Last week, we participated in Neurodiversity Celebration Week and discovered the many strengths of neurodiverse learners. We started the week by finding out about learning differences, such as dyslexia, autism and ADHD. The children watched videos of famous people talking about their learning differences and how they have overcome difficulties to be successful. It was inspirational to hear some of our own students, who learn differently to others, sharing their own experiences and explaining how it feels to come up against challenges in their learning every day.
On Tuesday, the whole partnership came to school wearing their brightest colours to celebrate difference. The children took part in inclusion and empathy activities, designed to show that we should not judge someone by their performance on a test, because this does not tell us the whole story. There were class discussions to explore and ask questions, such as: How did they feel during the activity? Was it a fair playing field? How might someone feel who has these limitations?
The children learnt that we all have limitations that make some things harder for us and that it is unkind to make fun of someone who is struggling, because we do not know what they are experiencing or how hard they are working to overcome their challenges. The children then had the opportunity to share some of the things they are good at and some of the things they struggle with.
During Tuesday afternoon, each class decorated umbrellas, a well-known uplifting symbol for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. These umbrellas included pledges about the many positives there are to being neurodiverse and how we as a school community will always see their potential.
Families were asked to make a voluntary donation of £1 per child to local charity, Swings and Smiles. Many of our families have accessed the support that Swings and Smiles offer and we are very proud to have raised £230. Thank you to all those who donated. There is still time to donate, if you would like to. Just click on the link: Parsons Down Partnership's Neurodiversity Celebration Week | Swings & Smiles (swingsandsmiles.co.uk)
As the week continued, the children found out further information about famous people who are neurodiverse and watched videos of neurodiverse everyday people. They created posters about someone whose life they find inspiring and posters with information about dyslexia, autism and ADHD.
The week was filled with fun, but with a very important message. At Parsons Down we are committed to fostering an inclusive, positive and nurturing environment for all pupils, including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. In order to empower SEN,D students to flourish, we must not only support them with what they cannot do but should recognise, nurture and celebrate the many strengths and talents of being neurodiverse. We are very proud of our inclusive school community and the way our pupils accept difference and inspire each other every day.