On Wednesday 18th October, I was lucky enough to visit Woodlands Primary School for a Better Places School visit alongside Henshaws as our first partnership visit together. Here’s how it went.

Better Places and Henshaws have a newly established partnership which you can read more about here

Our first school visit together was with Woodland Primary Academy in Oldham.

As a first, you’re always a bit unsure about how things will go but Nicole from Henshaws and myself got our heads together and figured out a way we might make it work.

I opened up the assembly with an interactive, fun, and higher energy reading of Nicky and Candy’s Street to set the tone and context for the morning.

Nicole then delivered a brilliant workshop taking a deeper dive into the different types of canes that might be used, how people see differently and held a simulation activity where children poured water with their eyes closed which gave them a bit of an idea of what it might be like doing a simple task as a blind person.

Nicole and me also did a bit of role play on communication emphasising the need for thing like introductions, directional instruction and not walking away from a blind person mid conversation – which I’m sure most will agree is pretty annoying when you’re sat there talking to yourself as you haven’t realised the person’s left.

The workshop was tailed off by a question and answer session between myself and children where i was asked about everything from ‘what it’s like to be blind,’ ‘how did I write the book’ to ‘where was I born.’ I can always count on a bit of variety in questions on school v

isits but all were pretty tame this time around.

My time with the school was finished with a lovely session signing books getting to meet and chat to children who had purchased them – including Kayson from nursery who’s the youngest white cane user i’ve ever met. Top boy!
All in all, I’d say our first joint visit was a real success. I’m looking forward to more to come and would like to thank Woodlands for having me along.

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