John Galloway welcomes BBC's new inclusive online materials

NNC's 'Wanna be a Rockstar!"Wanna be a Rockstar" is the latest addition to BBC Classclips treasure trove of more than 400 films and animations providing good quality materials for classroom use.

This material for helping to teach pupils with more demanding learning difficulties is part of a rich vein of materials that will enrich learning for pupils of all ages and abilities. From exploring National Cycle Routes, to creating 3d maps and playing Hopscotch in Chinese, there is something for just about any lesson.

By John Galloway

Logo for Hello campaign“It would stick in my throat to charge for something as essential as helping a child learn a necessary a thing, like asking for a glass of water,” explains Lorna Lloyd. She's talking about the www.commtap.org (Targets and Activities Project) website she created with Neil Thompson. It's highly popular, and packed with high-quality resources, and they are determined to keep it available free of charge.

The pair, both practising speech and language therapists, started the site in 2006 as a way of providing materials for teachers and teaching assistants to use in the often protracted time between their visits. Since then they have had more than half a million downloads of the materials.

John Galloway welcomes a simple and accessible approach to making music

The SkoogMusic made simple and accessible: the SkoogThere are not many instruments that you squeeze to get a note – the accordion, the harmonium and the bagpipes spring to mind, but little else. Maybe that’s because they are difficult to play, or perhaps difficult to listen to. But now there’s a new one that overcomes both those problems. It’s called the Skoog.

This recent innovation from Scotland is a white polyurethane cube, about the size of an economy box of tea bags, that has semi-circular coloured protuberances on five sides (the sixth being the base). It is played by pressure. Press anywhere on any one of its surfaces and your energy is turned into sound – not by air but by electronics.

Ian LitterickIan LitterickThe British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) is calling for part of the pupil premium to be allocated for assistive technology. Responding to education secretary Michael Gove MP, who told the BBC that the curriculum is "a closed book" to children who are not literate, BATA literacy spokesperson Ian Litterick says, “In 2011 no learner should need to experience the curriculum as a closed book.

“Assistive technology allows students to listen to text books that they cannot read by traditional means. As the best schools are already aware, it gives independence, stops non-reading pupils falling inexorably behind and lessens reliance on teaching assistants. In addition, because pupils who use text-to-speech synthesis see and hear many more words, their literacy skills also improve.”

By Sally McKeown
Bob the BuilderBob the Builder with fanAt the BETT Special Needs Fringe in 2007 you could spot the grandparents. They all queued up to have their photo taken with Bob the Builder.

None of the parents bothered; they'd had the delights of Bob most of the week and were too busy enjoying time out with free wine and canapés courtesy of Inclusive Technology. Three years later, the company and Bob have smashed their target and made £60,000 for Manchester's New Children’s Hospital Appeal.