Southview School Fund is a pioneering charity supporting the education, care and recreational needs of young people at Southview School with severe physical and neurological impairments (PNI) such as Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy and associated learning difficulties.
Our aim is to provide facilities and services not normally funded by the Local Education Authority or Government that create a stimulating and inclusive environment. We also wish to ensure that all our young people are given every opportunity to progress towards fulfilment and to develop life skills in preparation for adulthood.
Southview School is a small special school based in Witham and is unique in Essex as the only school exclusively for PNI learners aged 3-19. We are OFSTED rated ‘Good’ and staffed by a team who successfully provide a high quality learning experience for all our learners and thereby create a community of learners with strong self esteem and high expectations for personal success. We have a good reputation for our work in supporting young people’s communication and developing learner independence. Our team are also skilled in using a wide variety of equipment and technologies to support our learners, enhance their experiences and keep them safe. Much of this good work is supported and would not be possible without the efforts of the Southview School Fund.
Projects that Southview School Fund regularly provide or have successfully achieved include:
1. Financially supporting an annual extended educational visit to the Centre Algarve in Portugal, a state of the art holiday resort built specifically for learners with disabilities. The trip provides an excellent opportunity for learners to develop and foster communication and interpersonal skills, whilst learning about another country and culture. It also gives opportunities to families that may not normally be able to afford a trip abroad for their child.
2. The provision of a new minibus to increase the number of learners that can go out on regular school visits to improve their communication and life skills
3. Funding Music Therapy for our learners. Music Therapy is the use of music to facilitate positive changes in emotional wellbeing and communication through the engagement in live musical interaction, which raises their self esteem, self confidence, encourages self expression, and helps with their communication skills
4. Financial support for group horseriding through a local Riding for the Disabled organisation. This activity provides our learners with improvements to their balance and coordination, increased suppleness and improved overall body awareness and posture, which helps improve or maintain general health
5. Purchasing Interactive Flooring and Soundbeam, which is mobile sensory equipment for classrooms. The Interactive flooring works through projecting an image onto the floor which responds to learner contact and movement. For example an image of water would ripple when a learner interacts with it. Soundbeam is an award-winning touch free device which uses sensor technology to translate body movement into music and sound and is used in conjunction with the Flooring for a multi-sensory experience. Teachers have found these a valuable, adaptable tool for use in teaching, physical development and therapy and the learners love it too!
To summarise, Southview School Fund works diligently to enhance the school environment and lives of disabled children and young adults living across Essex.