A couple of days ago we had the pleasure to visit, demonstrate and do more testing of the virtual reality (VR) cultural experinces at Ysgol Hen Felin additional learning needs (ALN) school in Ystrad, Rhondda Fawr, RCT.

As much as we are keen to see how pupils, who have a variety of special needs, respond to our offer, we are also keen to learn from the teachers, who have invalueable experince, knowledge and insight. From our point of view we are learning the most effective and efficient way to deliver immersive VR experinces in an ALN environment, and discover any pitfalls and learn of any improvments that we can make in delivery.

Before the pupils experince VR we are keen that the teachers have-a-go themselves. Here Chloe, Steph and Chelsea from Ysgol Hen Felin, are exploring the VR Welsh coal mine. They are all seated and within their digital play space. ©Vision Fountain

Twelve pupils, aged between 11 – 14 years, each spent about 20 minutes each, experiencing the fossil room and Pwll Bach Cwm Rhondda, our mining experince. As with all of our work with young people, the Oculus headsets are locked into our customised interface, meaning that they are only able to see the VR games/experiences that we allow them to see. (They are not exploring the “metaverse” ).

Pupils from Ysgol Hen Felin, explore the Fossil room experince and the VR Welsh coal mine. ©Vision Fountain

All of the young learners filled out evaluation documents that asked a variety of questions of their experience. The responses were uniformally very positive. So positive, in fact, that we feel the need to return, very soon, and test out more experiences with more of their lovely pupils (and staff)!

Thank you pupils and taechers at Ysgol Hen Felin !