Please enjoy the Thought for the Term from Dr HawesPosted on: 10/11/2023
Inclusion is defined as ‘the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure.’ The pictures here illustrate this and help us to think about how we can remove barriers to inclusion. On the left we have everyone being given equal opportunities (to see the baseball game) but because of the system in place (in this case the fence), the shortest child can’t see the game, even though all three children have the same sized box to stand on. We can see how this is unfair on the shortest child, who is prevented from participating. Similarly in life, we can understand that some people do not have full access to every aspect of life due to problems entirely outside their control.
In the central diagram, the unfairness of this situation has been addressed, and all three children can now see the game. In the same way, we can aim towards ‘equity’ by providing support to make sure everyone can take part in an activity. If we think carefully about this though, we can imagine that the shortest child could feel embarrassed about having to stand on two boxes, even at the same time as they are grateful to be able to see the game.
The ideal situation is shown in the right-hand box, where the barrier has been removed completely. This means that all three children can see the game without having to resort to boxes at all. In an inclusive society, we work to remove the barriers that stop people participating, so that everyone feels they are included and valued.
And at DGS we aim to do the same. Our values say that we are ‘a school where everyone is included, at the heart of the community’. That means we want everyone to be able to access and enjoy all the benefits of being a DGS student. Everyone has a different starting point and background. If we can be aware of each other, listen to each other, and sometimes be willing to change our approaches, we will foster a more inclusive environment and make sure everyone is included.