All children are competent learners and all learners are unique
If you stop and consider the challenges facing young people as they navigate life today, you may be alarmed at the length of the list. Often referred to as the ‘invisible schoolbag’, beneath the surface exists deep conundrums including career choices, schooling, friendships, partners, sexuality, social media, emotional wellbeing, marginalisation, varying literacies and, of course, at the moment COVID-19. It is therefore no surprise that there are mental health challenges – we also know that our best attempts at thoughtful, balanced reflection only work when emotions are able to be regulated and controlled.
Collectively each issue requires a graduated curriculum approach with clearly-articulated skill acquisitions to lessen the burden and, ultimately, provide young people with a suite of strategies in their invisible ‘tool kit’, to manage ever-emerging obstacles. Overwhelmingly, however, a sense of belonging and connectedness transcends all of this and the reason why an ‘inclusion lens’ is so essential and has to exist at the core of all school operations. Also, one of the great challenges of inclusion is that it is largely invisible and so we must all take responsibility, at all levels of society, to see inclusion move beyond tolerance to respect, and shift the focus away from diversity and onto inclusion.
An inclusive approach ensures support for students with a disability, cultural and linguistic diversity, the LGBTQI+ community, mental health challenges, gifted or highly able, and all in the context of their cultural values, needs and requirements, to ensure every student can experience success.
At Cornish College we have developed a ‘statement of commitment’ to inclusion:
Essential ingredients of an inclusive mindset across our school are:
Through this inclusive lens, we can feel confident that this generation, who have shown themselves to be the amongst the most educated, technologically proficient and adept, willing to challenge tradition structures and non-complacent cohort, are ready and eager to reshape the inclusiveness, equity and sustainability of our world. At all levels of society, we need to further cultivate and enhance this.
Inclusion is beneficial to everyone, creating a win-win situation and in no way detracts from anyone else’s experience.