How inclusive is your school? What does inclusion mean to you? Did you know that one of the eight principles of the New Zealand Curriculum is inclusion? Did you also know that these eight principles are described as the lens through which all school decision making should flow?

I came across this inspiring video ‘Inclusion: Why it Matters‘ on Facebook the other day, and wanted to post it to stimulate discussion on the issue of inclusion in schools. I wonder if the principles are often misunderstood, merely being pasted into our strategic or annual plans in order to say ‘we do that’?

All children deserve an equal opportunity to education. But for some parents of children with disabilities, accessing good education can be challenging. In this video, a group of mums talk about their experience with education:

The curriculum is non-sexist, non-racist, and non-discriminatory; it ensures that students’ identities, languages, abilities, and talents are recognised and affirmed and that their learning needs are addressed.

New Zealand Curriculum, p.9

This video was produced by The Attitude Group which is a really innovative and inspiring organisation that champions new attitudes towards people who live with disabilities and chronic health issues – check out their website or their youtube channel – it is truly inspiring.

Questions for educators to reflect on/use as discussion prompts:

  • How accepting of diversity are we as a school? What would show this?
  • How do we accept those with disabilities and adjust the environment to support their learning?
  • How do our learners who have ‘differences’ feel about this school?

The lovely thing about the messages in this video is that it encourages us to focus on relationships. If you would like help strengthening this critical aspect of your curriculum or how your team works, please get in touch.