Read the stories below to learn how OurBoards products have had a positive impact in helping people overcome a range of issues.

Scroll down further if you are wanting to read how schools have been using the products to support classroom learning.

weekly timetable board

Emma’s story

I have one of these boards. It’s been a lifesaver for us. No more morning meltdowns about having to go to school.

Board used: Weekly visual timetable

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Simon’s story

He’s been poorly so it’s been all over the place but he has been managing to sleep 10pm till 7 ish which is fantastic with only a few nights where he’s not been able to switch off. The weekly visual timetable has helped with his sleep pattern as he can see the next few days, he doesn’t want pictures so just sticking to writing as it seems to be working well

Another big step taken this morning, Simon’s friend Olivia asked him to go to jump depot, last min notice and he said yes and is getting ready, woop hoooo! Lots of structure and adding things in on the chart even last min works lol. I’m so happy!

Also yesterday his dad didn’t turn up and instead of getting mad at the change and refusing to see him the rest of the week Simon forgave him and added him to today’s itinerary with a little swaying.

God Is good always and I praise him for your help thank you

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities
Used by: autistic boy in Year 2

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James’ story

“Our son is autistic, and really struggles to cope with sudden changes in our plans – even those as seemingly unexciting as cancelling a trip to go shopping – so it was clear that schedule and routine are important to how he copes with the world.

From our perspective, we’ve been taking advantage of whatever information and resources are available to us as parents of a newly-diagnosed autistic child, so I reached out to Neale from OurBoards, who I was connected to on LinkedIn. We decided to see if one of the visual timetables really could help him. It’s been particularly timely that we have started using one around the time when he’s had the most stressful period of his school life so far.

How the board works is that we sit down with him on a Sunday afternoon and have a ritual of him planning the school week ahead on the board, using printed out pictures and words to lay out what he’ll be doing each day, including the timings of going into school and getting picked up again. This includes any additional classes or trips that make up his days, so there’s photos of his ukulele for his music lessons and Lego for his lunchtime Lego Club appointments.

The visual aspect of including these images, which are printed out and attached with the included A8 Gecko Self-Cling Pockets, is hugely important because it helps him process what is to come, something that autistic people can struggle with when they don’t have the visual stimuli. Giving him the ownership of the board is another big factor, giving him a sense of control over his activities and building a routine that he’s comfortable with.

Any weekend or evening adventures we’ve got planned go on there too, and he definitely gains comfort and excitement from doing that.

We’re only a couple of months into using the board and are still learning as we go. We know we won’t always get it right, but it’s so helpful to have tools like the visual timetable from OurBoards to help us help him to help himself.”

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities
Used by: autistic boy in Year 2

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Laura’s story

“The extended weekly calendar board definitely helps all of us now my mum is taking less responsibility for everything. We encourage her to look at the board on our daily visits so that she can see for herself what is happening that day. It encourages conversations and is especially nice when someone else has left a message on it. It’s definitely a big part of our visiting routine. I highly recommend to others.”

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Management of daily life skills
Used by: an elderly lady with dementia and her family

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Leah’s story

“Our OurBoard has been really helpful for our children to see what is coming up each week, easy to use and fun for the children to help change the pictures. I definitely recommend purchasing one.”

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities
Used by: primary school children

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Lisa’s story

“I have been using a homemade velcro weekly visual timetable for over a year for my son who is 5. He has high-functioning autism and gets very anxious if he cannot refer to the plan for his week. His homemade planner, whilst still useful, was really just a visual reminder with very little 2-way interaction. I ordered a Weekly Planner from OurBoards and when it arrived the first thing I was impressed with was the quality of the board. It is lightweight but sturdy and wipes clean far more easily than most whiteboards I’ve previously used. The self-cling pockets are genius! It makes it so easy to adapt the Planner and slot in pictures for any occasion. And the pockets stick to most doors and walls in our house which makes them really versatile for other visual prompts when we need them.

The best thing of all is that the OurBoards Weekly Planner has encouraged my son to want to write about his day – simple things at the moment like ‘good day’ or ‘fun’ but I’m confident that he’ll want to do this more as his writing skills improve. Most importantly my son sees this as his Planner and he wants to be involved in decisions as we change it each week.’

