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Inclusion and Samakee

St. Andrews Samakee had a special visitor for the week beginning the 16th of March. Dr Michael Morrier has been working with us and advising us over Skype since September and agreed to fly over from Atlanta, Georgia to visit us. Dr Michael is the Assistant Director for Early Childhood Programs at the Emory Autism Center and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioural Science at Emory University.

It was a fantastic week for all parties. As a school we were given advice and strategies for working with young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders. Michael was very complimentary about our work and confirmed his positive views from our previous discussions.  After school we were delighted to be given training sessions by Michael on differentiating learning for children from a range of backgrounds titled differentiated teaching strategies for special needs student in classroom setting  and and a discussion titled peer  mediated strategies to promote social skills for inclusive classroom.

After these sessions Michael spoke of how impressed he was with the knowledge of the staff.  Parents were invited into school on the morning of thursday the 19th March to hear Michael speak on the topic of the importance and benefit of inclusion in schools. We were told by a parents that it was very informative and helpful one parent said “It was very interesting to understand how inclusion benefits not only children with special educational needs but all other children too.”

The week with Michael was hugely beneficial for both parties.  The school was given great training and invaluable advice on how to continue improving as an inclusive school. Michael stated that St Andrews Samakee was as brilliant an example of a fully inclusive school he has encountered. He told us that he would like to pick up the school and transport it to America. There he would use us as an example of excellent and successful inclusive schooling to inspire other schools.

It was great to be told these things by such an authority and gave us yet more belief and evidence that the Samakee Way is a great way.  At Samakee we will continue to pave the way for inclusive education while helping our young children to grow up celebrating and embracing individual differences.

 

 

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