Pupils at Great Ballard School in Chichester recently spent the day learning about disability through an educational awareness programme provided by Bascule Disability Training.
Bascule Disability Training (a social enterprise based in Hampshire), visited the school and provided a range of educational activities, games and challenges, all of which are aimed at developing the children’s understanding and awareness of disability.
Children in Year 3 and 4 gained an understanding of the challenges experienced by people with disabilities through games that made use of wheelchairs. Year 5 played Boccia, a Paralympic sport that can be played by people with various disabilities. Year 6 children were engaged in role playing activities involving ‘characters’ with different disabilities, that challenged how limitations of disability are perceived. Children in Year 7 and 8 engaged in a disability debate, grappling with questions around living with disability, hidden disabilities and identity.
The training package Bascule provided was facilitated by Managing Director, Chris Jay. Born with cerebral palsy, Chris has been a wheelchair user for over 20 years, and is an accomplished training facilitator, public speaker, spokesperson and writer on the topic of disability awareness.
Chris said, “It’s been a great pleasure working with the children of Great Ballard School. Unfortunately, children with a disability or those with SEN, are twice as likely to be bullied and in 2018/19 disability hate crime rose by a shocking 22 per cent in the UK. As a result, Bascule aims to visit as many schools as possible in attempt to raise awareness and improve levels of empathy and understanding of disabilities, in a bid to reduce those numbers.”
Headmaster at the school, Richard Evans said, “It is crucial that as a school, we make time for days like this. There are so few opportunities for children to gain a valuable understanding of disability and a real understanding in practical terms, of what it means to be disabled. Bascule came to the school to inform and crucially answer the many questions children have about being disabled. As a result of Bascule’s training, the children now have an improved sense of awareness and empathy. We plan on further developing this by incorporating these themes into curriculum activities.”
As a social enterprise, Bascule donates 75% of surplus generated through its training for businesses to provide free disability awareness training in schools. Any Sussex based business that would like to receive disability awareness training will be able to choose a school of choice to receive a free disability awareness day.