21st March 2001

 

TEACHERS GET FLASH OF INSPIRATION FROM UNIVERSITY

 

Flashing balls intended as a marketing gimmick for the county’s university are helping to motivate youngsters with severe learning difficulties in Grantham.

 

Teachers at Sandon School know that children with profound learning difficulties respond well to flashing lights and bright colours -  and a flashing rubber ball from the Kennedy Space Centre was an ideal tool for motivating the youngsters and encouraging them to speak.

 

But when they tried to buy more flashing balls they were stumped… until one teacher came across promotional rubber balls at a University of Lincolnshire & Humberside event in Lincoln and had a flash of inspiration.

 

“My parents attended the Great Australian Breakfast at the Lincoln campus and brought home two green flashing balls – one for my young nephew and one for my child,” explained Linda Page, an ancillary assistant at Sandon School.

 

“I emailed the university to ask if they could donate some of their flashing balls to the school and to my delight they sent us a dozen in the post!”

 

Headteacher Susan Gill says the flashing balls have been a boon to the classroom. “They’re quite motivating and stimulating – they encourage the children to take turns passing the ball to different people and they’re also ideal in our multi-sensory stimulation and relaxation room,” she said.

 

“They’re great fun and very useful. The kids love them, and anything that motivates them to learn and to respond is marvellous.”

 

Cathy Twigg, a marketing manager at the university, was only too happy to help. “We’re delighted that the children have been able to benefit from what was a simple idea to promote the county’s university,” she said. “The flashing balls are very popular amongst sixth-formers, but we never dreamed that they might have a more positive purpose!”

 

For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (tel: 01522 886042) email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

 

For pictures contact Susan Gill or Anne Robinson at Sandon School on 01476 564994.

 

Search the university’s news archive at www.lincoln.ac.uk/news