Celebrating and accepting all differences has never been so important than over the past few years. Ranelagh, as ever, accepts this and takes on this gauntlet with great gusto and pride!
Every year the school works tirelessly in promoting Autism awareness both within the school as well as within the local community. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life -long condition that affects the way children communicate and behave.
Autism awareness is not something that is isolated to one week at Ranelagh Primary but it’s something that we promote each and every day. This can be seen in the classrooms, in outside play as well as in the lessons that teachers plan. One recent visitor commented on how they could see this being a ‘cornerstone in everything the school does.’
The children themselves are experts on this and displayed their substantial knowledge of Autism and how they can support children with this. "You should not be loud because some children might feel upset" said Saeed in Year 1. Mary observed "Some people might feel confused when there are so many people around them so don't be rude if they don't want to play with you". Aaliyah commented ‘having different children in our school helps us to be tolerant to everyone.’
Equally, the children with Autism in the school have an important role to play and show everyone their individuality, humour and interests through their actions and behaviour.
Although we could not have our legendary cake sale to raise funds for this worthwhile cause, this did not dampen the children’s spirits as Thursday was the chance for children to dress up in all shades of blue - ranging from blue T shirts, socks and sweaters.
As one teacher reported, “Autism affects how a person thinks, feels and learns, and we believe it is crucial that teachers and children at the school know and understand as much as possible about this condition”.
Mrs Lawrenson said, “We are determined that everyone who is on the Autistic Spectrum should get the best start possible, and have the same chance to enjoy their time at school as everyone else. It is events like these and the continuing inclusive practice at the school that makes this possible.”
Finally, all of this could not be done without the ongoing support of our parents, carers and community. As one of the parents said ‘ I really wish other schools were like Ranelagh!’