Helping autistic children understand Armistice day is something our teachers give a lot of thought to.
And for our schools and homes for children with SEMH needs, handling the event in an appropriate way is vitally important.
Across our 16 schools and homes, today and over the last week, children not only marked the event with respect and compassion, as children and adults across Europe have done, but had support, space and a lot of time to reflect on the 'why'....why do we mark today? Why do we have these customs? Why does this matter and how does this impact on us all on a daily level?
At our Wings Notts school, the children in care made poppies, which were stood in the green. A two-minute silence was held on the green at 11.00. A lot of the children attended, along with some of the staff. The children, many of whom have experienced very traumatising experiences themselves, behaved impeccably and some of them spoke about their understanding of the event and did what children do when they are given the opportunity: learn and reflect and express themselves.
At Mill School Bury, which works with autistic children, pupils have created thoughtful, reflective work, while considering the sacrifices made to allow them the life they lead today.
Harley at Mill School Bury wrote a beautiful acrostic poem which is going to be taken to lay on a Memorial plinth in Bury.
All of us have the armed services in mind today: those volunteers, those conscripted, those professionals; those on the front line and those who nursed or gave their contribution in their own way. To those who gave us our legacy of opportunity, freedom and hope, and those who continue to serve: from our children: Thank you.