Our Year six classes spent time with a specialist from Medway Hospital as part of this term’s topic on celebrating difference.
A Physiotherapist in amputee/prosthetic rehabilitation, Mrs Hayley Freeman, ran a workshop for the 10-11 year-olds on living with a disability.
The aim of the session was for the Gad’s students to understand how a disability could affect someone’s life and most importantly, embrace difference and appreciate people for who they are.
The children learned how some people have missing limbs due to illness, accidents or being born that way and why nobody should be treated unfairly because of it.
The cohort listened intently while Mrs Freeman told them about some of her patients and were particularly interested to find out that children are much more resilient to treatment as they are ‘fearless’.
Class teacher Mrs Emma Sheen was impressed with how mature and empathetic the students were and was proud of the probing and considered questions they asked.
After watching a video about a young British racing driver, ‘Billy Whizz’, who lost both his legs in a racing accident and went on to achieve first place, against able-bodies competitors, at a Grand Prix this year, the class got to look at some prosthetic arms and legs.
Mrs Freeman passed around a selection of multi-functional prosthetic pieces, with the children able to touch and feel them freely. With each limb, unfolded a story of the previous owner and their particular adjustments and specification. The class was fascinated to discover how a sailor was able to sit crossed-legged by unhinging his knee joint so he could fit in his boat!
Mrs Sheen ended the interactive lesson by thanking Mrs Freeman for her time and expertise and encouraged the children to reflect on what they have been learning about having a growth, as opposed to a fixed, mindset and how this can relate to celebrating difference.