The University of Exeter is providing a free online teaching resource on climate change and sustainability for Key Stage 2 pupils across the county, recorded by the university’s neurodivergent geographers, aiming to raise awareness of neurodiversity.
Neurodiversity refers to diversity in the human brain and cognition, and recognises that we all think, move, process information and communicate differently. It is estimated that around 1 in 10 people across the UK are neurodivergent, however, all humans vary in terms of our neurocognitive ability. Neurodivergent can be used as a term to describe brains that function and experience the world in ways different to the dominant, ‘neurotypical’ brain (and includes, but is not limited to Dyslexia, DCD (Dyspraxia), Dyscalculia, Autism and ADHD).
The resource, which will be made available during Neurodiversity Celebration Week (13th to 18th March) can be delivered in a PSHE, Geography or Science lesson and will enable pupils to learn about neurodiversity and hear from people who see the world in different ways, exploring how their neurodivergent brains and passions have shaped their work.
Ian Cook, Professor of Cultural Geography at The University of Exeter said: “Since I was diagnosed as neurodivergent as an adult, my memories of school have made much more sense. What can you do with a young person who can’t sit still, is easily distracted, is buzzing with ideas and spontaneously does things without thinking of the consequences? Appreciate that neurodiversity and let them see where neurodiverse learning can take them, and to help find ways to create a more sustainable world. That’s what we will be doing at the University of Exeter.”
Shraddha Chaudhary, Assistant Director for Culture and Inclusion at The University of Exeter said: “It’s great to see a number of schools collaborating with university colleagues to open conversations about Neurodiversity from a young age and see the value of diversity in the ways we think, learn and communicate. Using such resources across all levels of education will be vital in changing and improving practice and culture and lead us towards fostering inclusive learning environments and experiences.”
The university is also inviting children to take part in a creative challenge and submit their ideas to the university which will be available to view in an online exhibition.
To register your school’s interest in receiving the free teaching resources, and to take part in the creative challenge, contact Rachel Griffiths, Academic Developer (Inclusive Education) at University of Exeter email@example.com by 6th March.
A special event on Streatham Campus will be held on Saturday 15th April between 10.00am and 12.30pm for neurodivergent pupils and their families to meet the researchers involved in making the film and to launch the exhibition. Further details of the event will follow.
To find out more about Neurodiversity Celebration Week, visit: https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/introduction