By James Shryane, Assistant Headteacher
Following the success of the telepresence robot initiative we launched last summer, we have been awarded funding from the Oxford Hospitals Charity to purchase two more robots. These will enable more children with chronic illnesses to attend school virtually from their homes or hospital beds.
The ground-breaking project, led by the OHS, was the first of its kind in the UK to use pioneering telepresence robots to enable young patients to take part in mainstream lessons and extracurricular activities without physically being in the classroom.
The initiative was designed not only to help children keep up with their studies, but to overcome the sense of isolation commonly felt by young people undergoing medical treatment. It has been shown to have a positive impact on the wellbeing and learning of those taking part, while also helping children to reintegrate smoothly back into school after treatment.
The first two robots have now been used by three children in Oxfordshire, with brilliant results. The first user, 13 year-old Adam, has now returned to school following his treatment. Adam’s reintegration into school life was made easier because he was able to maintain links with his schoolwork, teachers and friends during treatment.
We are delighted to be able to expand this incredibly important project to help more children and young people, and extend our thanks to the Oxford Hospitals Charity and its donors for their support.
This story was featured on BBC South Today.
More information on this project can be found on our Robots in Schools project page.