Side By Side Inclusive Nursery and Special Needs school

Integrated Nursery

Side by Side Integrated Nursery and Special School was founded by Mrs Rebecca Rumpler OBE, an Orthodox Jew, in 1997. Following her son’s diagnosis of Downs Syndrome, she realised that there was no school that could cater for his special educational needs in a supportive environment that encouraged the Jewish, religious ethos that was present in her own home. Mrs Rumpler envisioned a nursery that provided a specialist education for children with learning difficulties and disabilities learning alongside mainstream children, whilst maintaining Jewish ethos, culture and knowledge so that pupils could become contributing members in their local community and in the wider society.

National Autistic Society and Rough Guides team up to encourage more inclusive days out

Accessible Britain

The study by the National Autistic Society was carried out ahead of the publication of the new, seventh edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain and demonstrated some simple things that venues and attractions can do to make days out more accessible for autistic people and their families.

The revamped edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain follows advice from the National Autistic Society and includes information for visitors with more hidden conditions, such as autism or mental illness.

The Parks Trust Education Ranger Achieves National Accreditation

Outdoor Learning

A member of The Parks Trust’s Outdoor Learning Team, which works with around 6,000 adults and school children across Milton Keynes every year, has been recognised as an Accredited Practitioner by national body the Institute for Outdoor Learning.

James Walsh, who has worked for The Parks Trust for three years, received the accreditation after completing a comprehensive portfolio of work and passing an interview panel with two independent assessors.

The work in his portfolio included published articles in industry magazines, personal reflections on practice and the issues facing the outdoor learning industry, detail around his experience and an ongoing professional development plan.

Children from across the world gather in London to celebrate success in International poetry, art and song competition

Children from across the world gather in London to celebrate success in International poetry, art and song competition

Never Such Innocence (NSI) has successfully engaged almost 7,000 children from over 350 schools in 43 countries in commemorating the First World War through poetry, art and song. Today, the commemorative charity will celebrate its fourth and final centenary competition, in which children from across the world have submitted poems, artwork or songs inspired by the events of the Great War.

NSI launched the centenary competition last autumn and the winners have now been selected from every corner of the United Kingdom, as well as Greece, Malaysia, New Zealand, France, Canada, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda and the USA, to name but a few. 

New Play Kit Designed for Children’s Development

Kitcamp

Kitcamp, founded by Anna Saunt and Jonathan Lord, have introduced a new build-and-play modular kit as an alternative to, or to complement, fixed play equipment. The innovative kit is more versatile than traditional fixed play furniture and the advantage is that children build structures themselves, which helps with learning and social development.

The product is unique, comprising of interlocking panels which fit together in different configurations, so children can assemble large objects like castles, dens and spaceships to their own design and limited only by their imagination. It’s ideal for primary schools but can be used in various ways by different age groups, even as a useful storage system or as classroom dividers.

Explore and Learn

Young Boccia champs officially open new school playground

Creative Play

YOUNG Boccia champions have celebrated their win by helping to officially open their school’s new Creative Play playground.

The Kent County winning youngsters from Greenfields Community Primary School in Maidstone were picked to join the school’s Chair of Governors, Pam Payne, to officially open the new outdoor equipment, designed, manufactured and installed by outdoor play experts Creative Play.

Boccia, which is a precision ball sport related to bowls, is primarily a disability sport and schools, such as Greenfields, also have teams for children who have learning difficulties.

Greenfields has found that being part of a Boccia team has given those pupils a real confidence boost and created friendships that have made them feel more inclusive.

FestABLE event to be held at SEND college

Sally Phillips FestABLE

Guest speakers including TVs Sally Phillips will gather for FestABLE on June 2 as part of the UK’s first national festival dedicated to specialist learning.

Youtubers, assistive technology experts and professionals working with young people who have special educational needs and disabilities will attend the event. 

Young people have helped plan FestABLE’s diverse programme which includes all sorts from the chance to go in the country’s only wheelchair-accessible hot air balloon and play with eye-gaze controlled computer games, to sessions on speech and occupational therapy, Education, Health and Care plans, early autism intervention, SEND reform and removing the barriers to achievement.

Children's charity launches first hospital-based pre-school

Piggles Trust

A charity set up by a family in memory of their late daughter has launched the first hospital-based pre-school, Piggles Trust,  in the country at Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Piggles Trust, founded by Caroline and Edward Martin from Andover, aims to provide early years education to young patients nationwide.

In partnership with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust’s workplace nursery provider Taplins, the charity has funded the first nursery nurse in the NHS.

Prior to the development of Piggles Trust, there was no provision for delivering pre-school education for children aged two to five while in hospital – despite being a crucial age for learning and development.

Innovative teaching helps students overcome hurdles

PiXL Edge

PiXL Edge helps teachers and students to develop attitudes and skills that will help them in life and beyond.  We can easily take life-skills like booking train tickets or opening a bank account for granted. To most, they might seem simple, but if you haven’t been shown or been given the confidence, these everyday tasks can suddenly become a hurdle in life. 

Students at Ashcroft have significant barriers in life. Many have struggled to cope in education because of their mental health or life experiences and 46% of students are looked-after children. As part of their work to ensure their students develop essential life skills to help overcome these barriers, Ashcroft have signed up to the PiXL Edge programme.