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In this edition of the LINC Programme blog we define an inclusive curriculum and examine the features of an inclusive curriculum that could be incorporated into an early learning and care setting.

 

An Inclusive Curriculum is one which accommodates the needs of all children, affording them the time, space and opportunity to participate and engage at their own level.

It also commits to the provision of supports that will enable all children to reach their own potential. An inclusive setting is not one that looks to change the individual or make him or her fit, but one that purposefully makes an effort to change the environment.

 

Among the Features of an Inclusive Curriculum are:

 

 

Atmosphere

The early years’ teacher should:

  • Make sure all children feel accepted and that they belong.
  • Encourage openness and warmth among the children.
  • Model values of fairness, empathy, acceptance, kindness and respect.
  • Make sure they provide a balance of challenge and support to enable the children to learn.
  • Challenge any and all stereotypical comments and inappropriate behaviours.

 

Environment

The early years’ teacher should:

  • Ensure access is possible for all children and adults.
  • Ensure that all materials and resources are available for all children to select, use and return as they desire.
  • Ensure there are images and visual displays in the classroom that are gender-balanced and reflect the diversity of the community inside and outside the classroom.
  • Consider the needs of all children when daily routines are being established.

 

The Children’s Work

The early years’ teacher should:

  • Ensure all children are actively engaged with materials and resources, their peers and adults.
  • Ensure that activities are accessible to all and following the children’s lines of enquiry.
  • That children’s artwork and photos are displayed at their eye level with their names clearly displayed. All children should be represented in this display.

 

Staff interactions

  • Adults should show their enjoyment in spending time with the children in the way they communicate with the children at their level in a respectful way.
  • There should be visual aids available to support communication with non-verbal children.

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