on winning MOVE Day 2011 and thanks to Skype for its support.

To help children like those at Ivy House School to live the healthiest and happiest lives possible by accessing the MOVE Programme, you can donate to the charity at -www.justgiving.com/move1 or for further information on the MOVE Programme please see move-europe.org.uk or contact move@move-europe.org.uk

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