STORY PREVIEW

2020

Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment

Anderson Primary School

Singapore

MENTOR

Lio Jen Yun

Step 1 FEEL

We have noticed that some students in school who have Autism are being left out on several occasions. Many of them are being seen as 'different’ from others and students tend not to include them in group work. Other students do not really talk to them. Some students who are unaware of Autism tend to make fun of autistic children, sometimes even taking advantage of them who do not retaliate and bully them. This may result in autistic children feeling hurt or lonely.

We have chosen to work for an inclusive learning environment as we want everyone to be included and accepted for who they are, even children with Autism, as each person is unique for their own personality, talents and gifts. We want fellow schoolmates to recognise and discover the strengths of students with Autism and to celebrate the unique talents and gifts of every student as they have their own strengths.

The students with Autism were affected by the problem. They will feel left out as no one wants to play with them. Some are quite lonely with no friends and they may long to have good friends. Students leave them out in group work sometimes. We also feel that some autistic students can be very good at studying but they are being left out in group work. Therefore, they may feel dejected and not take their studies seriously.

Step 2 Imagine

We can do up some posters to share information about autistic children, how they feel and raise awareness about it. We will have a booth to share information about children with autism and how they could be included in our Anderson family. We can give away prizes for the Google Form that we asked people who came to the booth to answer. We will give out lots of prizes which encourage people to read our posters and answer our quiz. We can also create a powerpoint presentation with videos/examples/comics/humour to share with the whole school. We can also do a role play to show what life is like at the moment for autistic students and to show how we would want it to be.

We chose to set up a booth and let the Primary 5 students read through some information boards that provide information about an inclusive school environment and how we can better make our school an inclusive one. The students are then requested to complete a Google Form to give their suggestions on how to create an inclusive school environment, pledge for upholding an inclusive school environment and treat everyone fairly and not leave anyone out.

Step 3DO

The booth experience We held a booth during recess and we shared the information boards that we made. They were full of information of an inclusive environment. Students had to read the information boards that share about creating an inclusive environment and how students can first take the initiative to share or make friends with other students. Students are then given iPads to assess the Google Form that requires them to share their personal responses through the open-ended questions as well as sharing their opinions and questions with us. Gifts such as sweets and biscuits were given out to encourage students to come to our booth.

Many students from the Primary 5 cohort could learn about how we can create an inclusive learning environment and how to show empathy by including the students with autism in their friend groups and interacting more with them. They can also learn how to create an inclusive learning environment and by completing our Google Form that contain questions like ‘How to create an inclusive learning environment’ and “How to interact with children with autism.” 85% of students gave appropriate answers which showed that they learned a lot from our presentation.

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“ During our group work in class, we should include everyone as a team player.” (by Janice Ang from 5.5) “This project created more awareness about excluding some friends during group work. And I could see the immediate effect as I saw how my friends were more open and willing to talk to my classmate with autism during English period when we had to discuss share. ” (by Kylene Woo from 5.5)

The topic we have chosen initially was about Autism but we later tweaked the topic to become an inclusive learning environment as we thought that the topic on Autism may be a little too sensitive and that when other students read it they will bully and make fun of the people with autism.

0-7 Days

Good health and well being

The well-being of children with Autism should be well taken care of. I think we want to spread awareness about creating an inclusive learning environment so that no one gets left out or bullied by other children. Many students may have misunderstood autistic children's condition and end up hurting their feelings, causing them to feel lonely and left out.

Step 4 SHARE

We made a booth in school during recess so that we can tell our school mates (Andersonians) more about the topic of inclusive learning environment, how can they understand more about it and what can they do? Their responses are very positive and 85% of the people gave the responses we want.

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We could make posters on how to talk and make friends with people with special needs like autism and paste it around the school, like that we can teach Andersonians how to be inclusive of people with autism or when this virus ends we could send some Andersonians to the schools of students with special needs and spend time with them.