Cardinal Newman Catholic School - case study
Cardinal Newman Catholic School (CNCS) is a large secondary school in Luton with over 1400 students, ranging from Year 7 to sixth form. The school’s ethos is to support students as they grow in faith and strive for academic excellence, and to help them fulfill their potential. This includes providing support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
Cardinal Newman Catholic School needed a solution for the classroom to support a 12-year-old student that is severely visually impaired (VI). The student must be able to view content on the digital whiteboard from his seat without drawing attention to his disability. The perfect solution would allow the student to remotely see the whiteboard using a discreet tablet device at their desk. Additionally, the software must meet SEN requirements, as the school is regularly visited by inspectors that review the teaching environment and student progress.
Back in primary school, visually impaired student Mark* used a software product to access the whiteboard, but it was discontinued by the vendor and no longer compatible with the latest tablets. To replace it, CNCS Assistant Headteacher Michelle Chappell started a VNC Connect trial, working closely with Mark for feedback on the success of the software. The school’s IT department liaised extensively with RealVNC’s Sales and Support teams, who were able to assist and promptly answer all their questions. The ease of use and installation, paired with the dependability of RealVNC’s support staff, led to the purchase of the required VNC Connect licenses.
VNC Connect is now installed on an iPad that allows Mark to view the whiteboard, enlarge teachers’ notes and take screenshots, which he can read at his own pace and retrieve later at home. This solution also allows teachers to save time, as they no longer need to prepare extra material for Mark before or after each class.
With VNC Connect installed on his iPad, Mark is in a much better position to fulfill his academic potential, while regaining his independence. The VNC Connect software has helped Mark to feel much more involved in the classroom, reducing frustration and greatly improving the quality of his learning environment.
“It’s really important that our student is able to regain his independence without feeling different from his peers. VNC Connect allows him to actively engage in the classroom and fulfill his academic potential.”
Assistant Headteacher, SENCO
The successful adoption of VNC Connect to support Mark has led his teachers to consider expanding the use of this software to help other SEN pupils. Students with learning difficulties such as dyslexia could use VNC Connect to read the whiteboard at their own pace, and students suffering from anxiety or on the autistic spectrum would also be able to access the whiteboard in a more conductive environment.