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities
Used by: 5 year old autistic boy

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Sarah’s story

“Helps with the difficulties of daily life for my 7 year old autistic son.”

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities
Used by: a 7 year old autistic boy

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Sue’s story

“I am really pleased with how well my son engaged with his new board, he uses it as an external brain that helps him to organise his thoughts and prepare himself. It has also surprised me how he uses it to express himself, by writing his feelings about activities with smiles and sad faces.

The board is good for children with challenging behaviour too, it is very durable, and I don’t have to keep replacing timetables I have made, as he used to screw them up. Now he brings the board to me on a Sunday saying, ‘Do my board.’ He Said, ‘It’s good, it helps me to understand what’s going on and I don’t have to ask mum all the time, as I can just look at it.’

I feel there is so much more we can do with the board, we are at the start of a great journey and it will be interesting to see how it develops. Thank you, OurBoards.”

Board used: Weekly visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities
Used by: a secondary school aged boy with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder

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OurBoards Table Top Daily Visual Schedule Board - Example

Lin’s Story

“I bought one of the ‘Daily Timetable’ boards for my son a few months ago. He is 13 and I wanted to update his old visual timetable now he is a bit older. It is absolutely fantastic. We bought a variety of coloured pens to go with it and my son loves it. The Gecko pockets are a superb idea and allow us to still use some PECS and put photos on the board as well as writing on it! We are going away tomorrow and found the board doesn’t fit in our case so have ordered a smaller ‘now and next’ (routine) board and more smaller Gecko pockets that should arrive today!
Customer service was fantastic.”

Board used: Daily visual timetable
For managing: Meltdowns due to events and activities

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Board used: Now & Next Board
For managing: Meltdowns due to new situations

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Used by: a teenage boy

Nathan Thriving in the Workplace

Nathan’s story

“I’m currently involved in a project to get disabled people into sport. It covers all disabilities; physical and hidden. As part of this project I use a Work Tracking System but I struggle with staying on task. The Personal Planning Board is helping with this. I open the Work Tracking System and place my outstanding jobs to the Planning Board under “to do” and move just one task in to the “doing” section. Once completed that task moves to “done” and a new task can move to the “to do” section. This way the Planning Board gives me a simple clear visual focus and helps me to stay focused and finish each task. No-one else is allowed to touch my board!

I also use the Worry Board to self manage those thoughts that are distracting me. I write a thought on the blue Gecko sticker and place it in the worries column. I leave it for an hour then come back to it and place it in the relevant circle; “things I can do something about”, “things I can do nothing about” or “things for the future”. I recently completed a funding application and I’m waiting for an answer on it, so that goes in the “things for the future” circle. I can then leave it there until I receive an answer.

Using the boards helps me to focus and I get less distracted which means I’m more productive.

Board used: Personal Planning Board
For managing: organising and completing tasks

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Board used: Worry Board
For managing: Anxieties and worries

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Used by: an older teenage boy in his workplace

Worry Board Embrace Wigan and Leigh - Thomas

Thomas’s story

“Thomas has had a lot of time off school recently – so he has been very worried and anxious about returning to school. His family requested help from Embrace’s BBC Children in Need funded Behaviour Support Project. Through this project Thomas has used an OurBoards Worry Board which helped him understand his anxieties and plan ways to deal with his feelings – he also received a weekly timetable for his efforts! Since using the boards he has done amazingly well – attending school twice this week for the first time since September! Thank you to everyone who is supporting this fantastic project!”

Board used: Worry board
For managing: Anxieties and feelings
Used by: a primary school aged boy

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Oakgrove Classroom Now Next Board 5 Reading

Oakgrove School

Oakgrove is a special school maintained by Stockport Local Authority. It caters for pupils from 4 to 11 years of age with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties. Working with one of the class teachers, Mrs Adele Beeston, it was decided that a Classroom Now and Next Board should prove beneficial to the children in helping them to understand the structure of the day.

