July 2020 Issue 24
Supporting staff and students to achieve their full potential
(Est. 1968)
        A sign on grill that says school closed Photo © Adobe Stock                  


Dear CENMAC Community,

The summer holidays are here!

Thank you to the students who have shared their lockdown stories, it's brilliant to hear how their assistive technology has played such an important role in their home learning.

We have been so impressed with the girls taking park in the Animation Project and are so excited to see and share their final film! A big thanks to Rainbow Collective for their flexibility in making the workshop become a successful online project.

Although there is uncertainty to how schools will operate in September, we are looking forward to supporting students as they return, especially those transitioning onto new placements.
Have a very happy and restful holiday.

Kathryn Stowell
Head of CENMAC

CENMAC is closed from Monday 10 August - 1 September 2020

Visit: and our resources area on our website:

Stories from Lockdown
CENMAC Students 

Girl with headphones at computerParent of Daisy: 

At the beginning of lockdown we were very conscious not to put Daisy under pressure with her school work, the basic rule is that we'll do what we can without her getting stressed. Having said that she has adapted well, we have had good days and not so good days – though the good days far outweigh the bad. However, we've stuck as best we can to the timetable and the work sent from school on a weekly basis pretty well, some of it of course rolls over from day to day. 

Regarding the equipment we received from CENMAC, this has helped greatly. In particular we have the online maths site RockStarz, which is linked to school and her teachers can see how she is doing, on both the iPad and the PC. Daisy loves playing it and is currently leading in her class in coins collected, I'm also trying to get the login for Mymaths to put on as well. 

'... she uses the Word Q5 with Word which is fantastic, it has given her confidence to write her answers knowing that the help with spelling is there...'

The area that I feel has benefitted Daisy the most is Word Q5, a lot of her school work comes in a Word doc, so she uses the Word Q5 with Word which is fantastic. It has given her confidence to write her answers knowing that the help with spelling is there. She hasn't any 'big' writing work from school, so she hasn't used the DocsPlus that much, though when she first got the PC and used the program she did quickly bash out a couple of short stories – I'm sure it will come into its own when she is back at school. I also have to say she picked it up very quick. 

All in all the equipment CENMAC has provided has been a great help during this period of lockdown and I do feel that once Daisy is back at school, it will come into its own and provide her with the support she needs.

First-hand experience from Emily

Guided Home Learning and Me, Emily. 

Three images of a young girl in the outdoors

'I have not found anything tricky as I have had a lot of practise.'

My name is Emily and I am 9 years old.  I like playing with my sister Bea and my brother Arthur in the garden.  I have been loving Guided Home Learning since the start of March and have been living my best life. 

What has gone well? 

I have enjoyed not having to wear uniform and taking a teddy to school with me.  At break time I adore playing in the garden with my baby brother Arthur, who is 1 years old. I enjoy this as we are both similar and like the same things.  

Lisa, who is my 1:1 helps me every day with my work.  Lisa helps me with my Maths and English.  I really enjoy Maths because I like working out difficult sums and word problems.  English isn't my favourite but if I have to do it, I will do it anyway with the help of my little helper 'Bressingham Bear’. 

I enjoy planning my day so that I can do the activities when I know I will concentrate the best, which often means doing the lessons which I really enjoy in the morning. I have my own space to work, which includes my desk, iPad, coloured pens, computer, enlarged keyboard and mouse and my books. To add to that I also am passionate about riding the tandem bike with Daddy. We tend to do that on the weekend as we do not have the time in the week. As I cannot ride a bike by myself, I like to ride a bike with Daddy as I can be safe and have lots of fun. I also love riding on my scooter and putting a teddy in my scooter bag and riding very fast.  I like to ride fast as it is exciting and I like having the wind on my face, just like riding on a roller coaster.   

Another activity I relish doing is walking with my family. I like this as I entertain Arthur who is either in the backpack or in the buggy. 

What has been a little tricky? 

I have not found anything tricky as I have had a lot of practise. 

Which programs do you use - Teams or OneDrive? 

I am using Junior English Type, Microsoft Teams and One Drive. I have found them all easy and simple to use. Katie has set up a short cut for me on my desk top so that it is easier for me to navigate into the correct folder in the morning. 

Finishing my work on the computer is easier now than it was at the start of the lockdown. This is because I have had to do it several times and I have learned from my mistakes. 

I am able to share all of my work with my teachers using One Drive

Which piece of equipment have you used the most? Why?  I have used my computer the most as it is easier to use this for lots of things. 

What has been the best thing about GHL?  You can only pick one and say why. Going in the garden as I get to play on the trampoline and play with my football. I also think that I can do lots of things independently without lots of help, for example answering a call in Teams. These have been the best things for me. 


A young boy at his lap topMy name is Toby and I’m in year 4 at school. I have spastic quadriplegia which means that my arms and legs don’t work properly. All the time I have been at school, Cenmac have provided me with a computer to help me with all my school work because I find writing tiring, and I’m slower at writing than my friends so I can’t get as much done in lessons – but I want to learn the same as everybody else! 

I want to learn the same as everybody else! 

During lockdown my computer has been invaluable. I’ve used it every day for all my school work, including some art! I use Dragon on my laptop to record my work, a brilliant keypad to help with maths and my teacher says I look like a pilot when I join our live teaching google meets because of my headset. I just have to make sure my brother knows when I’m talking to my computer and not to him! Cenmac have also given me an iPad, which is great because I often have to research topics either on the web or by watching videos, and I need to record notes at the same time. Having two screens means I can see what Dragon is writing out for me and see the source material too which makes it so much easier. 

