One of Willow Dene’s most successful investments in ICT infrastructure has been the Sonos sound system. Sonos is a "smart" system of wireless speakers and audio components, which uses wifi. It allows a digital music collection to be easily controlled from many devices, including iPads, class PCs and tablets. 

Each class, across both sites, has a Play 3 speaker which is linked to their class iPad. Having converted all of our CDs to MP3 files, and supplemented this with a targeted order of music, songs and audio books, we have a huge centrally-stored audio library that is easy to access and search by artist, track, album, genre – just as you would expect of a digital library. This is updated half-termly as teachers select new audio resources to support children’s learning.

Sonos is also in our shared areas and specialist learning environments, meaning that we have access to the same wide range of high-quality audio resources everywhere within school. Within the halls and swimming pool, we have purchased tablets to control Sonos so that music and songs are always readily accessible – no more shuffling around through a pile of scratched CDs!

There has been a marked increase in the use of auditory resources to support learning across the school, including:

Auditory cues to support children in transitions are used more consistently and creatively to cue them into something about to happen like tidying up, dinner or home time.

The use of music to enhance the environment at key times, such as breaks and self-care sessions.

The consistent use of the music aspect of the sensory calendar, which has a different genre of music for each day and complements other sensory markers including tactile and olfactory.

The use of music to support sensory processing sessions, where children are encouraged to develop a greater awareness of their bodies and how they feel.

The use of audio-books, enabling children to access stories independently.

The use of music to complement learning opportunities, such as Write Dance or art.

The consistent use of music resources, for example in assemblies and PE sessions.

The creative use of music and sound effects to support our themed swimming lessons in the school pool.

The use of familiar and appropriate songs to promote MOVE skills in MOVE groups, the MOVE gym and Aqua MOVE .