St Patrick’s Primary School (The Loup): Learning about disability and diversity
Location: 119 Ruskey Road, Moneymore, Magherafelt, BT45 7TS
Entry Date: 10 May 2018
We live in an increasingly diverse world so it can be very beneficial for pupils to have an understanding of diversity from a young age. Last December, to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, St Patrick’s Primary School (The Loup) held a Global Learning Day focused on exploring disability and diversity. The school has a Shared Education partnership with a special school so one of the main motivations behind the event was to help pupils develop their understanding of disability and their empathy for people who have disabilities.
On the day, each class from P3-7 was given a workshop where they learned about disability and how to respect each other’s’ differences. During the workshop, pupils were shown a short movie on disability and engaged in a number of different activities. For example, they made lists of things they could and couldn’t do to help them see that everyone has limitations, not just people with disabilities. They also created ‘mind maps’ in small groups, showing their understanding of what is meant by disability.
To bring each workshop to a close, pupils stood in a big circle and individually shared something they had learned. As they did so, they passed a piece of string around the circle, creating a criss-cross web where everybody was connected. Each child was given a piece of the string to wear for the rest of the day as a solidarity bracelet. They were asked to go home, show the bracelet to their parents and explain a little bit about what they had learned.
The day was a great success. As a result, the school has already held a second Global learning Day, this time celebrating Fairtrade. A whole school assembly was held about Fairtrade, followed by a Prayer Service and Fairtrade Tea Party for parents
Going forward, the school hopes to stage a dedicated Global Learning Day every term, each one covering a different global theme.