Diversity Day - 21st November 2017

On 21st November, we held a Diversity Day in school in order to raise awareness of diversity in our local, national and global communities.  The focus for the day was on how people with disabilities overcome barriers in their lives. 

 

We were very pleased to be visited by Peter Newsome from Guide Dogs for the Blind, along with Val Liften and her guide dog Usher.  They gave a very informative talk about how guide dogs help blind or partially sighted people, and all children were pleased to be able to meet Usher who is Val’s guide dog.  The children and staff were amazed to hear that Usher knows the names of a number of shops and can guide Val to them on instruction.  In their classrooms, the children discovered more about the impact of visual impairments, learned some sign language and created their own messages in braille.  For their P.E. sessions the children learned how to play a new sport, Goalball, which involved blindfolds and a very noisy ball. 

 

Some of the older children learned about Mouth and Foot artist Tom Yendell, and then created their own artwork.  One Year 5 child commented, “Even people who aren’t able-bodied can join in with things, but sometimes they need to work harder at it”.

 

Later in the day Evie Toombes visited the school.  Evie is 16, and despite suffering from Spina Bifida is aspiring to become a Paralympic show jumper and has competed in numerous competitions around the country.  The children listened with interest as Evie talked about her disabilities, how she overcomes these and the determination she has to become a Paralympian.  They also had opportunities to ask Evie questions.  At the end of her Evie’s presentation, Mrs Wines spoke about the inspirational teenager and the children reflected on how perseverance and determination can help them to achieve their goals. 

 

We are already planning its next Diversity Day, where the focus will be on different cultures. 

The children enjoyed meeting Usher and hearing about how he helps Val.  He even knows the names of some shops and can guide Val to them on command!

They learned how difficult it is to play a ball game when they couldn't see!  This was probably the quietest PE lesson ever - apart from the jingle of the ball.

Evie was a total inspiration, and our children made us very proud with the very thoughtful and sensitive questions they asked.  If show jumping becomes a paralympian sport, keep your eye open for this very talented young lady!