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The pupils and staff at Corsham Regis Primary Academy have been marking World Autism Awareness Week with a variety of events and lessons throughout the school.

“The week started with staff and children taking part in a variety of activities to help them become more aware of the difficulties that autistic and other children face,” explained Headteacher Gareth Spicer.

“Some of our autistic children also worked together to bake short cake biscuits in the shape of puzzle pieces. These, along with other cakes, kindly donated by staff and parents, were sold after school, with brochures and information also available for parents who wanted to learn more. It was a great day for everyone involved and we made over £200 for the National Autistic Society.”

Mr Spicer added that that Reception children watched a video clip which explained what autism is. Pupils in Years 1 & 2 meanwhile, followed watching the video with a discussion about how they could help autistic children so that they wouldn’t feel so anxious.

In lower Key Stage 2, children watched a video about a little boy in a shopping centre and how it would feel to have a sensory overload. They also learnt about the Trummies, who are the mascots for The National Autistic Society, before discussing how difficult it would be for an autistic child who found communication difficult.

Pupils in Years 5 & 6 used the day to research answers to questions that they set themselves about autism. “During the day what was really significant was that some of the children had light bulb moments and realised that they also had some of these difficulties,” added Mr Spicer.

“I want to thank Mrs McCrum, our Senior Teacher Leading Inclusion, for leading all the staff in planning and teaching these activities to our children, and for raising our parents’ awareness of autism. So many of our young people today struggle with autism and are often misunderstood. The aim of the day was to remove some of the barriers autistic children face in schools and to foster our children’s empathy so that they know what it is like to be on the autistic spectrum.”

www.corshamregis.wilts.sch.uk