We recently had the pleasure of visiting The Hollies School in Cardiff.

Hollies is an Additional Learning Needs school environment.

At Vision Fountain’s core is inclusivity. So it was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to engage with the young learners at The Hollies

Hollies provides “personalised learning experiences so that every child can communicate, interact, grow and develop to the best of their ability”.

We introduced the Virtual Reality cultural experience “The Fossil Room”, where children are able to handle a selection of mostly Welsh fossils, plus a large dinosaur skull from N. America. It’s a relatively simple experience, in-so-much-as the children simply pick-up and inspect items. There is a surprise when a small Raptor Dinosaur enters the fossil room, at a safe distance, with no interaction possible, there-by minimising potential over excitement. The appearance of the cartoon-like but “live” dinosaur is always a highlight.

If children where content and able to navigate the fossil room they were invited to experience the coalmine we have created Pwll Bach Cwm Rhondda, Wales’ first virtual reality coalmine. The mine is a more complex experience as it requires the users to teleport (move) themselves, and also offers more interaction. As well as being able to inspect miners safety gear, such as safety lamps, they are see horses in the stables, canaries in the lamp room, watch short films about mining history, and even dig coal.

We were pleasantly surprised as a few children were able to navigate this experience too.

All in all we had a fantastic morning at The Hollies. Fifteen young people experienced VR. Many for the first time. We were told, by the project co-ordinator, that the VR morning was the only thing the children talked about for the rest of the day. Wonderful! – ends