Looking after your children's eyesight is vital and will support their learning at school and at home. Vista are working with local school's to help children understand how important it is to take care of their eyes.
Primary school programme
1 in 5 children have never had a sight test.
Since 80% of a child’s learning occurs through sight, a child with an undiagnosed vision problem may struggle with literacy and reading.
But children won’t know if they have a problem with their sight and you can’t always tell just by looking at them.
Looking after children’s eyesight is therefore vital and will support their learning at school and at home. That’s why Vista have worked with local opticians and other specialists to develop a creative educational programme for early years, using characters to help children understand about eyesight.
- Fedrika is a worm who is blind. She can’t see at all
- Yogifly is a fly with amazing eyesight. She teaches Vern how to look after his eyes
- Vern is a vulture who has problems with his eyes
With the use of the characters and a range of activities at school, designed by Vista, children will learn all about sight loss, how to keep their eyes healthy by visiting an optician regularly, and signs to look out for to ensure their eyes are well looked after.
We are now going into primary schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to help children, teachers and parents understand the importance of taking care of their eyes and going to the opticians for an eye test.
Some great comments from the children who attended the workshop:
- "Vern was abit shy like me"
- "I want to make him a bike so he can get around"
- "Vern felt happy when we sang a song for him"
Some lovely comments from the teachers involved in the workshop:
- "The whole experience stimulated the children's imaginations"
- "Empathy with Vern has been strong. They are committed to the idea that he is from Africa, he has lost his family and he can't see properly"
- "There are many curriculum links, sensory exploration is a discreet part of the curriculum, there are strong PSHED links including empathy for other people, being imaginative, exploring difference and engaging with people in the community"
On Tuesday 5 December, Vista visited Stokes Wood Primary School to talk to them about our Eye Screening Programme and the importance of looking after their eyes. Children at Stokeswood enjoyed a day of sensory exploration, yoga and playing with the characters, whom they really emphasised with.
After the workshop using puppets, we screened children using a vision screening app that we have developed. The app looks at what people can see, how well their eyes focus and how they see colour. Featuring 4 tests which can change from an adult to a child version in one swipe. The app is designed to be user-friendly by using easily recognisable pictures and shapes for children and for anyone who’s first language is not English. It will play a pivotal role in making sure that any sight loss condition is detected as early as possible, so that people receive timely advice and support.
If you would like more information about this programme or to find out how your school can get involved, you can visit Primary School Eye Health Programme, or contact us on 0116 249 8839 or email email@example.com
Vista are working with an East Midlands dance based artist Oksana Tyminska, who has over 20 years of experience working in a variety of community settings, in particular with Early Years. Based in the East Midlands Oksana has experience working extensively with Sure Start and nurseries using dance and movement to encourage creativity with the with the early years and provide training for Early Years practitioners.
Our aim is to develop a practical resource pack that help to make Early Years practitioners (EYP) identify any eye conditions children at the nursery may have, which need to be referred for further testing. The aim is to give EYP and parents help and guidance in accessing the correct resources to prevent sightloss or eye conditions becoming worse.
The nurseries we visit will not only benefit from the training and the workshops but they will also receive a resource pack to continue and re-enforce the learnings from the workshop. For more information about this project or resource pack or to get involved in the pilot please contact: Oksana Tyminska on Oksana@vistablind.org.uk or 0781 6074 977