Dubai British Foundation has been an inclusive school since its inception, but in order to promote this with a wider parent body, Sharon Storrie, the principal, decided to host an event.
The idea for a ‘Coffee Morning with Parents’ came from the United Nation’s International Day of Disabilities, which our young students termed ‘Diversity Day’, treating it as a celebration of uniqueness. So the coffee morning was designed as an educational opportunity for parents whose children don’t have additional needs, to come to a supportive, open forum where they could learn and ask questions.
The parents who spoke at the event have children who are ‘People of Determination’ and are enrolled at our school. The children’s needs range from autism to apraxia of speech. Each one spoke in their own style, some with PowerPoints, some with notes, and one parent was so fired up that she just stood up and spoke from the heart. The parents who joined the event came to support, but also to learn from the people speaking.
The main theme that came through from all of the talks was ‘ask us and talk to us’, which means people having honest conversations and asking how to support a child. The event also allowed other parents after the event to open up about their own children and move towards finding support for their needs.
Sharon Storrie is the principal at Dubai British Foundation. She has a postgraduate certification in “Additional Support Needs”, and has been working in Dubai since 2008. She held many leadership positions in primary and early years prior to joining Dubai British Foundation in 2017.