During March, Tintern Grammar celebrated Neurodiversity Week. The intention was to raise awareness and understanding about neurodiversity, and educate our community about this little-known subject. It was hoped we could help broaden our acceptance of each other, particularly those we perceive to be “different” in some way. This aligns perfectly with Tintern’s Compass values, particularly respect and compassion, and caring for each other.
Some of the ways we endeavoured to raise awareness included placing information posters quoting well-known people who are neurodiverse (eg/ Justin Bieber) around the school, intentional delivery of information during Utility sessions, recorded interviews of students present and past who consider themselves to be neurodiverse shown during assemblies. They spoke of challenges neurodiverse people face, and also what they wish others understood about their conditions.
Our Middle and Senior school Assemblies were dedicated to the theme of Neurodiversity and students were encouraged to purchase student-designed ‘Celebrate Neurodiversity’ badges (pictured). We also had a Free Dress Day on 1 April with students bringing a gold coin donation to be given to a relevant and worthy cause.
As a result of these events, I do believe the Tintern Community has a greater awareness and understanding of neurodiversity, which we hope to build on and continue. In addition, the community raised $828.70, which is a wonderful additional outcome. Students were consulted on where the funds should be donated, and selected Irabina Autism Services as the recipient, which seemed very fitting as numbers of our students have benefitted from the wonderful services they provide. More information can be learned about this organisation here.