Great Ballard School improves pupil’s awareness of disability

Great Ballard | 10 Feb 2020
Pupils at Great Ballard School in Chichester recently spent the day learning about disability through an educational awareness programme provided by Bascule Disability Training.
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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.

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About Great Ballard

Great Ballard is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2 to 13. It is situated in the magnificent Eartham House set in idyllic parkland just 10 minutes from Chichester.

Our children enjoy a vibrant and genuinely all round education that is exciting, challenging and stimulating. Academic study is central to what we do and we expect all our pupils to adopt a healthy work ethic, but we also believe that to truly educate we must celebrate the creative, physical, and spiritual, as much as the intellectual.

Our aim is to nurture happy, accomplished, and well rounded children. We value self confidence, but not arrogance, and applaud gentleness and humility. We appreciate unaffected good manners and embrace traditional values. We respect individuality and recognise success, but most essentially quality of character is regarded equally as highly as achievement.

We understand that parents have a choice of a number of independent schools in West Sussex, and each is unique. How do you know if Great Ballard is right for you? We think the only way to assess what we're all about is to come and see us. We are confident you will be able to appreciate how much we care about each and every one of our children and their individual needs. Our classes are small so we can give everyone the attention they deserve.

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