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Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2024

25 March 2024

Children, young people and teams from across Witherslack Group recently celebrated Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

Throughout the global event spanning a week, schools engaged in a variety of activities aimed at fostering understanding and appreciation of neurodiversity.

Ashbrooke School started the week by hiring a 55 ft inflatable obstacle course, which brought everyone together. They continued the fun with some Sumo wrestling and swing cars, both  brilliant for the pupils as they promote coordination, balance and motor skills which are essential for growth and development.

Over at Avon Park School, pupils cooked up a storm by baking cupcakes and decorating them, while Chilworth House Upper School proudly placed their neurodiversity umbrellas front and centre at their main entrance.

At Chilworth House School, the week was packed with fun activities, and it all started with naming their new mascot, octopus, who was crochet together by TA, Emily Cave. A competition was held asking children to name the school’s neurodiversity octopus. There were plenty of entries and in the end, Octo Hawkings made the cut , with on pupil saying “he has a big brain and is smart.”

Children were also tasked with designing a poster for the Thame Market competition. The brief was to create a poster that could be displayed on the Thame Market stall , and pupils were encouraged to focus on what neurodiversity meant to them. The entries consisted of many  mediums but broadly focussed on the positives of being different. Dave Willcox, Head Teacher  was given a very difficult task as the judge.

Pupils also went out into the community to talk to people about neurodiversity. Thame Market is held every Tuesday and brings people in from all around the local area. In preparation of the day, pupils spent time crafting things to sell on a stall, including dog biscuits, fridge magnets and slime. Strategically, the meant that people came to look at their work and while they were perusing the trinkets on offer, it was the perfect opportunity to speak to them about neurodiversity. All the money raised through the sale of the items and tombola tickets were donated to Cancer Research UK. The day was a great success that we were able to raise £330. Pupils across the school engaged positively with members of the public.

The fashion world needs to watch this space as designers from Cumberland School got creative by designing t-shirts, celebrating neurodiversity loud and proud.

Pupils from Greenholm took part in discussions around neurodiversity and went on a nature hunt find bugs and how they help the world in their own different way.

Hidden talent can also be found at Hall Cliffe Primary School, where children got creative, painting and decorating their superhero masks as well as taking the time to enjoy some colouring. They also made delicious fairy cakes

Pontville School was buzzing with activity with classes reading books, discussing their superpowers and they even did a spot of gardening to relax, demonstrating the activity can help to regulate and relax brains and bodies.

At the 16-19 Centre, the students celebrated by creating colouful cupcakes, which were noted as looking all very different but tasting fantastic.

Also at the school, they welcomed a visitor from UA92 to talk about what they do and shared their challenges and experiences with their neurodiversity.

At Queensmead House School, young people immersed themselves in learning about neurodiversity and the significance of accepting and embracing differences. They took part in assemblies and creative projects and explored the importance of community.  They also delved into discussions about strengths, understanding why they matter, and reflected on their unique strengths.  They also cooked up some treats too. 

Group chats around neurodiversity started at Oversands School, where pupils and the team discovered famous people who have used their neurodiverse strengths to become very successful in their chosen fields. They too hired an inflatable assault course to encourage movement and activity, and challenges were set.

 Westmorland School enjoyed the arts, making Skittle rainbow masterpieces to marble art, hand printed rainbows and coloured pasta necklaces. Continuing the theme of colour, they also  took part in their annual colour run that also marked their learning about the festival of Holi.

Well done, everyone.

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