CGI supports special educational needs school

29 November 2022 2 min. read
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Professional services firm CGI has recently completed a pro-bono project Betteridge School. CGI helped to develop a new web and virtual reality application for the school, which works with children with special educational needs.

Patrick Hutchings, Senior Vice President Consulting Services for Secure Innovation and Advisory at CGI, commented, “Part of CGI’s culture is to build relationships with the communities in which we live and work. This pro-bono project was put forward by one of our employees who identified an application of our technology that could make a real difference to the school’s pupils. We hope to build on this very successful example with other schools and groups.”

CGI worked to create a virtual reality (VR) environment in a pro-bono project for Bettridge School. The school wanted to safely present social situations and common place daily events to children with special educational needs (SEN). Being able to create a safe learning environment can be a vital part of the children’s education, so, working with teaching staff at the school, CGI developed a web and virtual reality application that allows students to experience everyday social interactions, such as a trip to a supermarket. The application also enables the school to directly build new scenarios in the future.

CGI supports special educational needs school

Jo Bleasdale, Headteacher at Bettridge School, stated, “I’m blown-away by the technology and knowing how it will build pupils’ confidence going from the virtual world to reality. The impact of this project has been far beyond what I imagined. Working in collaboration with the CGI team has really delivered what we set-out to achieve and it is great to have worked in partnership with a local organisation.”

The application was delivered using imagery captured from 360-degree cameras, overseen by a team from CGI’s Emerging Technology Lab in Gloucester. Tesco enabled a digital capture of a local store which students can now safely investigate in a realistic and meaningful manner. Meanwhile, the VR application can accommodate students with different abilities to explore scenarios that can be either teacher-guided or student-driven depending on specific needs and objectives. 

CGI regularly takes on work from the UK’s education, health and care sectors. Earlier in 2022, this saw Better UK and a consortium of NHS trusts partner with CGI. The IT consultancy will help the group build a customer-centric digital-prescription service, for patients receiving mental health treatment and support.