Inclusive sport, friendship and fun in Hartington

Pupils at Hartington C of E Primary School have welcomed a student from Chesterfield as they learned more about inclusive sports and sign language.

Independent consultant on disability sport, Gill Hawketts hosted the day-long session at the village school on Tuesday 19th May, with local youngsters and Wigley Primary School pupil, Eleanor Thistlethwaite.

Eleanor, 10, has Cerebral Diplegia and uses a Kaye Walker (a frame) and a wheelchair to get around. She was invited to the special day of events to meet Hartington youngsters including Maddie Wager, 9, who has Cerebral Palsy and is a full-time wheelchair user.

Gill started the session looking into Paralympic sporting role models including words, videos and pictures that describe them. Students then created a collage of their findings. The youngsters found out about Makaton sign language and learnt the signs to the song ‘I can sing a rainbow.’ They also enjoyed Boccia skills, Polybat, seated throwing exercises and parachute games in the school hall.

Gill, who also works for Derbyshire County Council’s PE and School Sport services, said: “The aim of today was to give pupils an insight into the opportunities available to them to play inclusive sport. We have done that by raising self-esteem, discussing Paralymic and Olympic values and researching role models with disabilities.”

“My experiences working in a school for children with special educational needs for 18 years have been invaluable in helping me to improve my inclusive practice. I hope to pass on training to staff at local schools to make sure youngsters with disabilities in mainstream schools feel valued.”

Maddie said: “I have really enjoyed the activities that we have done today with Mrs Hawketts. Also I enjoyed meeting Eleanor who is in a wheelchair like me. We have talked about lots of things we have in common.”

Maddie’s brother, Thomas, 11, said: “It was great for Maddie to meet someone in a wheelchair like her. We have had a great day and I have enjoyed everything.”

Eleanor said: “I have had an awesome day and made new friends.”

Hartington C of E Primary School teaching assistant, Judith Flower said: “It was great to see all the children accessing every activity regardless of age and ability. Gill Hawketts encouraged the children to understand the phrase ‘we are all the same, but different.’”

ENDS 

NOTICEBOARD

2024

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