Youngsters have been breaking down barriers to see beyond people’s disabilities during a school visit.

Year nine students at New Rickstones Academy, in Witham, took part in a disability awareness course with Southview School, a special school in the town for physically and neurologically impaired children.

Southview headteacher Julian Cochrane visited with two of his students to give an insight into the difficulties of communication when you cannot speak, and demonstrated some Makaton sign language.

New Rickstones students then visited Southview to learn more about the similarities and differences between the two schools.

Braintree and Witham Times: Monitor: students experienced Eyegaze eye driven communicationMonitor: students experienced Eyegaze eye driven communication (Image: New Rickstones Academy)

They experienced what it is like to use the Eyegaze eye-driven communication machine and were moved in a hoist.

Students presented what they had learned to other year groups and practised using Makaton signing.

Rachel Ferguson, director of key stage three, said: “We absolutely loved our visit and were in awe of the amazing students and staff we met.

“It was important for our students to break down barriers as they will be the future colleagues, employers, neighbours and friends of people with disabilities.

“We hope they can now see past the disability to the person.”