Students with a wide range of learning difficulties and additional needs have been taking part in educational sessions with Network Rail staff at Leeds station.
Network Rail has been working with Broomfield School, which is a specialist inclusive learning centre. Small groups of pupils and teaching staff have visited Leeds station each week over the last couple of months to learn about the railway.
Network Rail staff familiarised the students with being at the station, showed them how the ticket machines work and took them up in the lift to the footbridge where they could watch the trains. Some students also travelled on a train to Cross Gates.
Kathryn Smith, Station Support Assistant at Leeds station for Network Rail, said: “We really enjoyed showing the students from Broomfield School around the station, and it was great to see that they got a lot out of the sessions.
“Watching their faces when observing the trains being dispatched is something I will never forget. This also helped me to appreciate the challenges some passengers with additional needs face.
“We received positive feedback from teaching staff at the school who told us the visits were invaluable for the students. They are now speaking to colleagues in other special needs schools, so they can plan similar opportunities.”
Ruth Sarsfield, Teacher at Broomfield School, said: “Our pupils got so much out of their visits to Leeds station with the Network Rail team. Some of them do not usually have opportunities to travel or experience what a train station is like.
“They learnt about how to buy a ticket, and had fun operating the touch screens and watching the trains from the footbridge. Being on a train was a new and exciting experience for some of our pupils and Network Rail helped wheelchair users get on and off the train safely.
“We would like to say a big thank you to the team for getting to know our pupils during their visits to Leeds station.”