Carly Mackenzie, Move Consultant at Drummond school, Inverness, reflects on her time using the Move Programme and the impact it’s had on past and present pupils.

I was first introduced to Move back in 2001 when our PE teacher carried out a 2-day practitioner training for the whole school.

I remember feeling very excited about getting started with all our pupils. However, the Head Teacher at the time advised caution and told Maggie Rodger, our Move trainer, to just start with three pupils initially, despite having around 20 pupils with mobility problems at that time.

Empowerment

The Move Programme gave us clear pathways to follow, where up until then we felt powerless, but Move empowered us. We started straight away seeing differences in our pupils; one of the first comments from a parent was that her child stated sleeping through the night for the first time.

Over the years, we have seen many of our pupils graduate from the Move Programme and we have celebrated each and every one of them. In 2013, we were re-accredited as a Centre of Excellence and also gained Outstanding in our Move Quality Mark and retained this in 2017.

Seeing the difference

Move has been my passion and it has been so worthwhile to see the differences it has made to the lives of our pupils. I remember a pupil very well, who was blind and deaf along with very little mobility skills coming to Drummond school. When choosing the goals with her Mum, we took our time to pin point what would be the long term goals that could make the difference for them. The family loved to travel abroad and were sad that this would come to an end once she outgrew a baby changing table, as she would have to stay close to home for personal care. So the goal was decided upon; to teach her to stand for at least 3 minutes to have personal care carried out. This goal was achieved; it took 4 years but she achieved it, and the family celebrated with a trip to Florida! This Move goal improved her life and all of her family’s immensely.

At Drummond school, the Move Programme is such an integral part of the ethos and way of thinking here. We have developed our own Move swim programme - the swimming pool is such a great tool for teaching mobility skills. Pupils may not be able to stand or walk but can learn in the swimming pool first. The pool is sometimes the only place a child has freedom of movement and seeing a child realise that is immense.

I still get emotional when I see a child start to walk independently; only last week a pupil who is so near graduation level came walking along the corridor with his class and no one holding his hand; the look of determination and happiness on his face was fantastic. I had to pull myself together from being a blubbering wreck. It’s a fantastic job! I am going to miss it, but to have been part of this for all these years has been a privilege and I carry so many happy memories of our staff, parents and especially our pupils.

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