I miss being with my friends and having my helper with me, but Dragon, my laptop and my iPad are helping me to keep up with all my class work and do everything my friends do. Thank you Cenmac. 

Khamani's Lockdown
By Khamani  


23 March  2020,  8pm. Boris Johnson delivered that dreaded message. OH MY GOSH! Really! Locked in the house! Cannot go out! Everywhere closed. “Hmm,” I thought to myself, “this might not be so bad after all. Late lie-ins for the next couple weeks.” 

Well, wasn’t I wrong? My school ensured I had my laptop at home provided to me by CENMAC.  I was to continue school work from home. Thank you very much CENMAC! I had no excuse but to proceed with lessons! 

Hmm, I thought to myself. This might not be so bad after all

The next day I looked out the window. Where were all the people?  I could count them on my one hand.  The eerie feeling of the park that was once packed with children, and now sat deserted, quiet and still! The big open green space, where people would sunbath, walk their dogs and play football on the weekends was now abandoned. The park had that vast green space all to herself. It didn’t have to give comfort to the humans. All the humans could do was admire her green beauty from their windows. The sun was finally shining brightly now that we were all locked away. I sat and stared out my window feeling the outside’s peace and tranquillity.  

My dinner table was now my classroom table. In front of me, sat my sister and my brother to my left. Head in her hands, my mum had to go between three different subjects at different levels. Maths, Yr 2  Level, Maths Yr 6  Level and my English lesson.  Her frustration made me chuckle as I typed away. I did not need my mum to write for me.  I had my laptop, so that made it a little easier for her.  I still pestered her though!   

Weeks went by and I ran into a problem. I sighed. Why could I not print in colour from my laptop. 'I just don’t understand.' No option to print in colour! That was just irritating. Well, I got an email from my teacher just in time. She said that I will be having a meeting with her and a member of the CENMAC team via Microsoft teams. I was so excited as this would be my first time using a video link face to face with my teacher and a CENMAC advisory teacher. I was ready for my first meeting. Very grown-up! I clicked into the that link, and there they were!  Sitting in their homes looking comfortable and relaxed, just like me. But it was strange. This meeting would usually takes place at school.  

So thanks CENMAC! I was locked down, but not locked out of learning. I have continued to learn during these unpredictable times.  

Animation Workshop

Despite the current Lockdown, we are excited to have been able to go ahead with our Animation course. We have been running the course via Microsoft teams and would like to say a huge thank you to Richard and Hannan at the Rainbow Collective for continuing the workshop in a virtual space. In the workshop, students learn about storytelling, character and set design, composition skills and will eventually animate and direct their own short films.

So far, one group of students have received a masterclass from Shareefa Eneragy, a multitalented spoken word poet, writer, mentor and workshop facilitator. Shareefa helped our students produce their own poem, which they will go on to narrate and animate. Under the guidance of Richard and Hanaan, they have now started sketching their characters, designing their set and planning their storyboard for the animation. Another student has started work on creating an animated trailer for a novel they are writing.

Here are some examples of the work so far:

Illustrations by children

We hope you are as excited about the end result as we are!

Follow this link to find out more about the Rainbow Collective –
Follow this link to find out more about the work of Shareefa Energy –

Robot on a tableNo Isolation Survey

No Isolation is looking to speak to parents/carers of children who will not return to school in September for a broad range of reasons, including those with an existing illness, new anxieties, or those shielding for another relative they live with.

It is part of a research project we are working on to try to answer the question - How many children will not return to school in September? What are the reasons for their continued absence? These interviews, together with a survey of 1000 participants, will form the base for a research report that will be published by the end of July in the research section of the No Isolation website.

Do you know any families that might be willing to take part? Please forward this link to any families you think might be interested:

MYS logo

The MYS Project

Charlton Park Academy and CENMAC have been working with the RIX Research and Media Centre on the Europe - wide project called MYS – Me and Your Stories – which promotes multimedia approaches to sharing personal stories in the classroom in order to promote better understanding between learners of diverse cultures, backgrounds and perspectives. 

Take a look at this free resource on promoting story telling in the classroom:

These students stories have been entered in The MYS Project Competition – Good Luck!  

CENMAC Training

Woman looking at computer screen   Slide about accessing the curriculum

Online Clicker Training

Date: Wednesday 23 September 2020 
Time: 1-2.30pm
Trainer: Katie Fitch, Crick Software

Eventbrite Link: Online Clicker Training - CM6

Online DocsPlus Training

Date: Wednesday 30 September 2020 
Time: 1-2.30pm
Trainer: Katie Fitch, Crick Software

Eventbrite Link: Online DocsPlus Training - CM7

CENMAC Recommends for summer 2020

Mum with two children on sofa with ipadImage © Microsoft

FREE Virtual Summer Camps in July and August 2020

Make good use of your time in July and August with the Summer passport for digital fun:
A series of Microsoft digital workshops for children.

Workshops include: 

  • STEM and Coding  Missions (inc MINECRAFT)
  • Digital Tools to Explore Your Creative Sides
CENMAC BLOG - Every Friday
CENMAC and Charlton Park Academy Vimeo Channel
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