After the Classroom Now and Next Board had been in use for a month we reviewed how the children had responded to the board and what difference it had made to classroom life. Some of the responses from Mrs Beeston are given below:

  • The children love their Now and Next board.
  • They want to move the pockets themselves.
  • They really feel part of it
  • One child used to ask, ‘what are we doing next?’ all the time. He is now less anxious and doesn’t feel the need for that reassurance
  • The children talk about time in terms of tasks starting and ending
  • Routine is very important for these children and the board helps them to feel more secure

In conclusion introducing the Classroom Now and Next Board has achieved the objectives of helping the children to understand their day and seeing the benefit of visual tools. It has exceeded the objectives in encouraging the children to read and self-motivate to prepare for the next activity.

Board used: Classroom Now and Next Board
For managing: learning and behaviour
Used by: Teacher in Special School

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Priestnall Cover Board Final Design Start and End of Day

Priestnall School

Julie Kennelly, Curriculum Support Manager, Priestnall School writes:
“As a newly appointed Curriculum Support Manager responsable for the day-to-day arrangements of our teaching assistants and other support staff, I was conscious of having to rethink our ways of working in this austere climate.

Previously our planning was based around Information from individual student timetables which meant that, when any changes occurred, the TA would spend valuable time seeking instruction from the curriculum support manager. This could take anything from a few minutes to a lot longer, depending on their availability – clearly an inefficient use of a valuable resource.

After discussions with staff and an excellent local Company, OurBoards, we developed some initial prototypes for a Daily Cover Board.

The board is a simple but effective way to communicate priority of need on a lesson-by-lesson basis. It displays the students and classes that require support, observation, urgent intervention and so on, with colourful ‘gecko’ stickers that can be moved around the board once a member of staff has completed a task. It gives a very clear, concise picture of the current need v resourcing at any given time during the working day.

We are very grateful for the support and expertise provided by OurBoards in understanding our specific requirements and translating that into a board which works so well for us!”

Board used: Daily Cover Board
For managing: Daily Cover in school
Used by: Julie Kennelly, Curriculum Support Manager, Priestnall School

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St Michael's School Trafford Intervention Group A4 Gecko Sheets St Michael's School Trafford Intervention Group Working Wall

St Michael’s CE Primary School, Flixton

Head Teacher, Mrs Ali Drayton, says …“all children follow a broad and balanced curriculum and staff are continually looking for new and exciting opportunities to widen their learning experiences, capturing their interests and making each day challenging and engaging.” With this in mind she was quick to place her order for Table Top and Wall Mounted OurBoards, A4 Gecko pockets and A4 Gecko sheets.

Mrs Drayton took the opportunity to use the boards to engage her Nursery children by placing the Wall Mounted OurBoards in their outside area. Due to the innovative Gecko backing layer the nursery OurBoards have been put on previously unused surfaces, the metal shutters and windows. These surfaces, now displaying OurBoards, have become an everyday part of nursery life. Staff can use the boards to engage the children in their learning through play.

Further up the school the OurBoard Working Walls are being used for small group intervention work. Like most schools, finding that quiet corner in a busy school can be difficult, so when a room is available maximum use of wall space is necessary. The school have mounted their boards onto cupboard doors at a height the children can interact with. In addition to the wall mounted boards the intervention groups also use A4 Gecko sheets for the children to write on and then place their work on the cupboard doors. This process encourages the children to feel that their work is valued.

Unlike a fixed whiteboard, the flexibility of the OurBoards means that they can be moved around the school depending on the staff’s requirements. This allows the teachers to capture the children’s attention simply and quickly by moving the boards to a new area. The table top boards are light and easy to move around and can be wiped clean ready for a new lesson and a change of subject.

Boards used: Wall Mounted OurBoards
For managing: Small Group Intervention work

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Boards used: Working Walls OurBoards
For managing: children in their learning through play

Used by: St Michael’s CE Primary School

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The Directors of OurBoards comment: “we consider it a privilege at OurBoards to support busy staff by developing products that will capture children’s attention and engage them in such a way that encourages the learner and supports the teacher”.