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Sound Revision for Fort William Pupils Now Open To All

28th March 2009

Lochaber High School and a local dyslexia charity have joined forces to create an on-line bank of audio revision materials for pupils. Believed to be a first for Scotland, this venture blends the latest technologies with traditional methods effectively delivering revision opportunities across the curriculum.

The idea originated from a working group set up to identify the technologies that actively support children with specific learning difficulties. This led to the concept of creating audio revision material which pupils access to support their exam revision. This successful joint project between Dyslexia Lochaber and Lochaber High School highlights the value of positive collaboration between parents and school.

As a result of a fund raising campaign, Dyslexia Lochaber were able to assist in the financial support of the project by purchasing two Coomber machines for recording purposes. The schools Librarian, Mrs Ann-Marie Masson, purchased the award winning Podium software for podcasting. A dedicated team of volunteers drawn from Dyslexia Lochaber, staff and pupils from Lochaber High undertook the task of recording revision materials en masse for Higher and Standard Grade courses, coordinated by Additional Support Needs teacher, Catriona Drain.

From the original concept of recording revision materials straight to CD for issuing to pupils on request, it evolved into a comprehensive facility available to all pupils. The schools network manager, Ms Kerry Guy, used her technical expertise to expand the initial project by developing the various delivery methods, training materials, podcasts and creating the audio revision website. The project now offers access via internal and external platforms.

Internally, from the schools curriculum network, pupils have the option of listening to the audio revision files during study time, downloading to their USB pens, mp3 players or burning to CDs for listening while on the move. External access is through the new site which makes use of the latest online technologies such as RSS feeds and podcast subscriptions, in conjunction with traditional streaming or downloading of audio files, offering pupils the freedom to choose their preferred method on demand.

The project was introduced to staff at a recent session hosted by the working group. Mrs Masson gave a presentation on the project, demonstrating to staff the concept of podcasting and its placement as a learning aid. She also showed a videocast of how the Podium software integrates effectively with existing techniques. Offering parents personal perspective, Mrs Liz Tangney and Mrs Marion Malcolm from Dyslexia Lochaber delivered an interesting and informative talk on the complex difficulties faced by pupils with the condition.

Pupils have embraced all aspects of this unique opportunity and future expansion of the project has already been identified. Recording of lessons covering course work from S1 to S6 and school home communication such as the termly newsletter are development priorities.

Head Teacher Mr Jim Sutherland said: "The site is aimed at pupils who have dyslexia to ease their burden at exam time when too much text-based learning can be a struggle. We are delighted that in developing the project we now have a fresh approach to providing learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom, for the whole school community."

The innovative website can be found at


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