Nicky Clark, Parent Patron of Ambitious about Autism, is today launching a new anti-bullying teaching resource to help stop children with hidden disabilities being bullied at school.
Created by Ambitious about Autism, Woodfer’s World is a peer awareness programme for understanding and valuing hidden differences. The Woodfer’s World teaching resource consists of a CD featuring four stories about Woodfer, a squirrel who is different, and a handbook for teachers containing learning opportunities, handout sheets and family activities.
Nicky Clark said: “I’m supporting Woodfer’s World because the issue of bullying of disabled children is sadly an integral aspect of their school life, especially when their disability is ‘hidden’. My two daughters have both been bullied in school and in public and it affected their confidence and self-esteem.
"Woodfer’s World will help children gain a greater awareness of differences in an engaging way. I know that bullying of disabled children at school and throughout life is routine and hope that an anti-bullying teaching resource like this, shared in the classroom, will promote crucial positive attitudes in non-disabled children towards their disabled peers. No child should be bullied because they are different.”
The teaching resource is being distributed free to all 17,000 primary schools in England for use with Year 3 pupils. Woodfer’s World ties into the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 and is designed to be a core part of a school’s work to promote inclusion and emotional wellbeing. Woodfer’s World has been funded by ICAP, the world’s leading electronic and interdealer broker and provider of post trade risk and information services.
The illustrated stories focus on neurodiversity or differences in the way people think or perceive the world. Autism is an example of such neurodiversity and 1 in 100 children have autism. Research has shown that over 70% of children with autism are taught in mainstream schools and that 40% are bullied as a result of their ‘difference’. Nicky is backing Woodfer’s World because her two daughters have been bullied at school and in the community because they have autism.
Jolanta Lasota, Chief Executive of Ambitious about Autism, said: "Through the generous support of ICAP we are delighted to have developed Woodfer’s World to help children understand that not everyone is the same. We know that some children with autism can struggle when they go to school, and this sadly includes being bullied. Woodfer’s World is an excellent way for teachers to get children talking about these issues.
"Nicky is a brilliant Parent Patron for Ambitious about Autism and knows just what the families of children with autism who are bullied go through. We hope Woodfer’s World helps makes it easier for all children who are neurodiverse."